Phone bank

I’m of the generation that remembers LP and 45 records, cameras used film, and phones (supplied by Ma Bell) that were plugged into the wall by a cord. These things, among others, are anachronisms that those of my daughter’s age know only from reading history books or watching old movies.

I recently shot the San Joaquin County Public Health’s “New rule: Tdap before school” campaign at Lincoln High School. Pertussis vaccinations were given to students in the Lincoln gymnasium’s lobby so that they can comply with the new law AB354 which requires seventh through 12th grade students to be vaccinated against whooping cough before July 1. Along with the shots a was a group of parent/volunteers manning a phone bank to call students and their parents to remind them of the need to get the shots before the deadline.

I’ve photographed people manning phone banks for various causes, mostly political campaigns. In the past, some sort of office space had to be rented or donated for the volunteers to make their calls from. They were limited by the number of outside lines that the office could handle. But this phone bank was made up entirely of cellphones. I thought it was an effective and efficient use of resources. They can set up anywhere and quickly with very little overhead.

Someday iPods, digital cameras and cellphones will make their way to the dust heap of time, and I wonder what exciting new things are going to take their place.

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