(Note: to make the page larger hit the Ctrl and + keys at the same time. To make smaller use Ctrl and - keys.)
Because of the pandemic, I haven't been able to travel. Therefore, this is just a 'blog post' and not a blog with pictures. I wanted everyone to know that I've been 'armchair travelling'. (Note: I'm retired and have a lot of time and was watching too much tv - in particular, the news.) I bought a DVD set of Rick Steves travel shows and have just finished watching every one of them. I've enjoyed them all and felt like I learned a lot. Also, of course, I have a lot more to learn. The DVD's that I watched were filmed between 2000 and 2014 and he has filmed other shows, so now my task is to find and watch them since I enjoyed the others so much.
The DVD set was called 100 shows and included some bonus material. The "Travel as a Political Act" bonus video was especially great because I had seen all of the shows and there were many references to what he has learned during his travel. I would love to share some of his experiences, but encourage the reader to look for his lecture video and watch it because it is very enlightening. In particular, he has spent a lot of his life in Europe and discusses many views that the Europeans have - which is different from the view of the Americans. (Many of his videos are available on YouTube.com. I especially encourage the reader to watch "Rick Steves' The Story of Fascism".)
On this day, I am having a lot of difficulty adjusting to our 'new normal' in America. As of a few hours ago, a new President was inaugurated and the state of Georgia obtained two new Senators which causes a shift of political power in Congress to change from Republican to Democrat. The House will remain Democrat and the President is a Democrat, so he should be able to get votes for ANY program he desires. (Note: Assuming party support for his programs. In studies, it has been shown that a divided Congress, i.e. House or Senate is a different party from the President, is best for discussion and compromise.) Our society has changed because and has become so polarized that it is not healthy. Our culture has been changed by the presidency of Donald Trump. I'm as much a part of that polarization as anyone else because I have my notions and prejudices. I feel that "I'm right" and don't want to change, and yet - I want a better world for my children and grandchildren. I've learned that travel enables people to 'broaden their perspective' and I feel that is what I need at this time.
P.S. I have an appointment tomorrow to receive my first dose of the covid vaccine. I hope that I will soon be able to return to a normal life.
---- ADDENDUM ---->> Covid19 Vaccination Experience ---------------------------------------------------------
Like everyone else during early January, I looked for information on getting covid19 vaccinations. The first thing that I did was to look on my new health provider (Aetna) website for information expecting to get it from the doctors office. There was no information there about appointments and I had heard on the radio to expect to make an appointment. I had seen in the news where vaccinations were given in Florida on a first-come, first-served basis. People indicated that they had long lines and several hours wait time. The news in Georgia was that the available vaccine was being given first to emergency personnel and assisted-living facilities. After several weeks, news announcements were made that the next round of available vaccine would be for people over 65. I was in that group. I don't remember now how I learned that I would have to make an appointment with DeKalb County Health but I used google to find information about registering there and I filled in the form. Also, I filled in a form for Emory Healthcare and expected communication about appointments that were available.
After waiting several weeks, I received an email from DeKalb County Health department with a link to a calendar and appointment available times. For days, I tried to find an open slot. At first, I tried for many days available, then I would let time pass and try again. Days went by and I had no-luck getting an open slot. On a Friday, I watched a streaming movie on the computer at night and was about to turn-off my computer. I close each app before turning off my computer and when I got to my open email app, I noticed that I had an email from DeKalb County Health. I decided to read it before going to bed. It said that the link of the previous email had been published in the media and was no longer available. The link was to be used only by those who registered and the email gave another link. I used the link and easily found an open slot and booked it. I received an email that my appointment was confirmed. I shutdown my computer and went to bed happy that I now had an appointment (by luck).
Several days later, I drove to the Brandsmart parking lot for my first vaccine. It was a cold January day and I felt sorry for anyone who had to work in a parking lot. I hoped that they were wearing lots of warm clothes. The parking lot had several signs for cars to follow. I easily found the line to enter and passed the first checkpoint. The worker there asked if I had an appointment and I said 'yes'. He asked for a printout of my confirmation and I told him that I didn't have one, but I had an email that confirmed it and showed him. He directed me to follow the other cars in the line. There were barriers with yellow-tape to follow and many turns with many cars in front of me. I waited for a while before my next checkpoint. The worker at that location had an electronic tablet with the appointment names and looked at my drivers license. They checked-me-in and I proceeded to the next area. This worker gave me a sheet to fill-in which included my allergy information and she had a non-contact temperature scanner. She asked for my email address and input it into a tablet. I received an email with my next appointment and she pointed to which line I should use to enter the tent ahead. I took a picture through the windshield of the tent. (See picture below ... )
The nurses/doctors/prep people in the tent had heaters, but with the large area for a car to drive through the tent, I doubt that the heaters were very effective. The nurse/doctor came to the van and I gave her my allergy sheet. She looked at it and I opened the door of the van and the shot was given to me in my left arm. I was given a card with the information about my vaccination and told to wait 15 minutes before leaving by waiting in the parking area past the tent. I drove there and a worker told me where to park. Others parked nearby and we waited our required time before leaving. I got home about an hour and a half after leaving.
I received an email that my second vaccination on February 25 had been postponed because of the bad weather all across the nation. But, I also received a text that my vaccine would be the next day and I wasn't sure what to do. The weather in Atlanta was cold and a light rain, but - we didn't have snow and/or ice so I decided to drive to Brandsmart and ask. When I got there, a worker asked if I had Pfizer or Moderna. I told him Moderna and he said that those shipments had been delayed but that Pfizer was available. He said for me to wait for information about the re-schedule of my appointment which would probably be in a week.
On Wednesday of the following week, I received an email that I could get my second vaccine tomorrow, at a new location. The location was now the Doraville Marta parking lot. On Thursday, about 3PM, I drove to the parking lot and easily found the vaccine line. The first worker checked my vaccination card for the date to return. He gave me a form to fill-in about my allergies. He directed me to the parking deck with other cars. I noticed a sign before entering that if anyone were argumentative, they would not be allowed to get a vaccine and would be required to leave. The first location did not have any sign like this. However, there were many more police on-site and they were directing the traffic. We waiting inside the parking deck for about 10 minutes. Then, we were directed to go to another area in the parking lot in a line.
We could see workers directing people to walk in a line to the tent on the right inside a fenced area. Thankfully, we had good weather. We waited a long time and some people got out of their cars to wait. Eventually, a worker with a tablet came to the window and asked for my birthdate and name. She checked me in and asked to see my filled-in allergy sheet. I showed it to her, she took a picture and moved to the next car. After getting all the information, she was about to tell our group to go to the tent for a vaccination and another worker stopped her telling her that there was another group before us. The workers left and we waited longer.
I noticed a man return to his car on my right and drive away. I surmised that he had checked-in and decided not to wait on an escort to the area. I gather that he took matters into his own hands and walked to the vaccination tent and gave them his allergy-sheet, got his shot and left. We never had anyone take our temperature. This area was not linear and not as organized as my first vaccine.
Eventually, the workers returned to our line, told us to get out of our cars and follow her single-file and socially-distanced to the vaccination tent. She told us to bring our allergy-sheet and covid card. After we entered the tent, the allergy-sheet was taken and we sat in chairs waiting for our name to be called. I was surprised that my name was the third one in the group. There were about 7 long-white-plastic table vaccination stations inside the tent. The lady who called my name showed me where to sit. I sat and the nurse/doctor had my allergy sheet and checked it before giving me the vaccine in my right arm. (I asked her to since my left arm was still a little sore from the first vaccination.) I had placed my covid-card on the table and she put the date and other information needed on it and returned it to me. She didn't say much that I remember, but she did say for me to exit using the door in the opposite direction that I entered. I followed the directions to the second tent and was greeted by a worker who said that I could sit anywhere. I set the timer on my phone and left after the alarm sounded. Outside the tent was a small parking area where very-elderly, frail people could get their vaccine (I think). Several cars were there with people waiting to see if they had a reaction. I left and drove home returning about 2 hours after I left.
(Note: there was a sign outside of the vaccination tent that NO pictures were allowed inside. Also, when we walked inside the tent, the worker who took our allergy-sheets told us that NO pictures were to be taken there. If they had allowed pictures to be taken there, I would have taken one and published it on this blog.)
Since I had low-grade fever the day after my first shot, I expected a reaction after my second one. I had ringing-in-my-ears and felt 'slow' but don't think that I had any fever. My left arm hurt for a day or two but the hurt went away. Note: I take zoom-classes where our teacher said that in Israel, you have to prove that you have taken the vaccine before you are allowed certain priviledges such as going into certain stores, flying, etc.
I would love to have your comments about this blog. The wordpress software that I used when I first began blogging allowed comments as part of the webpost. However, my software has changed and the new blog post does not allow that feature. You may email me at j-x-h-u-g-h-e-s at g-m-a-i-l dot c-o-m with NO DASHES and appropriate email custom nomenclature.
By the way, many years ago I went to Paris and have a blog about my trip. Link here ===> ---)))LEFT MOUSE CLICK HERE"(((---
As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated.
Blog-Note 1: Because the pictures take a long time to load, it is best to view these webpages using a desktop.)
Blog-Note 2: http://PuddinInVannaWhite.wordpress.com is the 'original' website of this blog. This blog has a domain name without the .wordpress. middle name. see website=PuddinInVannaWhite.wordpress.com for older trips ---)))LEFT MOUSE CLICK HERE"(((---
Blog-Note 3: I have another website. It is about my 1971 MGB. I sold it but still retain great memories from the days that I owned it. The url address is : see website=PuddinInThe MGB.wordpress.com ---)))LEFT MOUSE CLICK HERE"(((--- )