By Paul and Eileen Goldfinger, Editors at Tropicanaforum.com
We were in Publix at Gladiolus the other day. As we entered, I glanced over at the pharmacy where they were giving vaccinations. It was a very simple and small operation. There was no line, only a few people milling around. Registration was at a card table, and the whole process was calm and cheerful.
You could see why having your vaccination at Publix would be less trouble than elsewhere. We know someone from Tropicana who received a vaccination appointment at the County site for Tampa. So the trip was 3 hours, and then he had to wait in his car for three hours as the long line moved very slowly, winding its way around orange cones and National Guard security.
Lee County seems to have fallen off the map because those phone calls which we had to make have stopped. Instead you register on line and then wait to be contacted.
So, many of us would travel to the moon and back to get any sort of appointment. We have learned that luck plays a big part plus other factors such as the ability of a phone operator to snag an open time slot for you.
There are some at Leegov.com who call you and who don’t speak English well and/or can’t type quickly enough. You could start out with a 9 am slot, only to be told that the 9 am slot is gone, but how about 11 am? OK, but by the time she types it in, especially if she is slow, you may hear, “Sorry all time slots are taken.” Then you are back where you started from—-no where.
Back to Publix: Here are some tips. As you know, you sign on at the site which is www.publix.com/covid-vaccine As you can see, this is a live link which we have created for you here on the Forum. Unlike the Co-Op Facebook page where posting links is akin to a date with the guillotine. This is what a live link looks like—very important to have link access. Try to use a fast computer if possible.
a. Once you have reached the Publix vaccine site, notice the two buttons at the top: “wait” on the left and “book” on the right. Keep your eyes on that when you are waiting. Have your Medicare card available.
b. Notice the list of counties which show how many openings are available in each Florida county. Make a list of those counties which you would be willing to travel to to get a first shot.
c. Keep an eye on those counties with particular interest in how many openings remain The numbers move downward until a county is completely booked. If all your counties become booked, turn off the device and make some coffee.
d. But even if your home county (eg ours is Lee) is booked, do not walk away. Keep watching the buttons on top and keep watching your personal county list to see if any are still open. Many people will sign off then, making the odds better if you are still hanging around.
If your “book now” button lights up, fill in the on-line blanks. You will get to choose a county; look at your list and choose the county which you are willing to travel to and which has the most openings remaining on the screen. Then you get to choose a date and a time. We suggest the farthest away date and the earliest time.
e. These maneuvers give you an edge. But luck be a lady……
From Guys and Dolls:–Peter Gallagher. “Luck be a Lady.”