“No. I would never have thought that we would be going through this. But times change and things happen, you know?”
-Randy Stoops, a senior citizen business owner from Manatee County, on trying to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine
There are different rules in different counties.
A grocery store’s pharmacy might be able to immunize you. Operators from the same information lines give different information.
Right now, this is life for Florida senior citizens.
Randy Stoops lives in Manatee County.
He and his wife Linda are signed up for the vaccine there, but it’s an open pool for seniors.
Randy Stoops and his wife of 44 years, Linda. Randy owns a small air conditioner company and his wife is retired from the city of Bradenton Police Department. Randy provided it
More than 95,000 people are currently in the pool – it’s designated for all Florida residents and part-time residents, not just people who live in Manatee County.
Publix has vaccines, but he has not been able to make an appointment.
Stoops and his wife are also signed up in Hillsborough County.
And he is actively looking for other places to sign up.
(We spoke with Stoops just before the state released information on their website to help navigate vaccine sign-up. Manatee County is not part of the state’s website yet.)
“I don’t know if my wife could survive the COVID, you know,” said Stoops. “And I don’t know if I could or not either. I feel like I might be healthier than she is. But we lost two close friends that with COVID, and they didn’t have any health problems, but they were an age group that we are. And they died in two weeks. They both got it and passed away in 16 minutes apart. It was pretty sad.”
Stoops says faith is sustaining him.
“God’s looking over us and we’ll get through it.”
Stoops has also reached out to and is planning to meet with County Commissioner Reggie Bellamy—they are planning a meeting to discuss his concerns.
Virginia has been talking to people from all walks of for Life about Life in The Time of Coronavirus.
To see more of her stories, check them out here.