Just Give the Man a Shot !

There is an 86 year old man in Suebia, who waits for his (long promised) corona shot. He managed to navigate the website where you are envisaged to make your appointment. This includes an sms to your portable, then you do fill in the code this sms brought to you, and voila, there you go.
Or not. Because there is no vaccine.
The man in Suebia is in remarkably good health, is capable of using all those modern means of communication, unaided, all by himself, others are not.
The local authority in his administrational unit – and not only there, but all over Southern Germany – built in remarkable short time “Impfzentren”, stations for vaccination, for the crowds they expect(ed). This was not a masterclass in logistics, but it was a real great effort, and showed their capability if need be, from zero to working order in about two weeks ?
A real great achievment is that we actually do have vaccines, developed, tested, ready to use, from zero to ram-it-in-the-arm within less than a year : This is pretty unique I think.
The German minister for healthcare worked, as I read, on something he called “Impfunion” ; if I understood it right, a kind of collaboration of the single national health-care systems or administrations in order to organise the acquisition & distribution of vaccines on a European level – at least is this what I remember, vaguely, I did not follow all this.
Because I simply thought that it would be not a real problem to distribute the stuff. But said minister was called back, and told to not interfere here, because this is the job of the European Union, the head herself would take care. What makes sense : The pandemic is a supranational event, so the coordination should also be on a supranational level, especially in such a construction as the European Union is.
Right now the distribution does not work, there is outright quarrel over contracts and whatnot, and the sound heared from Bruxelles is pretty shrill, strident even. A manager of a pharmaceutical company says that he wants to publish contracts to show that his company is absolutely on the correct side : I think he does not have to, because – as I saw, again, with just “one eye” – the contracts of the EU are already public on the web. If you want to sacrifice some hours of your lifetime, you can look up the contracts between the commission and Astra (& others), and read for yourself.
In short : They screwed the thing up royally.
The lady in charge on the European side served as German minister of war, usually called ministery of defense. Under her aegis there were difficulties in the area of procurement, maybe even some cases of lousy mismanagement. But the closet was nailed shut over these skeletons when she went to Bruxelles. She seemingly took her tremendous ability to manage purchase, acquisition & distribution with her, totally unaware of the need to seek professional help, of course.
So the man in Suebia, and thousands & thousands of others, do have to wait, until finally, on one uncertain day in spring or even summer, a lorry rumbles on that parking lot called “Impfzentrum” (if it will still be standing after this sow rich winter) with some paletts of vaccine.
Meanwhile the new variant(s), those that are more powerful, more contagious, do actually spread in Southern Germany, and elsewhere. If you read the local news, you may learn that a hospital here, a care home there, is infected, with people dying, and that it already IS caused by the new strain. (Numbers at single events are comparable with those in spring, when nobody really understood what was going on.) Strangley enough, as a friend observed, nobody uses the word “hotspot” anymore.
So the crap (sorry) is already here – the discussion whether planes should be averted, borders closed etc. is absolutely futile, it is already too late. The Suebian gouvernement seriously pondered the idea to open schools from next week on, they do not, simply because of the (rapid & uncontrolled spread of) new variant(s), and because no one knows for sure what we will face. It seems possible that we will have a third wave, caused, and run, by the new variant(s). At least in part, thanks to unprofessionality on the highest level of the European administration.

9 thoughts on “Just Give the Man a Shot !

  1. I want to swear. Loudly and very rudely. But this is your house, so I shan’t.
    But, bloody hell! Why, after more than a year and millions dead around the world, can people not work together?

  2. Sorry Dinahmow, I am not able to answer your question. All I know is that the larger an administration, the slower it reacts, simply because there are more layers of (in~)competence. I think the German health minister was on the right way, connect the professional administrations & systems, let those who actually do run them communicate & find solutions for all. But no, it had to be turned into a “Chefsache”, and sadly the chief in question is a blank. I fear my chancellor is not totally innocent in this respect, I think she wanted her (party)friend to shine, without any recognition of the latter’s earlier mismanagament. Why should female politicians in this respect be different from male politicians ? Of course they are not, and it is simply an rhethorical question. But what we see, unmistakenly, is that the EU has its act not together. They bought too less, they did not act carefully enough. And this is what angers me, all this could have been avoided. And that is bad leadership.
    Sorry for the rant.

  3. Sadly, I am not surprised by all of this. We have many mottos in disaster preparedness management, the two most common are, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” and “To do the most amount of good, for the most amount of people.” Logistics and contracts used to be my specialty. No one notices the quiet tedious tasks we do until the shits already been launched from the trebuchet. I don’t want to be right or to tell someone “I told you so” after the fact, there are real human lives at stake!

    The vaccine rollout is a mess everywhere. I could easily get my government agencies to buy flashlights by the truckload in the future event of an earthquake, but every time we tired to work on preparedness for Pandemics the topic would get pushed aside. I once procured a large sum of facemasks (for pandemic prep) by convincing the agency we needed them for earthquakes because of the amount of dust particles we would be exposed too.

  4. So far the UK has done alright on the rollout, I’m not holding my breath though. We did need to do one thing right didn’t we, as we got just about every other single thing completely wrong – hence the death toll really being beyond the pale.

  5. Flashlights are good Melanie, as long as the battery works. I remember well when all the stately storage facilities, leftovers from the cold war, were closed, liquidated. Everybody said “we do not need this costly nonsense, it’s over”. Now they form something called “nationale Vorsorge” or “Sicherheitsreserve” or alike, what is nothing else but the old system of storing basic stuff, now breathing machines are included. I hope they do not forget to revive the management system for the stuff, even the sturdiest little ointment one day is out of date …

    I think we follow, with roughly one thousand dead a day … I use this table for comparison. The damn number shows no serious inclination to go down, or if it really does, it does so awefully slow.
    The whole thing gets on my nerves now, MsScarlet. I sometimes feel badly irritated, and must seriously watch what I say. I also realised that I sometimes mutter to meself – a fair sign that something’s wrong ! WHy mutter to oneself when there are people to be yelled at ?!

  6. It’s true that keeping your your emergency supplies up-to-date and being mindful of not wasting money is very important. I consider it an unappreciated artform really. I won’t bore you with lengthy examples. Like all things in life it’s about finding the balance.

    I find myself going through the Kubler-Ross 5 stages of grief almost daily sometimes in regards to this pandemic; Denial – Anger – Bargaining – Depression – Acceptance

    It’s circular: “Maybe it’s not so bad as it appears?”, “Why wasn’t the government better prepared!”, “If only one of us can survive so our son won’t be orphaned.”, “Can we ever get back to ‘normal’?”, “I’ll just have to take each day and try to make the most of it.”

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