Hit Me With Your First Shot: On Finally Getting the COVID Vaccine

My employer decided, after some long, hard thinking, to host a COVID vaccination clinic so that those of us who hadn’t gotten poked yet could safely do so. As soon as this option was mentioned, I signed up. I do not, after all, know when another opportunity might come for me to take this important step not only to improve my own chances of avoiding this nat virus, but also to make that much more of a dent in the still-too-high overall case count.

I guess because they did not wish to waste doses, people who were not employees were allowed in to get shots as well. Last I heard, we had 150 available, and only 115 employees had signed up. (I bet the others who came in were wide-eyed at all the blind folks roaming around, the modified paths with variable flooring and low plastic fences to keep us all in line that make me feel like we’re in a cattle chute, and the unusual-looking machinery).

And speaking of cattle chutes, that’s how the process of vaccinating all those folks in a relatively short time felt to me. My scheduled appointment time was 2:00, but I was not surprised when someone came to get me at 1:18 to “pre-register”. They tried to collect my basic information at a table set up right in the middle of the factory floor, which meant not only was I competing with pounding said strange machinery, but also with very high ceilings which does odd things with the sound. I could barely hear myself speak, let alone what the woman sitting there was asking me. We managed though, I signed the consent form, and took a seat in my second chair after having arrived over there.

Four chairs, two rooms, and a somewhat disconcerting number of people later, (I do think we were fairly distanced at least), I was finally ready to be jabbed. Ever the baby, I had to psych myself up as she said “3,2,1,” and popped the needle in. I was then given a fact sheet, a card that noted how long I needed to wait to watch for reactions (mine was 30 minutes, since I noted a Penicillin allergy) moved through two more chairs and left in what was formerly the break room but had been re-purposed as the “Observation room”. Makes it sound important, doesn’t it. Anyhow, I regretted not having brought my phone along, because what was I to do to kill the time! Think? Listen to people gossip? Yup.

It’s hours later now, and so far so good. The only issue I have is soreness at the site of the shot, but I fully expected that. My second dose of the Moderna vaccine will be on April 26th. If you are able to safely, I hope you can get vaccinated too, and especially as we’re seeing the numbers start to inch back up again. I feel very sad that we can’t do anything for those many who have already lost their lives, but perhaps the best tribute to them would be to get past this thing and retain some normalcy. I am looking forward to the things I’ve not done in a year, such as: eating in a restaurant, having a hot beverage at a coffee shop while absorbing the writing vibe, riding public transit and enjoying the background hum of my local community, and going to the occasional live sporting event again. Here’s hoping!

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