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I'm so relieved there's a COVID-19 vaccine. And in record time, no less! But now I have a thousand questions.


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You and millions of other people. And, probably many of the same questions. However, since neither one of us will be in line to get any of the first vaccinations, you will have plenty of time to get your questions answered.


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Yes, I know. It's only fair that healthcare workers and first responders get top priority, along with employees and residents of long-term care facilities, like nursing homes. But how will we know when it's our turn?


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Patience, grasshopper. It will be months before either one of us is eligible, which will give them time to figure out the notification system. And, I am guessing each state will have their own system.


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Well, that'll be confusing.


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Maybe for national record keeping, but why would you care about your eligibility in a state other than the one in which you are a resident? It is not like you own multiple homes.


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Fine. But knowing what's happening in other places is important. For example, we learned from the UK that people with severe allergies shouldn't take the vaccine. I'd be curious as to how they define "severe" allergies. I doubt it, but does sneezing and watery eyes count as "severe"? Since I have what I think are "normal" allergies, should I take a Claritin or other allergy relief drug in advance of getting the vaccine?


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Excellent questions and I am confident all of your questions will be answered. The drug companies will be keeping records as will state and national health organizations. Not to mention, all the hospitals, pharmacies, and doctor's offices that will be vaccinating people. By the time we can get vaccinated, there will be lots of data available.


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OK, but I wish there was a place to get all my questions answered. And answered honestly, without political bias or marketing angles.


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You can always go to the CDC's site. But there are other useful sites out there, and I am sure more will be developed, although some may limit your free visits. I recently joined Medium so I could continue to access Every COVID-19 vaccine question you'll ever have, answered. (Thank you, Bryan Walsh at Axios, for the heads-up on the resource.)


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Good to know. Does it mention whether the vaccine's really going to be free for everyone?


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I am sure it does, but I have not checked. Please tell me that you are not planning to send your thousands of questions to me.


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Hello. You still there?


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Yes. I just didn't know how to answer your question. Or, at least, not honestly.
Photo by mevans on iStock


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Did you know that April's Autism Awareness Month? I wasn't aware (pun intended) of it until I read our local homeowner's monthly newsletter and it caught my eye.


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Actually, last month the founding organization, the Autism Society, changed "Awareness" to "Acceptance" to foster inclusivity, as knowing about something is very different from accepting it. But I am guessing that is not the point of this call.


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Although it isn't autism, it reminded me of years ago when we found out that Natasha has learning disabilities.


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I think you mean DIFF-abilities.


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Of course, that's another thing I remember. I was focused on the negative aspects of her diagnosis until you asked me, point-blank, "Why are they called disabilities?" And proceeded to explain that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.


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Exactly! Imagine the world if everyone excelled at math, but flunked English. Or, a world of lawyers, but no musicians. Some people are better at social skills, while others excel at handling technical data. Why not just say that people who have different skillsets and abilities have DIFF-abilities versus making them feel like they have shortcomings?
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Well, the Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was over a month ago, but I still see plenty of articles about it. It's really "stirred up" things in the Royal Family.


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Well, I guess it put "a bee in the royal bonnet." Although, I would not believe everything you read. Right after the interview, I read several articles suggesting the monarchy should end with Queen Elizabeth. I cannot imagine that happening.


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Oh, that isn't anything new. It's been going on for a long time; there was even talk of it when I lived in England decades ago. All the interview did was further encourage those who are already advocating it.


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At the risk of sounding like a broken record, but as I said in our Banter Bite, Talk About Getting The Royal Treatment, the Royal Family does seem to have "issues" in terms of race relations and dealing with mental illness. I can understand why people are questioning whether the monarchy, with its "old-fashioned" traditions and beliefs, is still relevant.


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But it's not like that's the only place those issues exist. Just pick up a newspaper, turn on the news – it's everywhere! Unfortunately, the Oprah interview put a very public face on it – The Royal Family, or The Firm, which is how the family and institution refers to itself.


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Who nicknames themselves The Firm? It sounds like a Netflix series, but with less class than " The Crown."
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