As promised, this is the second of two posts. The last was a recap of the events of 2020 through my eyes as as nurse practitioner/midwife and and author of both fiction and non fiction.
Two weeks after my last post, the turmoil has not died down. Let’s leave the politics at that. But like all of you, I am committed to moving forward focusing on what I can influence and on what I can control (some days).
My grown kids are back at college or in their homes in Providence, Rhode Island, Brooklyn, New York City and Woodside, California. Being together during the end of this very um, remarkable year was a moment to savor many family moments while isolating together shoveling snow, and pursuing our own interests.. Every week or so we lined up for COVID tests so we could visit relatives in small groups, chat with friends in chilly cars or outdoor dining venues.
For me that included writing when everyone else was in bed, sleeping late, watching classic holiday specials, The Crown, Call the Midwife, and other PBS pearls, cleaning out clutter, writing, and anxiously awaiting deployment with the New York Medical Reserve Corps.
My latest novel is being edited, and I’ve penned a bit of the second in the series. And as you read this, I will have received my first of two COVID-19 vaccinations and been oriented to the very complex process of vaccination of the entire City of New York and bordering counties of Nassau and Suffolk under a mutual aid arrangement.
After all these years, I can inject a deltoid muscle in the upper arm in about 10 seconds and the patient won’t even know until the band aid is on. And I can take remedial steps if there is an allergic reaction before most folks know they’re having one. But this is probably the most consequential vaccine that people will ever receive. It requires a huge team to educate, screen, consent, prep, and document the administration so that who is being vaccinated, what vaccine they have received, and when the next dose will be is clear and traceable.
This is public health in a epidemic/pandemic–and I’ve been involved or managed in a few. To recap: HIV, Hepatitis B and C, H1N1 (Swine) Influenza, Measles, and Pertussis. Giving the vaccine is easy, quick, and safe. To reassure those who are concerned, there have been tens of thousands of doses of SARS2-COVID 19 vaccine administered. How many serious reactions have you heard of? I can recall four, and all were dealt with.
The infrastructure of vaccine manufacture, transport, and storage are well established. And in New York State, electronic documentation of vaccines has evolved over the course of the last decade so that administration documentation can be immediately transferred from an electronic medical record platform to the Vaccine Registry for a durable, portable record that enables recall as well as allowing multiple providers to access.
But this pandemic requires an unprecedented, cooperative, national effort. Sensible triage of who goes first, and how to accommodate all those who need vaccines may seem chaotic to outsiders, but believe me there is much two and three way conversation going on between state and local governments as well as professional organizations who are advocating for members and, of course, for the general public.
Just because information changes from day to day does not mean there is confusion. We each have one gloved hand on the wheel, while assembling a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, peering through foggy goggles and face shields, with our noses running and chins itching, trying to avoid crashing into an iceberg.
What does all this have to do with authorship? My experiences inform my writing. A category five hurricane features heavily in Storm Watch: Book Three in the Unfinished Business Series. And Northern California wildfires, the COVID pandemic and social unrest figure heavily in my current works in progress, as well as my recent nonfiction publications. I write what I know.
I wish you all peace, safety and better times in 2021. I appreciate all the SMP blog posts over the last year during which we have supported and uplifted each other. I hope my two part series has been of some benefit to weary souls.
We truly are all in this together.