I was starting to feel a bit anxious re: Covid vaccination accessibility last month. Starting back in January, relatives and friends of friends who weren't immuno-comprised yet desperate to skip the queue were able to get the jab via somewhat questionable means. Some cousins of mine who are in their 30s claimed that they worked in the hospitality industry and therefore were able to get the jab. One had her hubby put her on the payroll at his restaurant, the other just said she tended bar, in fact she used to, but now no longer does. So did she need to bring proof of employment? And, if so, what did she show the folk at the vax center? Someone I know owns and runs an event space where beer and wine are occasionally served, so she was eligible and got the jab. I thought, should I be doing this, too, in order to be vaccinated earlier than others? Is that a correct thing to do? In the end, I felt it wasn't, but couldn't shake feeling nervous about not being able to easily obtain a vax appointment once they became available to my age group. After fruitless online searches, thanks to social media (said usually no one ever), I caught wind of an abundance of vax appts. at a local college. I was able to book online the very first go. The initial dose was administered on April 7th. I will go back for the second injection on May 7th. Those of us who booked at this particular site were offered either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine. I chose Moderna not for any other reason than it was the default choice on the website.
My husband, who is a year younger than I am, is now able to be vaccinated along with everyone else ages 16 and over. He's tried booking an appt. for the past few days, but has so far come up short. I suppose if he were willing to travel some long distance, then he could possibly be able to book an appt. sooner rather than later, but who wants to drive 75 miles away to have a needle stuck in their arm?
Since the start of lock-down, a portion of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park has been closed to vehicular traffic. As a driver, I could stomp my foot and talk about 'my rights' as a car owner and demand that all of JFK be re-opened to car traffic, but it's not just about me. Having this roadway in the park closed to all but walkers, joggers, skaters, bikers and parents with kids in strollers has been a real boon to those of us wanting to be in a leafy-green park, but with a decent amount of social distance between us. Now the folk behind the big-monied museums in the park just off this closed bit of roadway (note: buses are still able to drive through) with ample underground parking between them, are crying that barring car traffic from almost literally their front doors is a hindrance to visitors. Even with the partial street closure, through-traffic in the park still exists as do over 4,000 parking spaces. So, really, why are the museums squawking? You'll get your $$$. People are still showing up, ffs.
In addition to the museum heads, we've even heard from district supervisors in SE San Francisco, now predominately neighborhoods of color, complaining that the park closure represents some sort of 'recreational redlining'. I call bullshit on that. As someone who used to live in SE SF at the beginning of lock-down, I could either take a direct bus into the park or drive to the park and PARK IN or around said park. The only issue that I take with the partial closure of JFK is that it doesn't seem to take into account those with pronounced mobility issues who might wish to visit either the museums or the Conservatory of Flowers now that this institutions are beginning to re-open to the public.
Many SF families with young children have been able to enjoy the park together. I have seen more than my fair share of little'uns learning how to ride bikes without the worry of cars whizzing by and many parents on cargo bikes with their brood in tow. I don't need to be a parent to recognize that the park street closure is a good thing. Again, it's not about me as a motorist who wants to easily and quickly get to the other side of town via Golden Gate Park, it's about the majority. And the (vocal) majority are San Francisco families who want a car-free JFK.
This past Saturday I attended a car-free JFK Dr. rally in front of the Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park. There were a good couple hundred folk in attendance. Most attendees were parents with children, but there were a few of us 'non-breeders' there as well. No one from City Hall showed up in support. Fortunately, state assembly member David Chiu (who lives in SE San Francisco, no less) took part in the rally and he also lent his voice to the cause. Here he is from behind in the picture below delivering a solid message of support to rally participants.