Tuesday, April 20, 2021

One question

It's Tuesday and I am participating in the
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for nurturing teacher-writers!

I'm excited to report that I have had my second vaccine, and in a matter of days I will be considered fully vaccinated. Here we are, as my friend says, making the world healthier one vaccine at a time. I know we have much further to go, but I am so happy to be moving out of this hard pandemic time into something a little softer.

I am curious though.

Think back to the trials and tribulations of this past year:
  • realizing COVID-19 exists
  • learning that it was spreading throughout the world
  • trying to contain it, combat it, cure it,
  • so much dysfunction on every single layer of government
  • upheaval over rules for quarantining, social distancing, masks
  • close schools? open schools? virtual school? hybrid school? 
  • closing businesses, introducing phases to reopen businesses
  • what is PPE? Yikes, where to get PPE? (also, toilet paper!)
  • all the false starts, inadequate starts, insufficient responses, all the confusion
  • how every state did their own thing, handled COVID their own way
  • how every city and county within states tried different responses, often in conflict with others
  • wear masks? masks required? no mask mandate? needed inside? not outside? must wear where? 
  • legislators arguing over COVID relief bills
  • watchdogs investigating federal health agencies, relief bill fraud allegations, more
  • vaccine rollout, also chaotic: approved? not approved? withdrawn from market? safe? side effects?
  • where to get vaccine - state run sites, local drugstores, grocery stores, churches, just look for it!
  • how to sign up - confusing directions, confusing software, paused screens, wait, wait, wait, stress
We all lived this year out, 
I don't need to belabor this list. 
I'm sure we could go on and on! 
However, when all is said and done, all these varied situations lead to:

the exact same, identical vaccine card for every single American?

This wild, hectic, maddening year of pandemic leads every one of us to this 2 x 3 inch rectangle of white card stock imprinted with the CDC seal?

How in the world did we pull this off?

No, seriously, am I the only one wondering how we managed to create one single card and distribute it everywhere? 
How did everyone I know receive the same vaccine card, though we were vaccinated in different places? How did my loved ones and friends who live in other states receive the same as well? 

Who handled the logistics of this one little card? 

I wonder if 
one dear, hardworking employee 
simply decided 
to block out every other maddening unsolvable problem 
unleashed by this pandemic 
and instead
locked herself away 
in a quiet office,
worked with total focus, 
printing out and packaging, 
box after box after box after box
of these cards, 
for every citizen,
distributing them to every imaginable location in the United States
in a timely manner!

Pretty impressive, really.

No, seriously, am I the only one wondering how we managed to pull this off?


  1. I adore this post, Maureen! I hadn't thought about the varied way it's been handled this whole time and how it all comes down to a uniform vaccination card. That IS somethin'! What a fabulous observation you've made.

  2. I love the consideration of this one little thing that feels a bit more organized than the rest of this giant, messy, chaotic pandemic. Maybe I can choose one little thing too.

  3. What a creative question! So much divisiveness, debate, and different ways of handling things, and then to end up with one standard card?! I hadn't even thought of that! I loved your playful imagining of the employee creating it at the end!

  4. What a fascinating wonder! I look at my card every so often as I shuffle through my wallet and am
    grateful. It is pretty remarkable. All of it.

  5. WOW. Yes. It is overwhelming to think of all that we've had to adjust to, all we've had to learn, all we've had to do.

    And now that you mention it, DOUBLE wow. That little card. The design. The printing. The cutting/separating. The sorting. And then we can get into the vaccine itself. That liquid gold that goes inside. Each of the ingredients that accompany it. Each of the parts of each little syringe. All the parts and pieces and bits that go into everything that's needed.

    I'm going to be thinking on this. For a LONG while.

  6. Good to know they may have something right. Ha! Who would have guessed it would be a card. That being said, in our county they aren't giving the card at the vaccination site. Instead people are just getting a piece of paper. Hmmmm. Maybe the card didn't get everywhere? Ha! Shhh! Don't tell that sweet person who worked so hard.

    Also I loved the way your post had a bit of everything: narrative, list, poem --- and lots of humor.

  7. Yes, Maureen, that is a good question. How indeed in this federation did that happen, with the 10th amendment and all? Congratulations, by the way! That is great that you are "making the world healthier one vaccine at a time." I like that.