Over the weekend, Jeff got the call I think we’ve ALL been waiting for.
It was Belize’s Health Department – Mr. Jeff, you are scheduled for your first COVID vaccination. 230pm, Tuesday, March 30th. At the Lions Den San Pedro. (Just about 1 year after the island shut down completely! How miraculous is that?)
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOO! Schedules cleared. There is NO way that we’d be missing this.
You can read: My 49 Year Old Boyfriend Had a Heart Attack in Belize (For just ONE of the reasons I’m so glad he got the call!)
But let me back up a bit…
First – if you live in San Pedro (resident, citizen, everyone – the more vaccinations, the better) – fill out this form so that you are ON THE LIST!
Belize started receiving donations of vaccines about one month ago. And at the same time announced the schedule/the game plan to get the whole country vaccinated.
The very first batch of Astra Zeneca vaccination was received from Barbados for front-line workers.
And then 25,000 from the country of India. The Minister of Health received his first vax on March 12.
This vaccine, from AstraZeneca, currently requires 2 doses and can be stored with normal refrigeration – and not the ultra-cold, special freezing unit storage that other vaccines may require.
More vaccines are arriving today. From COVAX – the alliance of many of the world’s countries to distribute the vaccine. (You can see the list of the countries and the projected doses here.) Remember that Belize’s population is about 375,000 people.
Since then, things have been moving right along!
NOW…the TOURISM SECTOR IS UP! And they are currently calling people that are 50 years old and over in San Pedro.
Side note: Earlier this year, as I was thinking about the re-opening of tourism – and more specifically our camp – Cayo Frances Farm & Fly – I was thinking that I would ultimately return to the States. NJ where my mom lives? RI where my brother lives? To get the vaccine. I signed up for a list in NJ but haven’t received “the call” yet. I am very much looking forward to a trip to the States to see friends and family, but I was NOT looking forward to spending 4 weeks there – away from home and my dogs – to get both doses.
I am VERY excited that things are moving so quickly in Belize! My home! And that tourism workers are near the top of the list. NOT because tourism employees are better than or more important than other workers – but because we come into contact with so many people! And people…yup, we spread the virus.
Note: COVID case numbers have been thankfully low for the past few months. You can view the daily updates on the Belize Ministry of Health and Wellness facebook page.
Also note, that in Belize, wearing a mask is the LAW (you will see that all locals are wearing masks unless eating – everyone). Social distancing is also the law.
SOOOO. Back to Jeff. We had filled out our forms (link above) about a month ago in preparation. And he got the call.
We got a bite to eat first – they ask that you don’t have a totally empty stomach!
Quick pics of the beautiful lunch view and our shared fish fillet at Lily’s Treasure Chest. YUM. It was busy! The town feels busy with quite a few tourists.
We headed to the Lions Den located on Front Street in downtown San Pedro. Temperatures were taken and about 20 people were seated in a distanced area to wait for the vaccine.
I think I knew every single person in the room! A flyfishing tour guide, a taxi driver, the chef at one of my favorite restaurants, two local real estate agents, our neighbors, my Jamaican-Belizean friend who does the best BBQ on the island…I got choked up.
All the waiting and uncertainty and fear…THIS FEELS SOOOOOO GOOD!
A short briefing was given – the shot took about 10 seconds and I was told “does not hurt one bit” and then to the recovery area. 15 minutes wait to make sure no adverse reaction happens.
Each recipient was given an emergency hotline number, Tylenol and Benadryl to take in case of a reaction. Jeff waited 15 minutes and…
I can’t wait to frame this…along with a mask…to talk about in 10 years. Remember 2020? Good LORD…what a mess!
Now…I wait for my call! Hopefully, the over 45 age group is next. Put me in coach! I’m READY!
I will most certainly be watching the announcement today.
Let’s get everyone vaccinated BELIZE!