In the COVID Bubble - Winter 2021 travel blog

wild papaya

good medicine

Betty and her fans

I was feeling somewhat down after we got back from our Everglades adventure. The weather is cool limiting outside activities and of course; inside activities are out of the question in COVID times. Then friends from home stopped by for a short visit and lifted my spirits immediately. We took them on a nature walk with Betty, our local nature guru, and as always she pointed things out that we would have never noticed ourselves. We came to an ever so slightly elevated area where trees that normally do not grow here naturally were. She said that the papaya tree might have been brought here by early Spanish explorers and the others were used by indigenous people for medicinal purposes. We were amazed by the palm trees that have fallen over in recent hurricanes which continue their trunks upward to the sky and keep growing new vegetation. Never say die.

But as soon as we do anything in the least bit out of the ordinary that involves more than the two of us sitting inside our motor home, I wonder whether we have taken unnecessary risks that will cause illness a few days from now. Florida has been vaccinating people over 65 since the vaccine came out and we know some people here who have already gotten their shots, but it has been challenging to find out who is giving the vaccinations and how to access them. We are strangers in a strange land. I have accumulated a collection of websites that I refresh multiple times a day and have phoned many, many, many times to get our names on some lists for appointment callbacks. As the media reports the decision not to hold back vaccines for the second inoculation which goes against medical advice, we wonder if we should just give up and wait until we go home, but then we will be competing with younger folks who will finally be getting their turn. It was so frustrating! The news reports that many people are hesitant to get vaccinated, but we don't feel that around here.

An article I read suggested registering for news texts from the county where we stay. This morning amidst the texts about murders, missing children, and traffic accidents, I suddenly got one indicating that more vaccinations were available. I went online with my phone and laptop and Ken joined in with his iPad. Suddenly my phone went to the website and we were in business. Then the iPad refreshed to indicate that all the appointments were filled. The time from getting the news to registration was less than five minutes. We read that it took a total of ten minutes to book appointments for 3,000 shots. So we will be celebrating the inauguration of our new president getting our first round of vaccine sitting in our car at the Brevard County Health Department. Feeling very lucky and in much brighter spirits.

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