IT WAS A year ago when the pandemic began to sweep across our nation as well as the world. It has upset our way of life in more ways than we could have imagined.

Our nation’s leaders working closely with pharmaceutical companies, both here and in Europe, were able to develop three approved vaccines in less than a year.

To curb the virus and its mutations, health officials have needed to quickly find a way to vaccinate the majority of Americans, beginning first with health care workers, then seniors, then the entire population including children.

Our children were anxious for us to be vaccinated while we were spending the winter in Ft. Myers, Florida, in Lee County. Some of our friends and two nephews were able to get their first vaccination in January. We heard all kinds of stories where people used multiple phones and computers to try to schedule an appointment. One friend made over 130 calls to arrange his appointment. Some people we know drove over a hundred miles to be able to get their vaccinations.

My wife, Kathy, tried for appointments in Lee, Henry and Collier counties and was successful in getting on a list in Lee County to wait for a call for an appointment.

Ultimately our daughter, Julie, who spends the winter in La Quinta, California, was successful in getting us an appointment in Lee County. Our daughter, Stephanie, was also making regular contacts on our behalf.

On Feb. 12 we arrived early to our 10:30 a.m. appointment time at the old Southwest Regional Airport in Ft. Myers. We were amazed at the efficiency of the process, and it took us less than an hour to be vaccinated with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. On March 12 we will receive our second dose.

Lee County started vaccinations on Dec. 28. Our friends, Carol and Marv Market, formerly of Eau Claire, Wisconsin got their first shot on Dec. 30 at 8 p.m. They waited in line for two hours at the Ft. Myers Rec Center.

AS A NATION we now need to be concerned that we reach “herd immunity.” It is well- established science that once a percentage of the population has achieved immunity, a virus will begin to die out. This means that a certain percentage of the population will have to become immune through natural exposure to COVID–19 or by receiving a vaccine to limit the virus’s ability to spread so it will eventually burn out.  

AS WE LISTENED to Eagle Brook’s church service Feb. 14 it was announced that a tenth campus of Eagle Brook would be opening soon at Ham Lake. It was encouraging to know that a church which teaches and preaches God’s saving grace through the Bible is growing. The church formerly known as Horizons Church with Jimmy Jones as senior pastor, will join the group as Eagle Brook Ham Lake. Jones approached Eagle Brook Senior Pastor Jason Strand with the news that he would be retiring thereby setting in motion the congregation to vote on the merger of the church with Eagle Brook.

Gene Johnson is publisher emeritus of Press Publications.

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