Have now been here about 10 days and getting a bit acclimated. The Rio Grande Valley is a series of cities along the Rio Grand River/Mexico border from the Gulf’s S. Padre Island inland some 100 miles to the Rio Grande City. It encompasses 5 of the lowest per capita income counties in TX and has a population of about 1 million. It is also home to a great number of snowbird RV parks with a heavy Canadian snowbird population.
I am in a park named Pleasant Valley RV Park which is one of 4 large parks adjacent to each other all under the same ownership. Pleasant Valley has about 320 RV sites with probably half developed with park models etc. I am told it is normally full. Not so this year. From my rig I can count about 35 non park model sites next to me, in front and behind me. On those, there are 5 RVs including mine. There are probably another 15 or more park models within easy eyesight and I’ve not seen one occupant. With the Canadian/US border closed, the Canucks have pretty much stayed home. No trouble staying socially distanced anywhere in the park including the in the massive club house and heated pool.
The reason, as I earlier reported in the blog, for leaving AZ and going to TX was COVID19. AZ wasn’t taking COVID seriously. Where I was, no one was masking up. Social distancing was a concept for avoiding the Russian gulag system. Centralized rules for vaccine distribution changed daily and seemed to push seniors down in the system while elevating, well, everyone else. TX, on the other hand seemed to have it all together. Their rules for vaccine access were steady and well publicized including listings by county of where the vaccines were going and how many dosages. While states like AZ and FL debated whether “their” vaccine supply would be restricted to residents or not, TX was overtly welcoming to snowbirds recognizing that it was federal, not state, tax dollars responsible for the vaccine.
So how has that worked for me? While in AZ I was completely unable to find out when (or even if) vaccines would arrive in Mohave Co. Mohave Co absolutely had no plan whatsoever what they would do with the vaccine if and when they got it. AZ had the distinction of having the highest per capita rate of infection in the WORLD. It’s ICUs statewide we’re reported at 115-120% of capacity and there was not one available bed within 100 miles of Lake Havasu City. And the maskless community seemed to not have a clue.
While still in ARIZONA(!!!) I was able to register for a vaccination in Hildago County (Rio Grande Valley), TX. I did not need to lie. Where I lived or where I was wintering was not an issue. Upon arrival in the RGV, I registered in 3 more sites (out of dozens listed). They were following CDC guidelines, ie, 65 and over were phase 1b (not over 75 yrs as per AZ). Late last week there was a cattle call type inoculation with people lining up overnight for the next day. Sunday the 10th they announced a modified cattle call. The 1st 6,500 people to arrive would get a bracelet guaranteeing an inoculation on Monday. Those people in their cars would be sent to a large parking area where they could stay the night and groups should then be escorted by the police to the inoculation site on Monday. A one, perhaps two, second debate with myself decided that I would be patient and wait for my name to bubble up via the registrations (the first list signed up for while in AZ was now up to 50,000 names and was closed).
Monday evening my phone rang from Ashley Pediatrics (one of the 3 other lists) and I was instructed to call another number at 9 am Tuesday at which time I’d be given an appointment for my shot. Made sure my alarm was set and I called promptly at 9 am. Several times. Finally got through only to be given the news that the vaccine had not yet arrived and so ‘no appointment’. Tuesday noon, my phone rang and I was given an appointment for Weds at 11am with directions to download an info form, complete it and to bring it in. I found my way there Weds, got my vaccination by 10:50am, waited the obligatory 15 minutes to assure them I was not adversely reacting, received my CDC card recording my vaccination with instructions for the follow up vaccination and was back on the road back to the RV park by 11:05am. On the drive back the radio was reporting AZ’s plight as the worst in the country and that they were going to do a statewide cattle call at the State Farm Stadium in Phoenix. As I write, Friday, the only side effect was injection site soreness which is now gone.
In other news… Last Friday afternoon my email delivered to me a bunch of documents from the service hired to accomplish the closing of the sale of my boat. Compared to the sale of a car, it’s a relatively complicated set of paperwork to transfer ownership from my corporation to a buyer via the US Coast Guard for the vessel and via Montana for the dinghy plus my signature needed to be notarized on some (9) of the documents. Late Friday was too late to find a Notary in a strange, to me, area so it all waited till Monday. Monday morning/early afternoon I got all the documents executed and delivered to UPS for overnight delivery back to the documentation service in Florida. As of this morning (Friday), the boat has mysteriously transformed itself into a deposit in my bank account. Last Resort now refers solely to a motorhome vs a motorhome and a boat. Bucket list item checked and now officially in the rear view mirror.
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