An end to this nightmare is in sight, but it will just be a mirage unless enough of the population is immune to the virus to make the spread from person to person unlikely. This is called community immunity or herd immunity and can be accomplished by people either being exposed to the virus or protected from the virus.
Now which one would you choose?
For most people, the answer is easy, get vaccinated! But there are also many of you who are hesitant because of concerns about the safety of the vaccines. I mean the vaccines were developed incredibly fast, right? But the COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested and are safe. More than 70,000 people have participated in the trials; no steps in the authorization process were skipped; and both trials provided a least a minimum of eight weeks follow up for at least 50 percent of their participants by the time they applied for the Emergency Use Authorization.
But you may have also heard these vaccines are different — and your right. Unlike the flu vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines use mRNA technology that help your immune system build the antibodies that fight the COVID-19 virus.
Granted, it is a new technology for vaccines, but what I didn’t know is that mRNA technology is already being used in cancer treatment and has been studied for more than 10 years.
COVID-19 has killed more than 400,000 people — a number I never imagined last spring. And the threat will not subside until we reach community immunity. To reach that end, our county health departments are working diligently in this ever changing and complex environment to ensure every older adult is vaccinated as soon as possible.
But they need your help. So, stay safe, be patient and when possible get vaccinated!
AARP Tax Aide will be back this year, but as with most everything else, it will look different. This year all the assistance and returns will be prepared by appointment and only in a virtual environment. There will be no in-person service. To make an appointment in the Mid-Columbia with a trained Tax Aide volunteer, email Tax Aide at firstname.lastname@example.org — except if you live in Skamania County, call 360-302-2641.
But that isn’t your only option for free tax help.
If your adjusted gross income is $73,000 or less, you can log on to the IRS.gov website and click on “File Your Taxes for Free”. There you’ll find “Free File” where you can prepare and file your federal individual income tax return for free using brand-name tax-preparation-and-filing software.
But make sure you visit the irs.gov website and not one of the ads at the top of your search results. And if the site says you can start your tax return for free, be skeptical. Often it’s the old “bait and switch,” and you’ll end up paying in the end.
The name for the popular white knee-high boots named after a popular dance craze was Go-Go Boots. I received correct answers from Rhonda Spies, Barbara Cadwell, Tim Annala, Margo Dameier, Lana Tepfer, Kim Birge, Rose Schulz, Marlene Clymer, and Caroline Zeigler, this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.
During the second season of Star Trek in 1967, the Vulcan “salute” was introduced: A gesture consisting of a raised hand with the fingers parted between the middle and ring finger. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what words were spoken along with the Vulcan salute? Email your answer to email@example.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with a photo of Leonard Nimoy who devised the Vulcan “salute.”
Well, it has been another week, treading water until the lifeguard appears. Until we meet again, imagine how smart we would be if we could only remember all that we have forgotten.
“I don’t mean to interrupt people. I just randomly remember things and get really excited!”
Nutritious Home delivered meals and pick-ups for anyone over 60:
Hood River Valley Adult Center — For Meals-on-Wheels call 541-386-2060 and ask for Eric. You can also pick up a drive-thru meal from 11:30 a.m. until 12:45 p.m.
The Dalles Meals-on-Wheels — Call 541-298-8333 to sign up for home-delivered meals. Call before 10:30 a.m. to pick up a meal at noon at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center.
The Sherman County Senior and Community Center — Call 541-565-3191 by 10:30 a.m. and leave a message with the number of meals needed and the names of each person.
Klickitat County Senior Services — Call the Goldendale office (509-773-3757) or the White Salmon office (509-493-3068).
Skamania County Senior Services — Call 509-427-3990.
Seniors of Mosier Valley — Call 541-503-5660 or 541-980-1157 at least one day in advance to order a Grab-N-Go meal Monday and Wednesdays from 11-11:30. a.m. Pick-up at the Mosier Senior Center. Delivery is also available.