When I first decided to leave Georgia, the goal was always to spend a great deal of time in California. However, Nevada was my first stop and where I voted. While Nevada felt very much like home, I wanted to explore as many areas as possible before going to California. I had a good feeling, once I got back there, I wouldn’t want to leave. So said, so done. I have been in California since December.
I hurried in just as Newsom issued a statewide shutdown. I quarantined for a week and spent another four weeks laying low near the border. During that time, cases were rising in the state and ICU capacity reached 100%. Just a few months later and every week California sets a new vaccination record. As of three days ago, the state has reached 15 million vaccines.
From a personal standpoint, I can say that almost everyone I know in California is vaccinated. The only people who aren’t are either young or have admitted to procrastinating, despite being eligible. Keep in mind that I’m RVing, so most of my neighbours are between the ages of 50 and 65.
Why I Chose To Be Vaccinated
Like many people around the world, I have my reservations about the COVID-19 vaccines. I understand that new tech and heavy funding made it all possible. It doesn’t change the fact that we have no idea what the long-term effects might be, because there was no time for long-term trials.
Even so, I believe that by the end of this year, all of us will either get COVID-19, one of its new strains or the vaccine, so pick your poison. I gave it some thought last year for a week and then decided that once the vaccine was available, I would not hesitate to accept it.
How I Checked My Eligibility
I started my eligibility process in Nevada because that is my home state. Unfortunately, Nevada has been as slow with its vaccine rollout as it was with its ballot-counting for the recent presidential elections. As of right now, people with co-morbidities are not eligible. Nevada is still focusing on vaccinating seniors and frontline workers.
Because I’m in California, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to see whether I could get the vaccine here. I signed up at the COVID-19 vaccination website run by the California Department of Public Health. I was told I was not yet eligible, but they would let me know when people with co-morbidities could get the vaccination.
How I Was Notified of Eligibility
Every so often, I checked the Nevada and California websites, but the answer was always the same. In spite of my co-morbidities, I wasn’t eligible. Then, on Thursday, March 18th, I received a notification from the California DPH.
When I woke up and saw the message, I immediately rushed to the website to confirm my eligibility. Sure enough, I was finally able to get the vaccine! Well … sort of.
Unfortunately, when I tried to book an appoinment, there was none available in my area.
It also said I had to bring proof of my co-morbidities. I have no proof of my heart conditions in America because I was diagnosed as a teen, while living in Jamaica, and receive no treatment for it here. Doctors everywhere have always told me exactly the same thing.
There’s nothing you can do about that. If it hurts, take an aspirin.
I have telehealth covered under my health insurance, so I booked an appointment. I got a California-based doctor and explained my predicament. She wrote me a sick slip recommending I receive the vaccine because of my heart conditions.
How I Finally Booked My Appointment
Friday morning, my neighbour texted me to re-send him the link to confirm eligibility with the California DPH. I did as he asked and then decided it wouldn’t hurt to check for appointments again. Suddenly, there were three days with availability, an hour away. I booked my appointment, called my neighbour and booked him as well. We immediately received our confirmations.
He is a long-time California resident. I am not. So, I’ll be bringing my 30-day rent receipt from the RV Park as proof that I temporarily reside in the state. Newsom has promised that California will not ask for proof when people show up for vaccinations. However, as you likely saw in the screenshot, the website implies otherwise.
How the Vaccine Process Worked (To Be Continued)
At the time of writing this, I have not yet left home to receive my vaccination. I will follow up with information on how the process works and what my symptoms have been — if any. I’ll be getting the Moderna two-dose vaccine.
Wish me luck!