Author: Lars Akerson
Even as hospitals overflow with record numbers of Covid-19 patients in other parts of the country and world, the Central Shenandoah Health District is upbeat about the progress of the state health department’s vaccination campaign in their jurisdiction.
On the upper flood plain of Muddy Creek on the coldest day of early spring, a small crew in hats and winter coats is turning soil. Over the past month, equipped with shovels and mattocks, they’ve built nearly a half-acre of hilled beds, already shading green with a multispecies cover crop of rye and clover. A regional Mexican playlist drifts light on the wind and its rhythm slides into the step and sway of the multinational and multilingual team.
Seven weeks after his first dose of Covid vaccine, José Ríos is still waiting for a second shot. The 67-year-old Harrisonburg resident went to the Rockingham County Fairgrounds in early February after a friend at church told him about the vaccination clinic there, but he says a scheduling mix-up has kept him from completing the series. Not knowing who to contact, Ríos is still waiting for a call from the clinic, unsure of how to proceed.
The Citizen has developed an automated tracker that summarizes and offers readers visualizations of vaccine data published by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). When the VDH updates its datasets each day, these charts will also display the latest figures. Vaccination rates are calculated using 2019 data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau.
When Omar Al Sadoon told the case worker from the Department of Social Services that he wanted work as an electrician, she was incredulous. It was too much, Omar recalls her saying. He needed much better English and training in U.S. electrical standards before he could think about getting a job as an electrical tradesman in Virginia.