Aging SouthCoast Veteran Pleads for Vaccine for Wife, Himself [OPINION]
Round and round it goes, where it stops, no one knows.
If you have been trying to navigate the vaccine rollout in Massachusetts, it might feel like being caught in a perpetual spin cycle. It is frustrating, if not maddening.
One of my regular callers has been trying to schedule an appointment for his wife and himself for weeks. The man is a U.S. Army veteran who served his country in Germany. He is in his 80s now and is not internet savvy. In fact, he doesn't even own a computer. His health care provider tells him to keep dialing 2-1-1, which he does daily, but so far, no luck.
After weeks of this nonsense, the man drove to the mass vaccination site at the former Circuit City store in North Dartmouth. He wanted to know why people much younger than he are being vaccinated and he is still unable to get an appointment for his wife and himself. He said he was told again that he must call 2-1-1 to get an appointment. His voice raised in frustration, and the man said he was confronted by the police and told to move on. Still no appointment.
During his brief stay in the parking lot, the man said he learned from others that the police are stationed there because many others have lost their temper at not being able to schedule an appointment.
On his way home from the mass vaccination site, the man stopped at the health care facility where his primary doctor had scheduled a COVID test. The man said he was experiencing COVID-like symptoms: sore throat, headache, and loss of the sensation of taste. He was told to wait, that someone would notify him of the test results when they come in.
The man is terrified that if he is COVID positive he might infect his wife who is also in her 80s. Meanwhile, they wait.
How is it that prison inmates a quarter of this man's age and junkies in rehab have already been vaccinated, but this Army veteran who served on foreign soil more than 60 years ago can't get an appointment?
There is something radically wrong with this picture.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.