Most of my blog posts are related to books and marketing, as you probably know if you’re here. But periodically this blog serves the purpose of a journal, and I write about what’s on my mind—and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been a lot. The virus, the vaccine, politics…you get the picture.
Before I get into anything more about vaccines, I should probably preface the rest of this post by saying up front that I encourage everyone to do what they have to do to get vaccinated. Yes, the more people get vaccinated, the sooner we have a chance to get this thing under control. Don’t just do it for yourself; do it to protect others from you in the event that you pick up the virus somewhere.
I got my first vaccine shot last month, and was assigned the second dose for yesterday, a Sunday. (No, they didn’t give me a choice of dates or times.) I remember looking at the card and thinking, Oh crap. A Sunday afternoon at the stadium where the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers play. This should be a real laugh riot.
“Shiver in My Bones Just Thinking About the Weather…”
Florida is famous for stormy tropical weather, so as the date for my second dose drew closer, I wasn’t thrilled to see a 70% chance of rain in the forecast. This spring has been sunny and dry, and we really needed some rain to wash all the pollen away. But not on my vaccine day, damn it!
I drove down to the stadium earlier than my appointment, and by the time I got there, it was starting to rain. I don’t mean a sprinkle. I’m talking a full-fledged storm. As I drove around the block looking for an open entry point into the vaccine parking area, I couldn’t find any. Police cars with lights flashing were stationed around the lot, but every entrance was blocked with cones or metal barriers. Numerous cars drove up and down the street like mine, seeking an entry. There wasn’t one.
Soon the rain and wind picked up, and it was raining sideways. In frustration, I finally pulled over in front of a police car. He flashed his siren on and off briefly, a clear Get the hell out of here warning. So I drove up the street, signaled, pulled over, put my hazards on, and walked with an umbrella through the driving rain—straight up to his driver side door.
“You Don’t Need An Appointment”
The following conversation took place next.
“Excuse me, sir? Do you know what’s going on here? Are they going to reopen for vaccine appointments?”
“No, they’re shutting it down for the day.”
I looked down the street behind us where a dozen cars sat in a line, trying to gain an entry that wasn’t going to happen. I’d been stuck there myself for the previous half hour.
“I don’t think they know,” I said, a veiled hint that maybe he should get out of his car and let these people know they could go home.
“Yeah,” said the unhelpful officer.
“Do you know what we’re supposed to do? I had an appointment at noon.”
“Just come back tomorrow,” he said, suddenly willing to expend the minimal effort required to be a public servant. “You don’t need an appointment.”
All’s Well That Ends Well
So it was with great trepidation that I drove back down to the stadium today under sunny skies. A missed appointment, which meant I’d have to get in line with all the other walk-ins, and just ride it out.
As it happened, my concerns were overblown: I got in, I got my second dose of the ol’ Pfizer (disclaimer: not an endorsement, just an article), and I was back out on the highway in less than 45 minutes.
And now I’m home again and back to work. My arm is slightly sore, and will likely be sore tomorrow. I’ve had worse blood draws at a GP’s office.
Please, people: get this done. For yourself, for your friends and neighbors and relatives. It’s fine. I’m fine. You’ll be fine. And we’ll all be one tiny step closer to beating the virus.