Archive for the ‘Vaccines’ Category

Service of “No” IV

Monday, May 1st, 2023


Image by SplitShire from Pixabay 

I haven’t picked up on the “No” series since April 2014. It was time. It’s a word often said or implied but one that should be challenged.

Afterall, we were brought up with the proverb “when at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” weren’t we?

Boost Your Communications Please

My doctor recommended I get the most recent Covid booster available for people 65+, those with diabetes, immunocompromised etc., so I tried to make an appointment on the Walgreens site from my phone and after punching in my zip code learned that I’d have to go to Elmira, N.Y. to get it. That’s 240 miles from me.

I dropped by my local Duane Reade. It’s part of the Walgreens family. The pharmacist told me it would be a few weeks and said none of the Manhattan stores would offer it.

On arrival home, I went online from my laptop. I immediately snagged an appointment for the next day, a Saturday—any number of times were free at a Duane Reade also a few blocks from me. I was prepared to be on a false errand, but I got the booster at 11:30 a.m. as requested.

Deli Delight

On Saturday I ordered sandwiches online from Sarge’s for an ungodly price and chose a pickup time of 11:20 a.m. and arrived precisely then. I was told “15 to 20 minute wait.”

That didn’t suit me. Apart from it being a tiny, overcrowded place with nowhere to wait—it was pouring outside, and I was drenched already–I had somewhere to be and a hard deadline was involved. The restaurant was full and there was only one sandwich man. I ignored the dismissive woman and approached another employee with a worried expression on my face and explained I had to be somewhere and voila! He looked for my order, spoke with the sandwich man who turned to my request.

They’d run out of dark meat turkey, and I wasn’t warned when I placed the order. But that’s another story.

Tour Trouble

After researching the tour options and reading reviews I picked one. But it wouldn’t let me sign on for a single reservation. Surely, that was a mistake. Whether I used my laptop, iPhone or iPad I could only add to the 2 reservations frozen on the form. Discouraged, because I didn’t want to go with 50 others, I finally found one for a small group and the order for one went through! But it took persistence and time.

Plus ça Change, Plus C’est la Même Chose

This is nothing new. I encountered “No” frequently in the day when I was an Air Force wife at an overseas post. That’s where I cut my teeth rebutting the many rejections I’d get to my queries. Eight out of 10 times if I returned to the office or service that was turning me down, or tried another tack, I’d get my wish.

What hasn’t changed

It surprised me then as it does now why people or systems make a person go through a rigamarole to get what they want. Just say “yes” or do what you should or what people want in the first place.

When faced with “NO,” what’s your response?


Image by Frauke Riether from Pixabay 

Service of Too Much of a Good Thing or When the Cure Adds Another Challenge

Monday, September 19th, 2022

So often a solution brings other problems.

Bag it!

In ridding the world of plastic bags–they are no longer permitted for use by retailers in many states–we create another problem.

People are piling up the reusable plastic totes especially if they order grocery deliveries. The producer of an early morning NYC metro radio program admitted she had a garage full. New Jersey’s problem with the tossed bigger bags took up a segment on NPR along with an interview with Senator Bob Smith who wants to amend his state’s single use bag ban. He suggests that delivery services use paper bags, currently forbidden, or the cardboard boxes food is shipped in.

I can’t stand it

We were told that sitting all day is as unhealthy as smoking and a few years ago companies began ordering special desks so employees could stand as they worked at computers.

But standing all day isn’t so good either. According to New York Post reporter Zach Williams: “Research shows prolonged periods of standing can cause health problems big and small from tired feet to cardiovascular problems, according to a legislative memo accompanying the so-called ‘Standing is Tiring (SIT) Act.'” Assemblywoman Karines Reyes (D-Bronx) and NY state Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse) are sponsoring the bill. Reyes is an RN.


Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

Williams wrote: “Albany Democrats have introduced legislation to allow some foot-weary working New Yorkers to sit on the job.” He continued: “Supermarket cashiers, bodega clerks and those with jobs requiring lots of screen time are examples of people who Reyes says her legislation might help while workers in other jobs, like prowling security guards, might have to stay on their feet.” I’d add doormen and doorwomen to the list.

The prick that saves

What about reactions to lifesaving vaccines? We voluntarily submit our bodies and some of us become extremely ill with nasty reactions. The repercussion is better than the disease so….

Fizzy or still

Those of us who prefer seltzer or sparkling water to tap do potential damage to our teeth. But fizzy is better than no water at all. And use a straw.

Let the Sun Shine In

What about glorious suntans? We need Vitamin D that the sun provides and what looks better than a tan?  But some suffer consequences of too much such as wrinkles and worse.

With the exception of vaccines, moderation and/or planning ahead is the answer to averting new challenges brought on by cures.

Do:

  • You toss reusable grocery bags?
  • You stand while you work at your computer or get up from your chair and walk around?
  • Potential reactions keep you from getting vaccines?
  • You use straws to bypass your teeth when you drink seltzer?
  • You protect yourself if you’re a sun lover?

Service of Theater and Concert Etiquette

Thursday, June 16th, 2022

National Youth Festival Chorus at Carnegie Hall June 13, 2022

I first wrote about theater etiquette in 2014 where I shared a friend’s experiences seated near audience scofflaws at a few Broadway shows. In one she suffered through the noise created by a woman behind her. First, her raincoat that she sat on crinkled every time she fidgeted, which was often. Next, there was the sound of her opening candy wrappers and finally her loud whisper to her companion asking what time it was that drove my friend to say “shush.” At another show, a woman next to her mother texted throughout the performance, tap, tap, tapping away with the light on her phone an added distraction.

The set of “And Then There Were None” at The Robert Moss Theater at Playwrights Downtown, NYC

A year later I mentioned that Patti LuPone ripped the phone out of a woman’s hand without missing a beat as she played a diva, Irene, in “Shows for Days” at Lincoln Center because, said LuPone afterwards, the lit screen disrupts audience members and actors alike. She is known for such reactions to audience members who irritate her. This May, during a Q and A after a performance of “Company,” she called out a member of the audience whose mask had slipped below her nose.

This week I attended “Songs of Renewal” at Carnegie Hall to hear choruses and choirs–voice and clarinet–and chamber singers. In seats in front of me was a child about 9 who could not sit still and her parents. On and off went her sweater. She was on her mother’s lap and then in her seat and then back again on mom, squirming, facing backwards, then forwards. Her parents were oblivious to how her performance impacted those nearby. I was thrilled when they left before the end [which many did. It was late for a school night]. A few rows ahead of us young people in their late teens took some freed up seats. Although masks were required, they were oblivious. Two of four began to make out as though they were at home alone. One never pulled up her mask after that.

In contrast, the next night I saw a spot-on performance by the St. Bart’s Players in Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None,” at The Robert Moss Theater at Playwrights Downtown. In a diminutive space holding 50, the audience was perfectly behaved. My host mentioned that although many had friends in the topnotch cast, they didn’t break the rhythm of the performance by applauding at each entrance.

I recall a New York Times restaurant review many years ago by Mimi Sheraton. The food and service were perfect but the fight by customers at the next table reduced the grade she gave the place. Theaters don’t give etiquette or personality tests to audience members–though both Carnegie Hall and The Robert Moss Theater checked for vaccinations and required masks. At the latter, in addition to turning off our phones, we were asked not to open noisy candy wrappers. I just checked out the Ricola lozenges that Carnegie Hall has made available for decades to avert coughing jags. The wrapper is silent when you open it.

Do you have pet peeves about audience behavior when attending a concert, musical or play?

Service of Who Decides–Doctors or Dollars?

Monday, March 7th, 2022

I feel increasingly insecure and cynical about who makes decisions that are crucial to my life and welfare because so many are not up to the specialists such as doctors and scientists, it’s the judgment or ultimatum of those who hold purse strings. For years I’ve shuddered at countless examples of insurance companies determining how long a friend or relative stays in the hospital either after a procedure or to recover from a disease. Insurance companies OK the medicines they’ll cover, consistently ignoring a doctor’s recommendations about patients’ requirements.


Now, with business interests–not science–to back it IMHO, NYC Mayor Adams has removed proof of vaccination and face covering mandates starting today, with the speed the Covid pandemic overcame us to begin with.

I was delighted to show my Covid-19 Excelsior Pass Plus proof-of-vaccination to the guard on the street in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art last week. Everyone was wearing masks inside. I felt relaxed while visiting my familiar picture friends and new visual acquaintances.

What clearer example do you need to illustrate that money, not science, is in charge when you read the first sentence in Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Sharon Otterman and Nicole Hong’s New York Times article: “The day after announcing that he planned to end New York City’s mask mandate for public schools and a proof-of-vaccination requirement for indoor dining, gyms and entertainment venues, Mayor Eric Adams smiled broadly as he rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.” [I added bold.]

I still have my hopes pinned on Adams but I fear he’s being pushed by business to jump the gun to open up the city. I don’t blame him his mission and hope that it is not at the cost of the health of its citizens. Why can’t he do it one step at a time: Evaluate the result of removing the mask mandate and wait before lifting the one requiring vaccines.


Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

Face coverings are still required on public transportation, in taxis, nursing homes–all health care settings– prisons, and homeless shelters.

According to The New York Post: “Private establishments such as restaurants, shops, museums, gyms and entertainment centers can also still require patrons and workers to mask up. For example, theatergoers are still required to be vaccinated and wear masks while attending Broadway shows at least through April 30.”

The Times reporters shared city data that 87 percent of adults are fully vaccinated and 56 percent of children 5 to 17. They wrote: “Asked about concerns that visitors from other places, particularly those with lower vaccination rates, could spread the virus, Mr. Adams said he was not worried: ‘We want tourism back. It’s a major economic boost for us.’”

So do we know what the vaccination rate is among tourists? What will the cost be if we end up back where we were at the height of Covid-19 or its super contagious, persistent variant?

“’We have been fooled too many times, and I would like to wait longer, at least until more of the world is immunized, or we have a good sense of where these variants are headed, because we absolutely do not know what the next variant is going to look like,'” said Dr. Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center. This might be in another month or two he told the Times reporters.

“Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes, dean of the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health, said that ‘now is as good a time as any’ to lift mask mandates. But he was skeptical about lifting vaccine requirements at the same time.”

Have you ripped off your face coverings for good? Are you unconcerned about the vaccine status of others in restaurants and entertainment venues you plan to visit? Does the inconsistency give you pause where vaccines and masks are required to attend a Broadway show but not in other entertainment venues? Will you retreat to your home until you see how the lifting of major pandemic restrictions goes? Is your preference a prudent one, to experiment first to see whether there’s an uptick in the virus after removing one mandate before letting go of the second?


Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay 

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