A better plan

By Joe Rector

In the past couple of months, vaccinations for Covid-19 have increased. At this point, a third of the country has received protection that will enable them to safely be around others. Most Americans are excited, but the process of getting vaccinated has been rather difficult.

People have spent hours on computers to find sites that offer the shots. Amy and I traveled to Tazewell to receive our first ones. The days was sunny and warm and perfect for a drive. Still, I’d rather have gone to the mountains or visited some spot other than the parking lot of a Tazewell pharmacy.

Another downfall of the program is that the first folks to receive shots have been the elderly. I’m not in that group yet, but I’m not that far away from it. Too many of those folks don’t have access to a computer or don’t have a clue on how to travel through the difficult instructions for registering for an appointment. In many cases, they waged war with the process only to discover the time they were trying to reserve had already been taken.

The first weeks of vaccination were a nightmare. Folks received them unless the supply ran out. In other places, tangled lines of traffic spilled from parking lots and onto highways. Some places were as bad as Friday afternoon after-work traffic. Amazingly, most folks were patient about the snarls because they knew what awaited them. Being protected against a pandemic eases the sting of a long line of traffic or even that of the needle injecting the lifesaving and life-altering vaccine.

The federal government used to be good at this sort of thing. I remember when the polio vaccines came out. My family left church and went to the old Karns High School. Along with hundreds of others, we stood in lines that snaked around the building. Eventually, we arrived at the tables where we were handed a sugar cube laced with the medicine that would protect us from such a horrible disease.

I think that the government should contact a business to handle the next massive vaccination, one that prevents the deaths of thousands or more lives. The business that I have in mind is Chick-fil-A.

Have you ever visited this fast-food place? Lines of cars circle the building all times of the day. However, that line moves at almost warp speed, and customers place orders and pick them up quickly. Chick-fil-A has figured out how to work a crowd and move them along quickly. If the government will send them the vaccines with a mandate to vaccinate every American within two months, I have no doubt that the task would be accepted and completed.

The program is running much more smoothly than it did only a couple of months ago. Amy and I will be getting our second shots at a business no more than a couple of miles from the house. When that second needle delivers its dosages, we will breathe collective sighs of relief and will look toward a future where we can once again travel, visit local businesses, and hug our family and friends. Until then and even afterwards, I hope all of us will use our common sense and continue to wear masks. Good luck on completing this most serious and important personal act.

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