The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Jumping through Hoops to Get a Vaccine in Chicago

Feb 15, 2021

Have fun trying to schedule a COVID vaccine in Chicago! What does it take? A lot of time, for one. Who has vaccine and appointments available? Who knows? Could be your doctor, your Medical Group, any one of hundreds of Walgreens, Marianos, or Jewel stores, or the Cook County Department of Public Health, or any number of hospitals. Get out your computer and phone and start checking!

Few have vaccine even available. All have separate processes, separate forms to fill out, and separate waiting lists. They say they’ll send you an email or a text when appointments open up. When you call, there’s no answer or no available appointments. You have to keep checking, one-by-one, any one of hundreds of possible locations they show you on maps. Pick a site, any site … within 10, 20, 50 miles. Appointments not available? Pick another site, then another. Check back later in the day, and the next day. Create a running list of sites you’ve signed up on that need follow-up. It goes on and on.

Only those with a computer and good computer skills spending hours or days checking have a chance to get an appointment. Or those with connections of some kind, who know someone with an “in.”

If you work a job and don’t have hours to spend, if you don’t have a computer, or computer skills … forget it. If you’re too sick, disabled, homeless, a care-giver, spend endless hours looking for work, have big family responsibilities … forget it. How can it be so disorganized? So inefficient?

How can they leave it all up to the initiative of every single person living in the city to take on this cumbersome, time-consuming task when the only rational solution is one central clearing house? Why not a single simple process for everyone, with personnel available to assist those who need help?

Could it be there’s a lot of government money to be made, and a lot of medical providers and companies who want a piece of the action? Under capitalism, disorganization and inefficiency are part and parcel of letting the profit sharks compete for the action.