Tim Horan

Editor’s note: The following is not critical of our local Dickinson County Health Department. However, someone with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment which is leading the coronavirus vaccination drive  needs to rethink the application.

This was supposed to be a column about DNA and how some people are afraid of getting the COVID-19 vaccination because they fear the theory that their location can be traced. Yet many are willing to give their DNA to the highest bidder when using services which outline their ancestry. Oh, and of course they carry around a smartphone which tracks their location at all times.

Over 70 years ago Orson Wells warned us about Big Brother in the book “1984.” Some of us actually read it before 1984 came around.

Folks, we are in Wells’ world.

Monday night I assisted someone in filling out an application to get the COVID-19 vaccination. Like I said, whoever designed the application needs to read it from my perspective. My sources tell me this application is being used in other counties as well.

The first notification arrives on Facebook. Really?

My mother, Nelda, when she was alive a few years back didn’t have a computer and didn’t have a smartphone. How was she supposed to get informed of the vaccination availability? Phone a friend?

Really, how many 80-year-olds use Google or Outlook as a calendar?

(And if you do, Google and Outlook now know which restaurants you frequent, where you get your hair cut, the name of your doctor and dentist, where you go on vacation, where you get your vehicle serviced and the birthdates of all of your friends and family.)

I understand why the application asks for a name, address and age. They want to make sure vaccination patients are Dickinson County residents and they are over the age of 80.

But then came the question about the patient’s parent or legal guardian. The person was over the age of 80! How about asking for power of attorney instead?

Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino. So, Kansas is only giving the vaccine to Hispanics?

Occupation was a required response.

I thought porn star would be fun answer.

Job duties was the next question. Do we really need to describe what an 80-year-old porn star does?

The next question is this person pregnant? Has a person over the age of 80 had a baby recently? I consulted Duckduckgo.

A 74-year-old gave birth which may be the oldest person to actually have had a  baby. Maybe KDHE was seeking to break that record.

Is this person currently breastfeeding?

Yet another record for the books.

How about using some of the COVID money the county was given to hire someone to take appointments over the phone? Ask for the name, age and address. No need to figure out how to print the application which took me 30 minutes. (But then, I really do need a new printer.) Require the person to show up with an ID which we know we all have to be able to vote.

Let’s make it simpler so more folks actually get the vaccine and we can return to seeing our neighbor’s smile.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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