A Postcard From The Vaccination Line

Vaccination Card
Gives new meaning to “Don’t Leave Home Without It”

Like El Grand Heffe of First-Draft himself, I find myself in the netherworld of having had one, but not both, jabs of the COVID vaccine. My next jab comes in mid April, three weeks after my first cause that’s how Kaiser Permanente, my HMO, rolls.

Speaking of rolling, my jab, from entering the building to exiting, took a total of 30 minutes. 20 of them were spent sitting waiting to see if after the jab I went into anaphylactic shock. Surrounding me and my fellow jabbonees were a phalanx of nurses, nurse practitioners, and even a guy with an degree from an accredited medical school. They stood ready, just in case, all armed with recently price increased EpiPens (thanks Heather Bresch daughter of WV Senator Joe Manchin).

For all of you worried about pain related to the jab all I can say is GROW UP YOU F**KING CHILDREN. Excuse me that was my inner voice. What I meant to say is that the nurse who injected me was putting on the Band-Aid before I even realized I had been inoculated.  Twenty minutes of staring at my phone later I was back in the warm sunshine.

Would that it were like that for everybody.

My wife (Cruella) for instance had a far less pleasant experience. She has a PPO or as I like to say, the healthcare hard way. When informed by her insurance plan that she was eligible to get the vaccine she went on line to see where they suggested she go for the quickest jab. Yuba City was the closest location nominated. Yuba City is 102 miles and two hours of driving away from our home. The actual closest medical office to us would have required a one month wait.

Never one to accept the ineptitude of the medical establishment and unwilling to trust a proper injection from the trained-this-morning teenager at the local outlet of the chain pharmacy, she opted to attempt a stratagem endorsed by some of our neighbors.

She bypassed her medical insurance gatekeeper, went online, and made an appointment at one of the local vaccine sites.

Ultimately it worked. Not as smoothly as I experienced, but it did work. Told to be there at 4:20pm and upon arriving hearing they were running “about 20 minutes behind” her actual wait in line was an hour and a half. Unfortunately she was standing behind a 19 year old who was working herself into a tizzy over how much it was going to hurt. Her tizzy process was the entire ninety minutes in line. If there is a hell this was surely the coming attraction for it.

At least we’re not in Georgia so they were kind enough to offer water to those in line.

Once at the registration table a quick glance at her driver’s license was all that was necessary for confirmation of her eligibility and she was on to the visiting nurse who jabbed, Band-Aided, and told her where to sit. On her way out she made a point to thank any health care worker she saw for their patience and care.

They were all floored at her kind words. No one else had thought to thank them before.

Really people, what would your mothers think?

I must point out at this moment that the morning after her injection my wife woke up with a tingling rash. When it did not go away she went to the doctor who diagnosed it as vaccine induced shingles. Medications have been prescribed and she will be fine. If you have a reaction to the vaccine please make sure to report it to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. She is the 121st person to report shingles from the Pfizer vaccine.

Why two such varying experiences when everyone in the country is being asked to get this vaccine? This hodge-podge of rules and eligibilities from not just one state to another but from one county to another and in some cases one city to another is a part of the reason people have their doubts about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.

Sometimes you just have to admit there is a problem too huge for individual states to handle on their own. States don’t declare war, the federal government does because war is too big a problem for one state to handle on it’s own. This is a war against a disease that recognizes no human constructed borders or boundaries. It was the federal government’s job to wage this war. Like a war they should have come up with a strategy of fighting, from initial steps citizens could take on their own to juicing the pharma companies to produce a vaccine to having a plan in place and ready to distribute the vaccine and inject it into our citizens.

Ah but there’s the rub. Until a few weeks ago, the federal government was under the control of the Republicans, who believe in doing the least work possible.  So in typical Republican fashion they denied there was a war, then made noise about an Operation Warp Speed well after the pharma companies had begun research,  and then half assed a distribution plan which, surprise, turned out to be a wretched wreck from day one. Then because of the Big Lie they prevented the incoming Biden administration access to that plan during the transition, forcing the Democrats into having to work with a too far into the process half assed plan when they did take power.

It’s almost as if Republicans were trying to get even with the American people for voting them out because we want competence and trust in the federal government.

For almost 90 years now, ever since the New Deal, Republicans have told the original Big Lie that the government was your enemy, the great destroyer of freedom. Small “d” democratic government is not the enemy, it’s the greatest resource of freedom the world has ever known. Yes, it will happen from time to time that you will be inconvenienced by a decision of popularly elected officials but that inconvenience will be nothing compared to the hideous outcomes of dictatorial fiats or imperial disregard.

There should have been a federal mask mandate. There should have been a federal quarantine program. There should have been a definitive plan for the economy during the quarantine as well as another plan for after. And there should have been a federal plan for distribution and injection of the eventual vaccine.

The Trump administration did none of those things. Now we find out had they done them 400,000 of the over 540,000 American dead could have been saved.

At the very least they could have presented an orderly, fair, and competent vaccine distribution and delivery system. I don’t care what the criteria for getting the jab would have been, by birth date, by social security number, by original hair color, just something that EVERYONE was subject to. Of course that would have meant someone taking charge and making decisions or in other words, doing the work. Instead a large portion of the American populace is now inconvenienced, scared, and running to wherever they can in order to get vaccinated.

So go online, get in line, do what is necessary to stop this disease. COVID I mean. But if you want to think of the disease as Republicans….


I deny any resemblance to the above video.

Shapiro Out

2 thoughts on “A Postcard From The Vaccination Line

  1. States do declare war. But nowadays they call it something else, like “protecting the integrity of the vote.”

    1. Good point. Perhaps I should reframe that comment as “states don’t declare war except on their own citizens”.

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