Lucky to be old?
I wasn’t listening to the news the day daughter Rachel called. “Have you signed up for the COVID 19 vaccination yet?” she asked.
No, I hadn’t. Though I did hear that soon they were opening up vaccinations for people 65 and over, I didn’t give it a thought. The way the news reported earlier that week, it would take forever to get even us oldies vaccinated.
As long as I had her on the phone, I went to my computer to check the link to my clinic to see what they were saying.
To my amazement, Prevea Health was setting up appointments for the end of January and they had spots open. After clicking my way through the website, I found myself with a January 29th appointment.
Rachel was pleased. I was surprised. My calendar was marked, but I wasn’t counting my chickens until the vaccine was poked into my arm. I had heard news reports that some people in another state came to their appointments only to find out the vaccine wasn’t there for them. There had been some kind of kerfuffle with the website and disappointed people had to be sent home.
News broadcasts also showed lines of cars and lines of people around the country waiting hours for vaccines – and some for COVID testing.
I would have to drive myself to the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay for my inoculation. That 30-minute trip wouldn’t normally have bothered me, but this was Wisconsin, and winter weather could create slippery roads in minutes.
So I worried. First, would the weather cooperate? Second, would I find my way to the correct building? Would there be a long line? Would there be a long wait? … Just too many things for me to think about before my appointment.
A week in advance, I checked the weather. No snow was predicted, but at that distance, things could change so I kept checking.
Two days before my scheduled appointment, I found out a friend had taken her mother in to get her vaccination. I messaged Lori to find out about the location and the crowd. Lori said everything went along swimmingly. There was plenty of parking and no long lines. It seemed that Prevea had things well in hand.
I relaxed, well mostly. My trip was still solo.
The sun shone on the 29th, which I took as a good omen. I left home early for my afternoon appointment.
UWGB looked great. (I graduated there in 2009.) It was good to be on the campus.
The parking area was well marked. All I had to do was to follow the signs that pointed to the north parking lot. I pulled into a parking place far from the Kress Event Center, looked for the large Prevea sign, and walked through the assigned IN door.
There were no long lines. I waited behind three people before checking in. The rope line could accommodate many but there were only ten of us socially distancing, waiting our turn to go into one of the many cubicles for our inoculation.
Everyone in line marveled at how smoothly things moved along. We congratulated all the staff involved.
Soon it was my turn. I went inside a cubical, identified myself and the nurse did everything else. The actual shot was less than a pinprick—the Pfizer vaccine was given. After a few minutes with the nurse, I joined others sitting in the gym each waiting 15 minutes in case of a reaction. One by one we left and that was that.
In three weeks I go back for my booster. I still have concerns about that appointment, but only for possible weather issues.
All that would make me happier is if all my family and friends could get their vaccine very soon. Hopefully, the process will move along quickly and everyone will get inoculated.
P.S.: Even after vaccines are given there are still things to think about. A PBS News Hour shared five reasons to wear a mask even after you are vaccinated.
1. No vaccine is 100% effective.
2. Vaccines don’t provide immediate protection.
3. COVID vaccines may not prevent you from spreading the virus.
4. Masks protect people with compromised immune systems.
5. Masks protect against any strain of the coronavirus, in spite of genetic mutations.
Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.susanmanzke.net/blog.