Sign on door telling people to go to another location for vaccination

Scavenger hunt for the right place for a vaccination.

Overcast in the morning, but not freezing cold. Clearing to a nice day.

I was away from my tablet earlier than usual to get ready for my vaccination appointment. It was the first time in months that I thought more carefully about “what to wear,” since this was, I recalled, the first time I’d been anywhere since March 2020. Thinking about clothes at this time and for this “occasion” sounds a little fatuous and vain, but I did it, and I settled on “very groovy” black corduroy pants, a pink-striped Oxford shirt, and my Mr. Rogers cardigan. Green wing-tip shoes fit over, ahem, white athletic socks worn inside-out.

I did not take a picture.

Color code for the wristband required for entrance into the hospital: orange. I was granted mine after a couple of routine questions and a quick temperature scan on the forehead. (I keep wondering if that’s just pandemic theatre, though.) Duke’s vaccinationprocess was straightforward and efficient. I was home in an hour, a bandaide riding high on my right arm. I told the nurses who did the vaccine routine–one for counseling and the other to jab–that they had the best job of all, a joyous one. They agreed.

I very much welcomed the chance to get a vaccination, but I realize how it seemed out-of-order, too. I didn’t do much of anything to get in line, since I was considered “Phase 1a” because of my role as a teacher (I think). My wife, on the contrary, has chased around the chance to get the vaccine, and has met with little success: no response from her primary care physician yet, and a waiting line for public health vaccination going forward months. Arlene was angry when I got my call, not at me (though she was annoyed at me, truth be told) but at the situation and the unfairness of the line-up. She’s at a higher risk of bad outcomes from Covid-19 infection than I do. It only seemed fair that she’d get the protection of a vaccine before me. And yet, excusing myself from getting the vaccine wasn’t the right thing to do either, since I couldn’t transfer my place in line to her anyway.

The process needs straightening out, but I think maximum speed of distribution is most important. Get the vaccine delivered as widely as possible, but don’t tie up the distribution with procedural hurdles. Somewhere in the bumbling mess that is life, some inkling of justice and fairness must lie. But the doses need to be used as quickly and as completely as possible.

Arlene retreated to the barn for the day, mid-morning. The place is a salve for her, and a good place to think and to recover. She sent me a text midday saying she didn’t blame me for the vaccine mess.

I worked on the chair, and wrote on the glamour chapter. My library privileges were restored, or at least I got notification that they were there again. I’ll try tomorrow to be sure.