A Shot in the Dark

As promised in yesterday’s blog, I awoke even before the birds so as to be among the first to make an appointment for the vaccine. The appointment is not for me; Bill meets the age criterium for the second phase, which began yesterday in AZ. I carefully made my way through the dark to find Bill’s wallet in which he carries his insurance card, which I needed to make his reservation. I quietly unplugged my laptop and tiptoed out into the kitchen to begin the process. It was 5:07.

I went on to the Maricopa Health Department’s web site and quickly learned that registration didn’t begin until 6 a.m. I imagined hundreds of senior citizens like myself with their fingers hovering over the key to hit REGISTER at 6 a.m. on the dot. I felt like I was trying to get in the A group on a Southwest Airlines nonstop flight to New York City.

Like hundreds of others, at 6 o’clock, I logged onto the website as instructed. I saw an explanation of who is eligible, but no registration button. I went to get a cup of coffee and say a prayer for the intervention of the patron saint of infectious diseases, namely St. Roch. At least, he is the patron saint of the plague, and I think that’s close enough.

Coffee in hand, I went back to my computer. (By the way, instructions said laptop or desktop computers were mandatory. Also, the registrant’s email should end in .com and not .edu, .net., etc. Done and done.) This time there was a registration button. Boom. I filled out Bill’s information, got to the box where you choose the date, and discovered that all appointments were filled until January 29. Apparently hundreds of old folks have faster fingers than does this blogger. Or perhaps they elected to disregard their morning coffee.

Finally, with the help of Jen, who had barely poured herself a cup of coffee when my vocal rantings convinced her I needed help or my head would explode, we got an appointment at 9:02 (I’m not kidding) on January 29. Except when I hit confirm, it didn’t. And when I retried, the “thinking” loop began turning. And turning. And turning.

Jen, who -works on a computer every day and deals with tech folks more than she would like, gave me the age-old advice: turn off the computer, wait two minutes, and turn it on again. This I did, with much skepticism. Turn off the computer indeed. Hrmpf. But VOILA! Bill is signed up for an appointment on January 27 at 10:42 (I’m not kidding). That’s 49 hours and forty minutes earlier than my first try. Thanks Jen. Thanks St. Roch.

By the way, despite having to get up early and having to endure a bit of chaos on the website, I continue to be enormously grateful to everyone who has worked or is working to research, create, test, supply, distribute, and innoculate, I’m still in awe that we have a vaccine available to us not even a year after COVID reached our shores. Someone way smarter than I created the website on which I scheduled an appointment. Should rollout of the website have gone flawlessly, I would be astounded. I have trouble remembering my password for my email!

Look for Bill and his band-aid on January 27 at 10: 45.

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