Mailbag: Reader had no problem getting his COVID-19 shots

A woman receives a first-round COVID-19 vaccine.
A woman receives a first-round COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday at Disneyland in Anaheim. A Daily Pilot reader writes that his experience at UCI Health took about 45 minutes for the first shot and 25 minutes for the second.
(Photo by BBP West)

There has been so much talk, typically in the negative mode, regarding making appointments and receiving the two vaccine shots needed to break away from this pandemic nightmare.

About four weeks ago my niece found a site online to get the shots. She immediately forwarded that information to my son who kind of took charge and arranged my first shot for me and his mom (my ex-wife) to take place just a few days later.

The venue for this fantastic event was the UCI Bren Events Center sponsored by UCI Health in Irvine. I went for my first shot on Jan. 16 and had to wait for a really long period of time — that of 15 minutes. The whole thing including the 15-minute waiting/rest period after the shot took no more than 45 minutes.

The second shot on Feb. 6 was even worse than my first visit. I got there and immediately went through the check-in process, was assigned a specific location, got my shot and waited the 15 minutes out in the waiting area.

The whole process including the wait period was less than 25 minutes. I was totally amazed as to the organization and methods used by these people in this location. Oh, by the way, I didn’t even feel the needle. Now this is the way to do business.

Bill Spitalnick
Newport Beach

Concern for teachers during the pandemic

Lacking definitive scientific evidence, there is disagreement among professionals as to whether teachers need to be vaccinated before going back to the classroom full time. Even the opinion of medical personnel can be only anecdotal at this stage, lacking the evidence of interaction between student and teacher in the classroom on a full-time basis.

A CNN site says that various teachers’ unions have compiled their statistics and give an estimate of 530 of their members that died of the virus last year. But a more extensive study from the trade publication Education Week estimates that at least 707 educators, retired and active, and other school personnel have died. And that does not account for secondary infections that teachers and students might take home to their families.
Again, it is impossible to control the variables in any of the studies on educators so far, whether the stats come from medical personnel or teacher journals.

From a personal standpoint as a retired secondary teacher, I see no way that teachers and students can escape the threat of infection. Special arrangements can be made for older teachers, but if you are familiar with the way that schools are run, most of the safety measures are left up to the individual teachers, with little help from outside the classroom.

Good air flow, proper distancing, small class size, proper use of masks and constant hand cleaning would be next to impossible to provide without redoing classroom structures and reducing class size — something that is often mentioned but not usually provided. Community help would be needed at a minimum. But if we were to rush into sending students back before they and their teachers are vaccinated and before classrooms and procedures are greatly established, it could be disastrous.

We can’t even get adults in the community to wear masks. Imagine trying to deal with secondary students, demanding they wear masks. There will definitely be those who rebel, endangering everyone in a closed environment.

There is just not enough known so far about the behavior of the coronavirus, not to mention all the variants and new strains that keep popping up. The only thing that can be agreed upon is that the vaccination will significantly reduce the infection rate and intensity of COVID-19.

To send teachers and students back to school without vaccinating them would be to experiment with their lives as well as with the lives of those with whom they come in contact. With vaccinations available, there is absolutely no reason to do this.

Lynn Lorenz
Newport Beach

Reasons to support Foley

Attorney and Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley is the best choice for the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Foley takes action. When there was the threat of an operational expansion at John Wayne Airport, she opposed it, worked with residents, garnered 20,000 signatures on a petition and spoke up on behalf of residents at Supervisors meetings. As Supervisor, she will continue to work with residents and the airport community to resolve issues.

Foley believes in a transparent government. The Board of Supervisors oversees a $7.5-billion budget but often lacks transparency. The board tends to award no-bid contracts like the one to Othena, the registration platform for the COVID-19 vaccine. Foley has always exemplified transparency in government and will continue to do so as Supervisor.

Foley supports small business owners. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, Foley and her City Council created an Economic Recovery Team that meets regularly with business owners to identify challenges and develop tactics to tackle them. Foley is a small business owner (law firm) who has always supported and worked with the business community.

Foley gets things done. For years, Costa Mesa was plagued by problematic sober-living facilities operators. Under her leadership, the city was able to eliminate 210 of these troublesome operators. That’s a noteworthy accomplishment by any measure, and she will get results like this when she is supervisor.

Foley tackles tough issues. Under her leadership, Costa Mesa addressed a growing homelessness problem by setting up a temporary shelter, forming a street team to resolve issues confronting the homeless and taking legal action to ensure that homeless encampments could not continue to expand in her community. She can be counted on to tackle Orange County’s homelessness issues with a pragmatic, humane approach.

It’s time we have someone represent us on the Board of Supervisors who will work with others for the benefit of our communities. Elect Katrina Foley to the O.C. Board of Supervisors for District 2.

Susan Dvorak
Newport Beach

Thanks for publishing climate commentary

I want to express my appreciation for the Daily Pilot’s coverage of climate change, most recently in the form of Robert Taylor’s opinion piece entitled, “Commentary: Orange County climate advocates are elated by political changes.”

Our community is so very blessed to have a local newspaper that provides its readers with needed perspective on a global issue that, unfortunately, has dire local impacts of concern to us all. How refreshing to actually feel hope after reading an opinion piece on such a subject.

Hope and climate action must combine within all of us, for our country to overcome the obstacles in our path to a clean energy economy.

Christopher Hilger
Fountain Valley


Bob Taylor‘s commentary communicates very effectively why respect for science and executive orders taken by President Joe Biden, among them for the U.S. to return to the Paris Agreement and to prevent fossil fuel drilling on public lands, are indeed important. However what I want to emphasize is these executive orders do not go far enough to solve our climate crisis.

I strongly support Congress passing the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act that will spur the necessary innovation we need through market forces to build a cleaner-energy economy.

Not only is it a win-win for businesses with having the predictability they need in the market to help transition faster to a clean-energy future, but it will help reduce the greenhouse emissions that are driving climate change.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby has been in the helm on this effort in building Congressional support for this piece of legislation on both aisles. As a proud CCL Laguna Beach chapter member and father to my 3-year-old son, I want him to be able to enjoy our beautiful beaches in Laguna Beach that are at risk because of climate change. We owe our children that much.

Amir Baum
Aliso Viejo

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