Time for some off-topic venting. Bear with me, it’s just 353 words. But I need to rant.
It’s been 21 months since everything first closed down, and it’s still hard to get a COVID test here in the US. Wherever there’s a test site in DC, there’s dozens of people in line. Even hundreds. Some of them coughing. Pharmacies are mostly sold out of tests.
It’s December 2021.
And it seems worse elsewhere.
Think about how incredible that is. What a failure of leadership. We thought this would get better without Trump, but it didn’t. It just didn’t.
Perhaps the “free market will sort this out” myth took hold. Well, the free market didn’t foresee this.
Our family got boosters, but the online appointment system (with for-profit pharmacies, no government involved) made us wait nearly 3 weeks. For our kid, we had to drive for miles—and then the pharmacy screwed up the vax record and my wife spent an hour on hold trying to fix it.
We’re OK: we can deal with that kind of hassle. We have desk-at-home jobs and an older child.
But we’re the minority. What about those in worse shape than us? Elderly? Single parents? Low income? Low information? They’re struggling enough as it is.
What to us is added friction, to them means missing out on boosters and tests.
Getting tested and vaccinated should be effortless by now, especially for people trying to hold down jobs, raise kids, and stay afloat. People who don’t get the latest updates from NPR, NYT, or CDC.
That it isn’t effortless—that there are still so many shortages, so many friction points, and so little specific, current information from credible government sources, leaving so many instead just to share experts’ tweets? That’s a failure, and it will kill people this winter.
OK, end of rant.
I don’t initiate conversations about this in real life, because every time it comes up, I get so mad that whoever I’m talking with starts looking concerned. Even as I write this, I should probably go breathe into a paper bag.