It's frustrating, yet it's understandable. Rolling out the vaccine was always going to be a serious challenge.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Our mom is 93-years-old but don't let that number fool you, she's probably more "with it" than most people you'll ever meet. She also likes to ask lots of questions (Black obviously inherited that trait from her) and definitely takes her time making decisions, which often frustrates people around her. Especially when it's about unimportant decisions. But it was totally understandable in terms of whether to get the COIVD-19 vaccine.
Unfortunately, by the time she decided that she was willing to be vaccinated, all the local registration systems were already closed until further doses became available. So, Red (who lives near our mom) went out on her electronic neighborhood bulletin board and asked if anyone had suggestions on how to get our mom vaccinated. The replies soon came flooding in, which was not only amazing and extremely helpful, but also showed the genuine goodness of people and the desire to help other each, including a total stranger.
As a result, Red soon realized that finding the vaccine providers and locations, as well as reviewing the procedures for signing up, yet alone actually getting an appointment (or even getting on a waiting list) was a major project. How could anyone, yet alone a 93-year-old woman who didn't have a computer or a smart phone, navigate this maze?
Red shared all this information with Black, mostly to keep her updated, but also in case she might have some additional suggestions or thoughts. Black knew of various people who had already been vaccinated, but their health providers had reached out to them given existing medical conditions that put them at high risk, and each had jumped at the chance to get vaccinated. Yet, at the same time, Black knew of people who somehow just seemed to have gotten "very lucky" and been vaccinated very early and easily.
At the time of this post, our mom has had her first vaccine shot, and although relieved, Red thinks it's a scavenger hunt for most people.Even for those who have priority. Black thinks it's more like a treasure hunt, a "serious" treasure hunt …
This is no game.Unlike the search for toilet paper, for some people, this could be life or death.
This definitely falls under truth is stranger than fiction. And thinking about it cracks us up.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: It's one of those stories where you don't know if it's true or false, but either way, the puns just keep on coming with no end in sight.
It all started when Red received an email from Black and the subject line was "Bear Butt". Since Red had been cooking a lot of pork butt roasts lately (in her new, and now favorite, Dutch oven) she initially wondered if Black was sending her something about some sort of new exotic meat. But then realized Black thinks "cook" is one of those four-letter words you shouldn't use.
But then she opened the email and clicked on the link to Alaska woman using outhouse attacked by bear, from below, and was first horrified and then, realizing it had a "happy ending", knew that it was going to be a source of bathroom humor and plenty of play on words.
Black couldn't resist referencing the comment from the women's brother who said, "I opened the toilet seat and there's just a bear face just right there at the level of the toilet seat, just looking right back up through the hole, right at me." You know his immediate reaction was, "Hole-y shit!"
Red wondered what did the bear make of the situation. Was it as scared as the woman, or did it barely make its radar? And will they ever get to the bottom of how this happened? We know that we'd all like the bare (or it is bear) facts and nothing else.
Sorry, it's just a very punny story … and continues to crack us up.
Even if you observed a moment of silence on Monday for those who died in this tragedy – do it again today before the flags are raised at sunset.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: It's a grim milestone, 500,000 lives lost to COVID-19 – alone, scared, typically away from family and friends with their only comfort coming from healthcare workers covered by protective gear.
Yes, it's a staggering number, half a million, but it's made even more shocking when you realize it's more than the number of American soldiers who died in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War -- combined. And, if that isn't enough, think about the fact this "war" has only been raging for about a year. It's almost incomprehensible – 500,000 lives lost in a single year. And at what point does the number start getting so big that we become numb?
Until you hear on the news tributes to individuals or you read heart-wrenching articles with images that capture the loss. Or, you personally mourn the loss of family members and friends. Because it's not just the 500,000 who died – it's the ripple effect of these lives lost. And it's important that we all remember,
It isn't about charts and graphs. It isn't about comparisons. It isn't even about what we should've done differently – or better. It's about losing loves ones. It's about lives lost. Full stop.
Forget about being in the dark, it's like going back to the Dark Ages.
BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: In the midst of the unprecedented winter storm that hit Texas last week, it's coming to light (pun intended) that power outages leaving millions in the dark could have been much worse as the power grid had come dangerously close (as in minutes) to crashing.
Last week, when Red first heard that the Texas power grid had come very close to total collapse, she thought it might have been yet another guest making a dramatic claim, as what he described seemed more like a scene from a Hollywood movie than a nightly news show. Meanwhile, as Black read about the situation, she could only imagine the assorted lawsuits that would be filed – both legitimate and "creative".
But now that official investigations into the situation have begun, the reports are even scarier than a Hollywood blockbuster – millions went without electricity, heat, and water – not to mention thousands who went without medicine and food – all while enduring frigid temperatures. And, people, including children, died.
As the investigations continue, it's becoming more obvious what happened … and what happened is unforgivable. Especially as much of it was avoidable. We get no comfort in knowing it could have been even worse. But at this point, what would be even worse would be not to do everything possible to prevent this from ever happening again.