COVID-19 Shots

First Shot

I thought I had longer to wait. I wasn’t in the tier to receive my COVID-19 vaccination. But my wife persisted because I suffer from complex partial seizures–that are completely surprised by meds (still knocking on wood for over 50 years) and, I guess, becomes I’m almost 65. While not morbidly obese, I am obese, and I don’t have Stage 4 Kidney Disease. I do struggle to keep my Creatinine levels down and a bunch of other things. (Hey, I’ve said too much already to my snoring readers.) Anyway, in a text message to my doctor, I requested that she bump me up the list. She did not reply. Instead, I received a “pick a day to get vaccinated” sign-up message. Perhaps it was a combination of my age, my multiple health issues, and that we were only days away from April 1 when just about everyone would be able to get vaccinated that I got bumped.

When I arrived at a Scottish Rite Masonic Center here in Sacramento, a woman at a long folding table politely questioned me on how I received clearance for getting vaccinated: “You don’t look like you’re 65.” “Why, thank you, ma’am. Believe it or not, I’m 63.” “Get out of town! You don’t look a day past 57.” “Why, thank you. You know I still get carded here and there,” batting my eyes. And you are not morbidly obese!” “You know, they say obese is the new morbidly obese.”

Joking aside, she asked me why I was getting a shot this early, but after she looked at the order, she just pointed to the entrance to the shot factory.

COVID-19 has given Big Pharma a respite from all the negative press. In early 2020 the news was all about how fast pharmaceutical companies could get us here. Considering before Project Warm Speed have us multiple vaccines within one year, the vaccine for Mumps held the record for most rapid development to implementation, and that was four years. Imagine if we had to wait until early 2024! It looks like I’m getting Pfizer’s.

I expected the wait to belong, but it moved fast.

Marc, a travel nurse, administered my shot. How come it always looks like I’m half asleep?

Done. Now to get in line and sign up for my next shot. Hmm, the young woman in front of me reminds me of my wife when we were dating back in the 1980s.

After the shot, you need to hang out for 15 minutes if you have an allergic reaction. I didn’t, and my wife, my son, and I went out for brunch.

Second Shot

Not very many pix, I know. I took more, but all the photos were as uninspiring as the one above.

I also was pretty lazy about asking questions of the nurse who gave me the shot. Also, she did it half the time Marc did it, and I didn’t feel the prick. If it wasn’t for a sore are for the next two days, I would have sworn she didn’t give me a shot at all.

The common symptoms from the second shot are typically signs that the vaccine has triggered a response by the immune system: i.e., you feel sick. Out of my mother, father- and mother-in-law, my mother-in-law’s caregiver, and my wife, only my father-in-law and I skated through the second shot; everyone else felt sick after the second jab. Only a sore arm that kept me out of the following night’s yoga class was the only adverse effect.

Return to Normalcy

Just kidding, you know it is far from normal, but things are looking up. Starting on April 1, in California, vaccinations were opened up for everyone 16 and older. While walking through a tent encampment on his way to a studio where he would lead a class, my yoga teacher was pulled into line. He received his J&J “One & Done” vaccine even when he confessed to the health care workers he was not part of the homeless. (My Buddhist yoga teacher kind of looks like he could blend in with the tent city inhabitance.) They believed him but had enough shots to go around.

A day after the sourness subsided, I was at the pharmacy picking up some non-COVID-related meds and thought I would visit one of my all-time favorite hamburger joints. I covered Scott’s Burger Shack when this site was almost entirely about reviewing hamburgers. When most restaurants were either out of business, closed, or doing take-out and delivery only in the thick of the pandemic.

I still had some burgers, but far fewer and far between. On this day, I thought I would at least pretend we were back to normal. I still ordered my Fatboy with bacon and cheese, fries, and a Coke with my mask on and practicing social distancing.

I sat on one of Scott’s three emblematic blue park benches. Now, the center bench was taped off–another sign of these COVID times. As I ate the burger, I recalled from previous visits what you get when you “dine-in” at Scott’s: the mariachi music coming from El Novillero Mexican restaurant across the street, the harmony of open-pipe hotrods backfiring on the street just feet away, the blue picnic bench, which always felt like I was sitting on fresh paint. It was all still there, except the blue bench was no longer sticky. I guess enough fat asses have peeled off the last coat. Your welcome!

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