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In the Shadow of Suffering

Today is the one-year anniversary of full-time remote work for my company. At that time, I was also mid-semester teaching for my part-time job. But the college didn’t have the capacity to switch to distance learning. On that day I found out my classes were being canceled. Now, one year later, I have very gratefully received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. I burst into tears when I booked the appointment. I recognize the tremendous amount of privilege I have. High-speed internet, health insurance, a job with paid time off, a reliable car. These things have allowed me to remain at home this past year. And enabled me to make an appointment for the vaccine without too much hassle. I am eligible and it only took me a few days to track down an appointment in the metro area. But it is not at all fair.

Blind Americans face roadblocks booking online vaccine appointments

This has been a real rough year for folks with the kinds of disabilities that affect computer and internet use,” one expert said.

Every site I visited on my journey to vaccination had clearly been slapped together in a hurry, with little thought given to people who access the web using assistive technologies or people who have low vision or who are neurotypical. On more than one occasion I felt overwhelmed, and had to zoom in to 200% to see what radio buttons or checkboxes I was supposed to be selecting. And there are so many being left behind who don’t have internet access at all. We need to do better. More vaccination clinics and mobile vaccine units and outreach. I just want as many people to be vaccinated as possible. And then I’ll still be playing it safe and wearing my masks in public.

In other news…

  • My neighborhood bowling alley made headlines. And it is pretty freaking cool. A Drone Went Bowling. Hollywood Noticed.

    A drone video shot in a Minneapolis bowling alley was hailed as an instant classic. One Hollywood veteran said it “adds to the language and vocabulary of cinema.”

  • Speaking of Hollywood, it’s time to say farewell to Yaphet Kotto. What an actor. I’ll have to flip a coin to decide between Alien and Midnight Run.
  • Speaking of movies, last weekend I watched the incredibly entertaining King Rocker, a documentary about the singer Robert Lloyd and his bands, The Prefects and The Nightingales.

Though I’m on my way to being fully vaccinated, nothing much will change on my end. I will still be playing it safe at home. Waiting for my adult son to get his turn. And wearing a mask on those rare occasions I am in a public place (like healthcare appointments, oh the excitement). It’s hard to think ahead to a time when I’ll be in a place other than home. And when that happens, how extra weird will I be? At least I’m not the only one wondering that.Late-Stage Pandemic Is Messing With Your Brain — We have been doing this so long, we’re forgetting how to be normal.

COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card

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