The Shot That Set Me Free

A week ago I received an email message stating that my long awaited appointment for getting vaccinated has arrived. I jumped at the opportunity. The last time I had a problem with a virus was in 1957, and there was no opportunity to be vaccinated. The polio virus had already been ravaging the world for some twenty years and it wasn’t ready to stop. All the public announcements advised us to stay away from crowds, (define a crowd) don’t go to the beach, rest, etc. None of the advice seemed worthy of taking. I did stay away from crowds unless one calls my group of buddies (5) a crowd. I never went to the beach it was ten miles away. I thought I rested as does anyone who sleeps at night and I still got the virus. Maybe I it got from going to church, yes that has to be it. The problem with that argument is that my buddies all went to church too. None of my crowd got polio but me.

It was a good five years before Dr. Jonas Salk invented a vaccine that worked. I never did follow the news to follow the progress of how the world became vaccinated, my immune system was fixed for life. Luckily, I survived and did not carry too many debilitating side effects. When the COVID-19 pandemic began I followed Dr. Fauci’s recommendations to a point. The point was that I would not allow myself to get overly excited about catching the thing and that I would let my own common sense rule my activity.

My appointment was set for 10:15 on a Friday at the Joliet West High School which is about thirty miles away. I set my alarm to get up early, showered and prepared a decent KETO breakfast so I wouldn’t pass out from a low blood sugar. What impressed me was the system that Will County had set up at the school. First of all, let me say that this school is a state of the art machine. Except for being thirty miles from Frankfort, I felt like I was inside Lincoln Way East High School two miles from my house. The staff consisted of Joliet Fire Department EMT’s. There was ample parking at door fourteen and upon arriving I checked in at a desk where a man pointed a thermometer at me head and took my temperature. He fired off a bunch of questions about how I felt and then handed me a short questionnaire asking questions like are you allergic to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. To me that is the dumbest question ever. How in the heck am I supposed to know what is in this vaccine? There was one question that I had to answer yes to, I am allergic to penicillin and had an anaphylaxis reaction to it. With that yes, I got to take that piece of paper with me to the vaccination table. There were ten tables lined up with a strapping young man directing people to the next available technician. He directed me to table ten. I walked to the table where another young man was waiting. I handed him my paper, and proceeded to bare my left arm. “Forgive me if I don’t watch this happen.” There is something about seeing a needle pierce my body that makes me squeamish. He followed with “you won’t feel a thing,” and with that he was placing a piece of tape on the injection site. Not only didn’t I feel anything I felt it was a sham and that I didn’t really get vaccinated. Another big guy handed me a card and told me to carry it with me. It was a record of the vaccine. He also told me that he scheduled my second shot to take place four weeks from the day at the same place. “Go to the other side of the field house and sit for fifteen minutes then you can leave.”

I sat for twenty minutes waiting for something to happen, but nothing did. I walked out but ran into another young guy about six foot tall and all muscle who asked me how I felt. “Okay,” I answered.

“Good, you can leave out the door you came in by.”

I felt exhilarated, happy, loose, I wanted to jump up and kick my heels together. I made it through the year without catching the demon COVID.

I was so relaxed that when I got home, I took a nap.

The following two days I kept feeling all kinds of tingles and tickles and asked myself “is that a side effect?” If they were side effects they were acceptable and very mild. I concluded they were not side effects but my mind playing tricks on me.

Last night I attended a meeting of my senior friends. This meeting has been going on for over five years on a weekly basis. We meet, drink wine and shoot the breeze. It is such a good time we won’t give it up, but we have not met since the last spike of COVID hit in October. Everyone of us was happy to see each other again. To date, only three of us have gotten the vaccination, but more will be getting it soon. That is, if our governor would get off his fat ass and push for it to get done. Illinois is number 47 out of the states in progress toward vaccinating it’s population. At least we aren’t in the bottom three.

Happy days are here again.

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