Rainbow Dragon's Dares

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    It is an odd scenario. The highest concentration of people are in the big cities which means it is more dangerous there, but also the highest concentration of voters, which makes the desire to act there doubly relevant for provincial politicians. I logged in to the news one morning and saw a picture of a 14 year old getting her shot in Scarborough, whereas me being in my mid 40s and thus presumably a more vulnerable part of the population, still hadn't received one. It seems to me as well, and this is probably biased, that the people in bigger cities are also more reckless when it comes to community precautions, so I am happy to live where I do, where everyone works together well as a community. There are some weird characteristics in the system. I would think that as I am a spouse of a front line medical worker that I would be at a higher risk, but not so apparently. Also I know of people like myself, who qualify as obese on BMI, even though not obese or even really overweight in a practical sense, who have gotten a doctor to sign them off for a shot because of their "obesity problem". I keep telling myself that it is not about individual shots, but rather that society groups together and gets herd immunity. That is how we really stop this after all.

    Good to hear that you got your shots though, I am scheduled for my second one for September but I think it will be sooner.

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      CaptainCanuck you are certainly at an increased risk because you're married to a high risk healthcare worker. Ford just doesn't care. He needs Blue Fox to stay healthy so she can show up to work. But you? Meh. You've had one shot. Even Delta probably won't kill you. And Thunder Bay doesn't vote Tory. Scarborough might or might not. And Ford is done next year if it doesn't.

      It would make sense to concentrate our vaccination efforts in the cities if we had travel restrictions in place. But Ford has removed within-province travel restrictions. You hopefully will still have some protection from the hot spots due to geographical isolation. But I'm only a 3 hour drive from Toronto. And Ontario Parks are open for overnight camping now. City folks are here, camping in Rondeau, renting cottages in Erieau, and staying in local motels and B&Bs. Delta's coming (if it's not here already). If we're under-vaccinated because we're a lower population density area, we'll be in trouble.

      Keep checking on your eligibility for your second dose. Things are changing quickly, and you may well get in sooner than September, as you say.

      I called our local pharmacy this morning and was told they would add my father's name to the bottom of a waiting list with 150 names above his. That's more doses of vaccine than they expected to receive in total this week. At 8:30 this evening the pharmacy called me back and asked if I can get my father there for 3:40 tomorrow afternoon!

      I agree with you about the need for herd immunity. I was worried about my area early on. CK is not exactly full of the sharpest tools in the shed, and an early survey showed a high rate of vaccine hesitancy here. But I think the actual demand for vaccines has been higher than originally anticipated. I'm fairly certain all of my father's PSWs are fully vaccinated now. His home care nurse is fully vaccinated. And I think most of my neighbours have received at least one shot. (Except for the little kids. But there's not a lot of them on my street.) Even the neighbour who was initially vaccine hesitant decided to get her shot in the end. (So many people on our street told her she needed to do it, she was afraid we'd all stop talking to her if she didn't.) We'll get there. And yes, we'll do it together. But I'll feel a huge amount of relief once that second shot is in my father's arm tomorrow afternoon all the same.

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        It is good to hear that your father is getting his shot.

        Geographic isolation is good up here in that sense. I have been following the problems that people are having getting spots at parks in the south. One of the recommendations on the parks website is to "Go North". Despite those recommendations we are not really seeing any influx, except at marquee parks like Sleeping Giant, Lake Superior or Quetico. I still haven't booked any parks that I have been looking at, and still have pretty much unlimited choice 1-2 weeks before going. I remember trying to book parks in southern Ontario and never finding anything, but then again, I am not usually such a big fan of campground life when it is too full of people from the GTA.

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          yay for your fathers second dose finally being scheduled and for you and your mom getting fully vaxxed! I'm surprised to hear you all are still having so many issues there with getting people in to get vaccinated.

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            Fingers crossed for your father's second shot!

            The situation is bizarre here, too, especially in the bigger cities. The government is talking about everyone receiving a vaccination offer. Where my brother lives, the vaccination center is closing, because people are expected to go to their GP. My brother has been living in the same city for a decade, but he doesn't have a GP, because GPs don't accept new patients (they will treat you, but they won't list you as their patient). Therefore, my brother has been turned away by every GP he called. He is supposed to apply for an "overhang spot" through a web portal, but they release the open appointments in one go every night, then the servers crash and after a few minutes, thousands of appointments are gone. People who can program a bot get an appointment, everyone else doesn't. I'm not particularly worried about my brother, he's under 30 and works from home. It's just so ironic when they say on the news that everyone who wants a shot can get one, but it's so goddamn difficult.

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              My father is fully vaccinated!



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                Congrats

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                  Yeah

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                    Good gawds, such a long hairy dawg process to get the second shot! Wtf can possibly justify you needing “a reason” to get a second shot? Here in WA state, the second you’ve had the first one, you are scheduled for the second one. End of story. Even here in rural BFE it’s that way.

                    Again, Laura, your tenacity is admirable regarding your efforts to safeguard your father. Good job. Despite all the obstacles, you get him vaccinated!!

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                      Ugh. That must be so stressful, sleep_twitch .

                      I am so relieved to finally have my father (and everyone in my household) taken care of. It's not that I ever feared any of us would not receive a vaccine. But the process of trying to book them was definitely messy and stressful.

                      Here we have a provincial booking system. But it was so slow to launch, several regions launched their own web booking systems first. My region did not. They waited to see what the provincial system would be like. It crashed and burned badly. So then my region said, "Whelp. Maybe we won't use that." And then they paid for a regional system to be set up. But the regional system only books appointments for the mass clinic. To book a pharmacy appointment, one has to call the pharmacy, or use the pharmacy's web booking system. There are several different pharmacy chains in Ontario (even my small town, population < 5K people, has two), each with their own booking system. And some--but not all--primary care offices have Covid vaccines now. The list of who does and doesn't changes all the time. Presumably one has to be a patient of a primary care clinic to get a vaccine there, and certainly each clinic will handle its own booking. (Our clinic does not have any Covid-19 vaccines yet, so I've not looked into this option.) So we have a provincial booking system. We have regional booking systems. We have some regions that use both. Plus multiple different pharmacy booking systems. And now the primary care office booking systems. Everywhere there are waiting lists. Everywhere there are people having difficulty booking an appointment at all. So people are hedging their bets--trying to book appointments at multiple different locations and then taking the first one that comes available--which of course only stresses the booking system even more.

                      On one hand, healthcare authorities are afraid of vaccine hesitancy. So they're desperately trying to amp up demand for the vaccines. On the other hand, pretty much everyone and their dog is eligible to be vaccinated now. And yes, we have a much larger vaccine supply than we had even a month ago, but we don't have the personnel capacity to vaccinate everybody all at once. So then the authorities have to turn around and say, "Please be patient. Wait your turn. Everyone will receive a vaccine."

                      Then there's all the political posturing that the entire scene is drowning in. Federally we have a minority Liberal government. They had some missteps at the beginning of the pandemic, but have been doing better lately and polls suggest their popularity is up. Which may mean we're heading to the polls for an early election later this year. (The latest polls suggest it's a toss up between whether a fall election would result in a Liberal majority government or another Liberal minority. Whether or not we go to the polls this year at all will depend on which way the Liberals think the nation is leaning on this. It seems unlikely that the NDP or BQ would want to force an election and risk ending up irrelevant in a Liberal majority government. But it's politics. Strange and sometimes stupid things happen.) Provincially we have a majority Conservative government. It handled the pandemic well initially, but has been screwing up left, right, and centre in more recent months. It is definitely down in popularity at the moment, and has no choice but to face another election next summer. So they have been desperate to fling as much mud at the federal Liberals as they possibly can, to try to distract people's attention away from their own reeking dung pile--which just keeps getting worse and worse. (Most recently, they recalled the legislature to invoke the notwithstanding clause for the first time in Ontario history for the purpose of passing an election spending bill which was clearly designed to silence third party critics of the Conservatives ahead of next summer's election. It's hard to see how this won't result in the Cons getting even worse press over the next year than they would have done if they'd just allowed their political critics to say what they want. But I've learned the hard way not to underestimate the stupidity of the electorate. So I'm trying not to get my hopes up prematurely.)

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                        DorothyMH we don't have any domestic vaccine production in Canada. So our federal government negotiated contracts with multiple vaccine producers to supply Covid-19 vaccines to Canada. Due to production delays, and demand for product in the countries that actually produced the vaccines (and their political allies), multiple vaccine suppliers reneged on their agreements with Canada. So we had very limited vaccine supply early on. Due to this problem, provincial governments here made the decision to extend the interval between first and second doses from the recommended 21 days for Pfizer, 28 days for Moderna, and 12 weeks for Astra Zeneca to 16 weeks for all the vaccines for pretty much everybody. This was done for the purpose of giving at least partial protection to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. But it's meant that very few people in Canada are fully vaccinated, even now. (For example, my region is reporting that, as of June 14, 2021, 66% of people aged 12 and above in our region have received at least one dose of vaccine, but only 15% of us have received both doses.) Since two doses provide better protection than just one (especially w.r.t. the Delta variant which is now circulating within Ontario), most people want to get their second shot earlier than 16 weeks after their first, if they can.

                        Back in March, our vaccine supply was so limited that only a small percentage of the population was eligible to be vaccinated at all. The rules regarding who was and was not eligible to be vaccinated changed pretty much every day. Now we have much more supply of vaccine, and everyone aged 12 and above is eligible to receive their first shot. But we're still not able to vaccinate everybody who wants to be vaccinated all on the same day. So there are still limits on who is eligible to receive their second shot. Anyone who actually had to wait 16 weeks between doses is eligible for their booster. But most of us are getting it sooner than that. (My father's 16 weeks would not have been up until the middle of July. With the Delta variant circulating in Ontario now, and our government moving the province into the first phase of re-opening already, I did not think it was safe for him to have to wait that long.)

                        Because the hope was always that most people would not need to wait the full 16 weeks between doses, most people did not get a 2nd appointment scheduled when they received their first dose. Instead, we were given a date on which to try to book our 2nd dose. But then the 2nd dose interval started shifting for various groups of people, the messaging got confused (at one point my PHU's website actually said that I was not allowed to even try to book an appointment for my 2nd dose until my 16 weeks were up, cautioned me that they had such a backlog of people trying to book appointments that I likely would not even hear back from them for 10 business days, but then said I should not worry because, with the increasing vaccine supply, most eligibility groups actually had available appointments open up for them a few days before the start of their eligibility date!), our provincial government decided to try to curry political favour with parents by opening up first dose vaccinations to 12-year-olds province-wide only a few days after 30-somethings became eligible in some areas. So basically, the system is a mess. But most Ontarians' desire to be vaccinated is strong enough that we're willing to negotiate the mess in order to get the job done.

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                          CaptainCanuck I'm with you on the crowded campgrounds. I wouldn't even consider camping in any of the parks down here until September when the kids are back in school. And that was pre-pandemic. Now that the parks are so much more crowded (and humans are behaving very much worse in them)... ugh! No thank you!

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                            Trbrat75 see my two longer posts above for some of the challenges that are plaguing our system here.

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                              Thanks to my wife's schedule, we have the added benefit of going camping during the week when things are very slow as well. Too bad about camping, but at least Rondeau is there during the daytime. We did Harrison Trail the only time that we were there. I can't imagine it gets very busy?

                              I didn't quite make it on my pledge of leaving the province if Ford got elected, but I made it a decent distance

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                                Glad to read that all your efforts to get you dad vaccinated worked! And it seems that all countries have a serious issue organising those vaccinations.

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