Corona Log Entry October 22, 2021
Corona Log Entry- October 22, 2021
It was a balmy morning here in Southwest Florida. We had started out riding our bikes at 8 A.M. The temperature was already 75 degrees. The humidity hung heavily in the air, the promise of rain to come. We stopped at the Panera Bread Company, at Coconut Point Mall, for breakfast sandwiches and coffee. There is a welcome quiet this early, before the buzz of aging visitors descend to gab, drink coffee and start their day.
The news media was abuzz with stories of Covid-19 vaccines. A few weeks back, the CDC and FDA had approved a booster shot for the Pfizer vaccines. People over 65 years of age, or those with compromised immune systems, were eligible to receive this third shot of protection.
We were waiting for word from the CDC and FDA, for a similar approval for the Moderna Vaccines, which we received some seven months back. We could but hope the roll out of vaccines would be smoother than the first two rounds, that had seen us drive on two hundred-mile round trips to Sebring, Fla, with an overnight stay.
We put our bikes away and checked in to the various computer sites for messages and the latest news. The Director of the CDC had announced the approval of the Moderna booster shot, effective today, for individuals over 65 years of age, who received their last vaccine shot six months ago. This was us! We pulled up the Walgreen’s site on the net and shopped around for available appointments. Surprisingly, one popped up at what we thought was a nearby Walgreens store on Immokalee Rd. in Naples. Mary typed in our information and we set off for what we thought was a twenty-minute run to Naples.
The GPS system in our car, threw us a mickey. The address we ended up at in Naples was a vacant parking lot. Okay, now what? A google search showed us that the Walgreens that we sought was situated some 30 miles away in the rural town of Immokalee. Unperturbed, we turned the car eastward, cranked up our engines to warp speed and rocketed along Immokalee Rd, dodging dump trucks, cars and idling knuckleheads. Only a Lear jet could have gotten us there faster. We arrived in time for our appointment. We needn’t have worried. Walgreens wasn’t exactly ready for the crowd. We filled out our paper work and sat for an hour until the staff could get to us. Then, with little effort, we received our booster shots and the all-important “vaccine card” from the pharmacist. We were off. In all probability, we will have to get these booster shots yearly, like our flu shots. But that event is a year away. We were newly protected for the immediate future.
So far, the deadly Covid-19 virus has claimed the lives of over 700,000 Americans, many needlessly, due to confusion, misinformation and deliberate obfuscation by some recalcitrant government leaders. But, that was all behind us, we hoped. Over 180 million Americans have now been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. That still left another 80 million hold outs who were reluctant to get the vaccine. Unfortunately, those are the ones that the vaccine will now seek out as the only remaining available hosts.
The various drug companies have developed a vaccine for children, ages five to eleven. It should get approval in a few weeks. Resistance from various parent groups is strong and voluble. There is no rational basis for this. Children already receive mandatory vaccines for Polio, small pox and measles. Covid-19 should just be another layer of protection.
The Merck Drug Company has also developed an oral proscriptive to help deal with those already infected with the Covid-19 virus. It should help treat those who fall ill. Unfortunately, yet another variant of the Delta Virus has risen its ugly head in Great Britain. It is still too early to determine its virulence.
In the world around us, supply chain bottle-necks, at the Los Angeles, Long Beach and New York Ports, have created artificial shortages in many products lines. Insiders claim that there is a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers to move the products. The shortages are driving up prices at all levels. Inflation rears its ungainly head. Prices are at a thirty-year high. Gasoline is now up to $3.29 a gallon for regular, with much higher prices in some areas. Crude oil is selling for $81.90 a barrel. Curiously, despite the difficulties, there are job openings everywhere. Businesses can’t find enough workers to staff their enterprises even at increased wage levels. No one has yet figured out what this shortage is due to, or a solution for the problem.
Washington D.C continues with its daily live Kabuki drama in Congress. There is universal accord to pass an infrastructural improvements bill, funded at the One Trillion-dollar level, but it is tied up with a few “social engineering “ packages that members wish to trade their votes for. It is the usual circular firing squad that passes for government in Washington.
The stock markets trembled for a few days, with the rise and fall of oil, and other commodities, but the Dow Jones average has settled back down to the 34.000 level, seemingly unaffected by matters large and small.
There are some lighter moments though. William Shatner, the ninety-year-old star of the sixty’s series “Star Trek,” rocketed off to Space in a private rocket venture sponsored by Billionaire Jeff Bezos. The flight was brief, but it captured the imagination of America. Hooray for Captain James T. Kirk. Commercial Space flight may yet be a reality in our near future.
I am hoping to put this narrative to bed in one more episode, if the virus bows to the various vaccine and public health efforts. It seems like a very long time since that day in early march of 2020, when first we heard its name. We all could use some good news and an end to this nasty pandemic.
Joseph Xavier Martin