BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — For nearly 25 years, Lori Carroll and Linda Needham along with other romance novel buffs have met once a month. But forced lockdowns during the pandemic meant more time for reading and only virtual meetings.
“This is our romance book club that has been meeting since ’98, and we went to, obviously, Google meets during the pandemic,” Carroll told KOIN 6 News. “This is our first meeting in person in a year.”
On Tuesday, the women of the romance book club — all wearing masks — sat in a socially distanced circle outside Jan’s New & Used Bookstore in downtown Beaverton, which Carroll owns and kept open during the pandemic.
She said Gov. Kate Brown’s vaccination goal is lofty.
“It’s very optimistic, not in the physical ability, but in getting 70% of the population to say yes, I want it,” she said.
Needham, though, has more confidence the state will reach the target.
“It’s great to have a goal,” Needham said. “I don’t know about you guys, but if I don’t know where I’m going or when I’m supposed to be there, I just kind of doddle. And I think the more we reach for that goal the more likely we are to reach it.”
Marni Kuyl,the Washington County Director of Health and Human Services, said 61% of the county residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. She said they won’t slow down their push for vaccine awareness and said they need all the help they can get.
“We need our aunties, our moms, our grandmas, our kids to say why they got vaccinated and why they think it’s important and what it’s done for their life,” Kuyl said.
In a statement, Multnomah County officials said they “learned about this new reopening strategy just a few hours before it was announced. With about 61 percent of eligible residents now vaccinated, Multnomah County is pivoting to understand the implications for our community. In the coming days we will work with hospital systems to review data and recommendations and partner with community organizations and leaders who have helped shape the equity approach to our broader COVID-19 response.”