Senior Older and Wiser 1/27/21

Each February we celebrate Black History Month. It's a time to reflect on both our cultural luminaries and the hard, hard road we have traveled. But really, I think we are cresting the wave of a Black history year. This past year we have seen marches and prayer vigils and demands for racial equality. These national and international demonstrations demanding equality and police reform made history. The names of Black men and women gunned down by police have become household names. Historically, this international awareness had never before happened. The wheels of change demanding reform of police policies and practices have rolled over traditional resistance.

At the same time, people from across the United States hit the streets to register voters of all races to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and they were successful. We made history by electing Kamala Harris as the first ever Black woman Vice President of the United States. In Georgia, with a historically white republican legislature, we were told it would be near impossible to elect a Black democrat to the Senate. But that didn't stop us. Black and white people from across the nation wrote letters to voters and sent donations to Reverend Warnock and his campaign. Not only did Reverend Warnock win, he made history by becoming Georgia's first Black senator and the first Black Democrat to represent a southern state in the Senate.

SENIORS, RACIAL INEQUALITY AND THE COVID VACCINE: The history of inequality is certainly not limited to police and politics. It is well documented that people of color do not receive the same level of medical care as white people. The lack of trust in the system has lead some people of color to be hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. And while calm consideration is always in order, please look at the big picture and get your vaccine. This is not a case of the system targeting people of color, this is a worldwide pandemic. Unvaccinated seniors make up eighty percent of all COVID deaths. And most unfortunately, within that eighty percent, seniors of color are dying at a much higher rate than white seniors.

HOW CAN I FIND AN OPEN VACCINE SITE? Good question. The vaccines are in high demand and short supply. The distribution system is evolving daily. Right now, the best advice is SIGN UP ON FIND YOUR PHASE https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/VaccineInformation/PhaseFinderTool .

The next step is to get your name on a scheduled appointment list. It's up to you to get on a list no one will contact you if you don't get on a list. Here is the website, go down toward the bottom and select your county. https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/Immunization/VaccineLocations

Even as I am writing this, some sites haven't yet opened, some sites have run out of vaccines.

The vaccines are in high demand. Please don't be left out.