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I want to end this pandemically challenged and covidically compromised year with an upbeat editorial. I want to, but I can’t.

A critic can find a little bad in the best of things, and sometimes, that is what journalists are. We don’t write about the 300,000 Boeing Flights that take off and land safely. We write about the ones that crash. 

Today, South Floridians should be cheering that vaccines were made available to the general public. All you had to do was call the county health line. Everyone did, and everything crashed.

Are you surprised?

The one duty our government has is to keep you safe. For the past year, it has not. The pandemic we have not prepared for has already claimed over 340,000 lives. It has not “magically disappeared.” 

This week, we found out “Operation Warp Speed” was a fancy label for a messed-up plan general could not execute. “Operation Lost Turtle” is more like it. 

Despite months to strategize, citizens of our community and elsewhere were not presented with a plan for accessing the vaccine.

In Florida, last week, citizens over 65 were told they could become scavengers. All you had to do was call in, and hope you were one of the 350,000 passengers trying to board a spaceship that could house 3,500. 

The result is everyone was reduced to becoming phone scavengers, repeatedly calling busy lines, hoping to get through, to see if you could win the lottery for life.

By 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Broward Health announced on its website that they were no longer taking bookings for COVID vaccines.

The phones were overwhelmed, the sites had crashed and their voice mail was reminding us that you are out of luck, they had reached their capacity through February. 

Did you get through? If you did, you may live. If not, you may die.

The delivery and administration of this vaccine is something that should have been orchestrated, planned, and coordinated by teams of governmental leaders and hospital administrators. It did not happen. 

Like the testing sites and delivery times, the various service providers and facilities provided, it was hurried, haphazard, and careless.

There was no screening process initiated to take those with the most need.

There was no plan to take persons living with conditions most covid-conducive.

There were no provisions for the elderly living alone at home with limited ability to access the Internet or phone banks.

No provisions to set up a lottery by birth date, age, or conditions of comorbidity.  

Once again, the government fails to deliver. Just an absolute, shameful, embarrassing mess. Check back with us in March, if you are still alive.

When push comes to shove, we witness a mad rush to the finish line to see who wins the phone lottery. What a fucking mess, an embarrassment to anyone in office anywhere.

Gay people should know about this malfeasance. We had to fight an AIDS Pandemic with car washes and drag queens holding benefits in night clubs.

So that’s what we do at SFGN. We salute people that do their jobs, but we have the balls to call them out when they don’t. The government has failed us again, creating chaos instead of comfort.  

Happy New Year to you. How long do you think it will be before someone is auctioning off their vaccine spot on e-Bay?