Archive for January 19th, 2021

VAX Quest: Of open borders and walls…

January 19, 2021

I feel like I’m trying to “find Waldo”.
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Last week I posted (OK, make that “I whined”) that despite my earthly seniority, I was being sorted on the COVID-VAX priority list (in Maryland at least) lower than lawyers, prisoners and ‘the media”.

One loyal reader suggested that — on the basis of my habitual blogging  — that I should self-classify as “media” and get in line. Fearing that I’d get tagged “fake news”, I passed on that idea.

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Open borders

A couple of other loyal readers alerted me that Florida — which was early-in for 65 & over doses — wasn’t enforcing a state residency requirement.

The legal logic: the vax is being provided by the Feds and paid for by Federal taxpayers in all states.  Those who pay for it should get it, right?

Florida’s practical logic: During the winter, Florida hosts a lot of  “snowbirds” — part-year residents with 2nd homes in Florida. They regularly contribute to the state’s economy (and tax base) so they deserve shots, right?

The rub: Many of the “snowbirds” come down from Canada — which (at this time) is behind DC and Puerto Rico for Dem-pushed list of statehood candidates. And, Miami is a hub for business visitors (some legit and some not so much) from Latin America. What to do with these foreign non-residents?

Florida’s answer: Try to keep the word from spreading, but — if the foreigners are over 65 — give them the vax.

The problem: Florida has begun attracting international “vaccine tourists” and its  supply of vaccine  is, shall we say, “tight”.

Bottom line: We cancelled our road trip to visit our friends in Florida

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Strong borders, administrative walls

Then, a ray of hope: DC opened its eligibility list to include folks  over 65 — you know, those scientifically tagged as “vulnerable”.

I live in Maryland (part of the DC “metroplex”), so some loyal readers suggested that I simply cross the MD-DC border and get in line.

A nice idea, especially since I worked in DC for a couple of decades and my wife & I have been loyal patients of Georgetown’s hospital and doctors … and, since Maryland has ceded some of its vaccine allotment to DC to cover interstate cases.

But when I chased down the option, I ran into a formidable wall — not bricks and wire, but government bureaucratic intransigence.

Seems that the DC politicos are OK with national border crossings (with free healthcare provided, of course) but not state crossings for vaccine inoculations (except for out-of-staters who work in DC hospitals) … of course, country border crossings for diplomats (and their families) who are providing “essential services” are on the vax list.

But, the strict state border policy is being strictly enforced for folks like me.

Path closed.

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Then good news: “The science” — housed at the CDC, etc., and frustrated by the slow pace of vaccinations — changed its mind (again) and advised states to starting shooting the vaccine into anybody over 65.

I’m golden, right?

WRONG!

Turns out that my hunt for vax was just starting…

(more…)