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    Setting Brushfires of Freedom by Don Jans

    County of Ventura: Covid 19 Update May 18, 2021

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    A Message from Betsy Swanson Hollinger about her experience as a County Disaster Service Worker. Betsy is pictured (bottom right) with the team at our vaccine site in Thousand Oaks at the Goebel Adult Center.

    Message from Betsy:

    I wanted to share a brief summary of being a Ventura County Disaster Service Worker (DSW), as you may not have had the opportunity to hear from the details on the front lines of our vaccination clinics. I will speak on behalf of the clinic I was asked to manage with Suzy Watkins. It is the Thousand Oaks Goebel Center clinic.

    My summary of the experience is that most of our DSW’s (me included) had been teleworking for almost year prior to deployment. The isolation and all the uncertainty COVID created in our lives was strange and hard for everyone. Coming to work at the clinic, although rough at the beginning since we had not interacted that socially with others, was a weird transition and somewhat overwhelming. We all had so little in-person all day interaction for the 10 months prior. None of us knew anything about working in a clinic either, so we all had some mild anxiety starting out. Needing to interact with hundreds of members of our community each day and also with each other demanded a different store of energy and skill from each of us. Since the get go, we were incredibly aligned with the mission of getting our community vaccinated, our purpose was very clear and has been powerful. For the team, we needed to learn who each of us is, what makes us tick, and how can we become a team with such an interdisciplinary group of county DSW’s and travel nurses from all over our country.

    Within a few short weeks, magic started happening.  A real clinic community and family formed. We got exactly what we were missing from the isolation/learning at home/dysregulated lives etc. We got a sense of belonging and awe of what were tasked to do. Real peer-ships and friendships formed. There were people to chat with about how the day is going, debrief some of the crazy de-escalation stories, and solve clinic issues together all day long. The human spirit needed this for so many of us, regular social contact, check-ins with others, fulfillment from such a strong sense of belonging, not to mention serving the community at a dire time. 


    I have been told by many of our DSW’s and State nurses too, this has been one of, if not the best work experience of their lives. They have not had a sense of being on a team this supportive, welcoming, eager to share and implement their ideas and have fun together all at the same time.  For some it has been a career game-changer.

    I am grateful our County asked me to be a part of something amazing. We have vaccinated over 35,000 community members at our center, which was the smallest of the Points of Distribution. From starting with a complete group of strangers and no clinic background myself, to what we all created together is a marvel to me. I just wanted to share what is has been like, so you know how proud we all our to work for and serve our County and have a career, and dare I say life changing experience while doing it.
    COVID-19 Update

    There are 15 new COVID-19 cases. There have been 2,409 new tests performed. There have been 0 additional deaths.

    The current R-effective (average number of people each infected person will pass the virus onto and represents the rate at which COVID-19 is spreading) is .80 which means that spread of COVID-19 is likely decreasing; R-effective for CA is .81 right now.

    COVID-19 vaccines are now available by walk-in! No appointment is required. There are locations offered throughout the County. Vaccine eligibility is now open to everyone 12 and older. You can also make an appointment at myturn.ca.gov or 833-422-4255. The full schedule of county clinics and mobile events can be found at: https://www.venturacountyrecovers.org/vaccine-information/.

    More resource information at: www.venturacountyrecovers.org

    Rumor Alert: There is misinformation spreading on social media that the County is considering a vaccine passport. That is not true. Vaccines are optional. It is your personal choice. The County of Ventura does not have a vaccine passport requirement and does not intend to issue a vaccine passport requirement. While we encourage everyone to get vaccinated for individual and community protection against serious complications from COVID infection, vaccination is an individual choice. There is no mandate or requirement to get a vaccine.

    Learn more about vaccines at www.vaccinateall58.com
    COVID-19 vaccines are now available by walk-in! No appointment is required. There are locations offered throughout the County. Vaccine eligibility is now open to everyone 12 and older. You can also make an appointment at myturn.ca.govor 833-422-4255.

    There are various regular and mobile clinics offered throughout the County. The most updated information about vaccine sites and clinics can be found at:https://www.venturacountyrecovers.org/vaccine-information/.

    For information about COVID-19 testing, visit: https://www.venturacountyrecovers.org/coronavirus-testing/

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