Walk-ins get VIP access at the vaccine clinic. I'm ok with that, as I suspect hesitant people are more likely to walk in than schedule an appointment. We should do whatever we can to ensure they have ready access whenever they feel right about it. "Welcome, right this way...."
One measure of pandemic recovery—my inability to keep up with the grass. All of a sudden, I'm struggling. It's really long right now, and I won't have time to cut it until late tonight. We've got too many things going on.
Today marked the first time we went to Costco since the mask mandate was lifted on June 2nd. Renee and I both decided to go maskless—we've said "follow the science" through this whole thing, and post-vaccination should probably be the culmination of that. It was weird at first, almost felt like we forgot something. It didn't take long to get used to it though. Not many other people were wearing a mask, either (I'd day less than 10% of shoppers).
I drove Jonathan down to Lima for his vaccine appointment this morning. Small community center doing some great work down there!
Governor Dewine expanded vaccine eligibility in Ohio based on age to those 50 and older. I think [the glut](https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-to-do-when-theres-a-covid-19-vaccine-glut-11612732696?mod=opinion_lead_pos10) has arrived.
It's time to shift our focus to the demand side of the equation. Expand access, increase number (and types) of sites, and communicate a clear, consistent message on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, and the importance of vaccination.
We took Teddy over to Debbie's house, and grandma and grandpa came over, too. It's probably the most normal family thing we've done in a long time...and it felt great. The dogs loved it, too.
Our decreased activity during the pandemic has reduced itself to a repetition of the same things, day after day and week after week. It's the [Groundhog Day](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day_(film)) effect. I realized today, during our weekly trip to Costco (which we do at the same time and day each week), that we see a lot of the same strangers each week. Our patterns are aligning...and it's weird.
The vaccines are the answer, period.
It's 24 hours since I got the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. I had a slight headache last night and a little bit or soreness in my shoulder where I received the jab. That's it. Renee had the same, plus some slight chills overnight. We're solidly riding [the blue line of Fig. 2](https://www.fda.gov/media/144245/download) now.
Toledo and the NW Ohio region put together The VProject to encourage vaccination. I've seen some of the groups efforts and it feels like they've made a difference. People around here seem to be not only willing to get the vaccine, but excited to do it. They gave us this pin when leaving the vaccination clinic this morning.
The vaccination clinic is a well-oiled machine. They're processing a high volume of people and it moves along at a steady pace. You hardly have time to take a pic between stations!
Renee and I get our second doses of the Pfizer vaccine today. The communications from our county health department have been great, e-mail and text alike. Really a smooth process.
My grandparents had some habits that always identified them as children of the depression. Rinsing and reusing plastic baggies and aluminum foil, etc. I wonder if someday you'll be able to identify people that lived through the current pandemic by certain behaviors. Will some people still wear masks regularly? Twenty years from now? Thirty?
I think people are ready to move on and will be more than willing to ditch the masks and social distancing as soon as possible. I do know a few people that are pledging to change behaviors forever, though. We'll see. It could end up being like driving habits after getting a speeding ticket. You slow down for a few weeks but eventually temporary changes yield to old habits.
...and just look old times, I had to back to Home Depot a second time today! Some things never change, I guess.
I went to Home Depot today and it was glorious. I hadn't been inside the store for probably ten months. Weird experience, but it felt great just to walk around inside and interacting with workers (thanks for the help!).
Coming "down the curve" is about to create some really strange politics. Republicans will become more progressive as they eagerly look for ways to move away from status quo policies of closures and restrictions. On the other side, Democrats will become more conservative as they seek to maintain these policies, fearful of another trip up the curve.
Meanwhile, we're stuck in the middle, exhausted and ready to move on. We're eager for a payoff from all of our efforts. We want to travel and visit family and friends. Hell, even people that hate crowds want to congregate a bit. Personally, I want to have a big family dinner at grandma's house, go to a restaurant with friends, and go to a baseball game. And. And. And.
Science tells us this will all be ok to do, too. The vaccines work. At preventing hospitalizations and death, they're nearly perfect. Each of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have shown effectiveness against the new variants. And on the question of whether they prevent transmission, basic virology and immunology tell us that no vaccine prevents all transmission, but any effective vaccine will reduce transmission. And, don't forget, the mRNA platforms they're built on are the technological silver linings of the entire pandemic - they can be adapted relatively quickly as new variants develop. It's the annual flu vaccine guessing game on a much shorter timeframe and without the guessing. We will benefit from this in the short term as the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolves, and in the long run as new viruses emerge, as they always do.
Oddly, as Democrats become more conservative through this process, they'll be tempted to shun the science while Republicans, who ignored it completely as the pandemic developed, may suddenly find a reason to embrace it.
We, the pandemic weary public, just need bold leaders to step up and move us forward. Democrats can be bold by bravely continuing to follow the science and recognizing what it's telling us. Republicans can do the same by resisting the urge to call on populist tropes ("reclaim your freedom!") to justify easing of restrictions, and, instead, pointing to the science and affirming its validity to their supporters.
There's obviously common ground here if anyone cares to look for it. It's the science, and it's been in front of us the entire time.
Big adventure today - Costco in Ann Arbor! Feels great to take a drive.
We're all missing some of our favorite things right now. There's a group of old guys that are missing their favorite Sunday morning hangout - MaMa C's in Maumee, which happens to be our favorite donut shop. I miss catching bits of their conversation when I stop in to get our dozen. Hopefully they're still working on the world's problems from home.
Lucas county issued a stay at home advisory for the next twenty-eight days. Not a lockdown, just an advisory. Seems like a good idea - hopefully it will reduce interactions and get our numbers down.
Heading to Costco on a Sunday morning. No doubt the toilet paper crazies will be out in full force.