I spent Wednesday afternoon navigating the halls of my local emergency room. Fear not dear reader, this was just my semi-annual bout with kidney stones. After getting x-rayed, CT Scanned, probed, prodded, spindled, and mutilated, I emerged with dignity intact, pain fairly well resolved, and a fistful of drugs no respectable street corner drug dealer would want. As George says, all things must pass.
So I’m fine, but this isn’t about me.
It’s about the woman across the aisle from me as we both waited for test results. Now to be fair this early twenties woman was in quite a bit of discomfort. So much so that her mother was allowed to sit with her, even though my wife (Cruella) had been COVID procedures banned from sitting with me. A nurse with a mobile blood draw cart came by to take a sample from this young lady who immediately went into spasms of fear over the thought of a needle going into her arm. The spasms were so great that I now understood why the mother was allowed to stay with her as she patted her daughters hair and cooed that everything would be all right and that it would only take a moment, etc. etc.
I want to make it clear here that this woman was not impaired in any way. This was all the work of the flapping blades of a helicopter parent who made enough of a noise that the nurses and security staff finally gave in.
At any rate, the woman’s moaning drew my attention. That’s when I noticed them. The tattoos she had adorning her right arm and also down her right leg. There may have been more on the other side of her body but they would have been hidden from my view. This woman had obviously spent many hours in (hopefully antiseptic) tattoo parlors having needles jabbed again and again into her skin, but couldn’t stand the thought of a thirty second blood draw. And that blood draw was only accomplished with the coaxing of mommy dearest.
Now I will admit that I don’t like having blood drawn. I can’t imagine anyone in the world actually LIKES it. It’s just one of those things that has to be done. One of those things that all adults have learned how to deal with. And while deep down we’d all like to have a loved one with us for moral support, as adults we know that the pain is momentary and the end results are what matter.
Would that this mother had ever once taught her daughter that.
So to all those who whine and cry and make excuses why they can’t/won’t get the COVID vaccine jabs allow me to call you by what you really are — little children afraid of a the big bad needle.
Little children think only of their own selves, never those around them. I’d venture to say the realization that one’s attitude is having an effect on the people around them is one of the first signs of maturity. And let’s be honest, at this point not getting the vaccine has less to do with any individual than it does with society as a whole. Here in California we’re back to masks indoors because a minority of people refuse the jab and thus COVID cases are rising, filling hospitals and morgues. I’m not happy about wearing a mask indoors, especially after a few weeks without, but I’ll do it because I’m an adult and we need to make the state safe again.
Then of all things, this pops up in my Twitter feed:
Folks walking around refusing to get vaxxed because of ‘side effects’ and fear of needles, but spent 6 hours in a tattoo parlor letting some dude named Meat draw on their neck.
— NoelCaslerComedy (@caslernoel) August 5, 2021
I don’t know if that woman had Meat as her tattoo artist, she might be a vegan for all I know, but I do know she wasn’t as afraid of his needles as she was of Nurse Nancy’s. If you are not vaccinated, you’re a child. Children have to be held by the hand and made to do what is best for themselves and the rest of their community. They don’t get a say in that. The grown-ups make the rules and the children learn the lesson.
Let’s end the week with a bit of hopeful music. I’ve been on a Beatles kick lately. Cause it’s been a long cold lonely winter: