Step One: Check

February 6, 2021

The world is crawling out of the pandemic hole. Not fast, not completely.. but steps are underway to bring some relief to this long, scary year of death, loss, and such incredible sadness. We’ve long known we had to have a vaccine to fight the spread and severity of Covid-19. Now we have many! And now people by the millions are getting shots with one of those vaccines.

Such a great development. Such hope for a return to something resembling normal.

And we have such an incredibly long way to go. This is global. There are variants cropping up everywhere. There are class differences in terms of access. There are deniers. Each of those a monumental challenge. Demand will surely outpace supplies for quite awhile. Or at least need will outpace supplies. To be effective, we need a huge percentage of the population to get vaccinated and we are nowhere near that.

But… we are slowly crawling out of the hole.

In our county’s case, we were able to take quick advantage of a window. They’d prioritized the 1As (health care workers, first responders, essential workers, congregate housing folks.. and maybe that designation included 75s and up). Further, they were prioritizing low income parts of the county — Esparto, Knights Landing, parts of Woodland, parts of West Sac. However, there were not enough of those to consume the county’s allotment of vaccine, so, they expanded the pool in order not to lose precious vaccine. We responded to that call (and those slots were scooped up like items at a K-Mart blue light alert. LOL).

So today, Jim and I got shot #1 (of two) of the Pfizer vaccine. We qualified as 1Bs — 65+ year olds. It’s not widely available for everyone in our 1B cohort yet, but at least the light’s green! We are all told “get the vaccine as soon as it’s available.” So we did. Doing our part to save the world. (And feeling quite privileged to be able to do so.) Hoping like hell these vaccines get wider distribution.

So, here’s what it looked like today:

We reported to Sutter Health Park (formerly and forever Raley Field… site of one of Peter’s best ever pitching outings!) (But that’s another blog post.)

Here’s what it looked like upon entering the vast parking lot.. the Tower Bridge and downtown Sac in the background:

Hilariously, I believe this West Sac site probably served a predominantly Davis clientele. I hope West Sac residents got in on the act… but I’m certain it was Davis dominated. To wit, one of the volunteers giving us directions immediately post-vaccine was Mrs. Jolanda Blackwell, one of Peter’s junior high teachers, and her husband, Mr. Blackwell, also volunteering, was Peter’s high school calculus teacher. So funny. We covered a lot of ground in our short conversation!

Here we are getting directions from one of the volunteers (who’s training another volunteer), early in the process. I must say, there were ample volunteers, many redundant, and it was so very well organized!

Here is the moment of truth:

I heard somebody calling it a Fauci ouchie today. The shot itself did not hurt. Not even a little. Didn’t feel the needle at all. As I write this, my arm’s starting to feel sore, like it always seems to with vaccines. But I’m a-ok with that.

And finally, here we are:

You can’t tell, but those are two insanely happy people. This is what over the moon looks like. Giddy. Thrilled. Relieved. Grateful.

Came across this funny thing this afternoon… it perfectly describes the unfortunate state of vaccine distribution at this early point in the process. As I said… I feel fortunate, grateful and.. privileged. I am assuaging my guilt at getting it relatively early by accepting the fact that 1/ we are 1Bs by definition, and 1Bs’ number came up; 2/ we were presented with an unexpected but legitimate opportunity; and 3/ when it’s your turn, take it. All for the greater good.

So… I got a two-fer when I turned 65 twelve days ago: medicare and IB status. There’s gotta be something good about getting so old.

Our second shot is scheduled for Feb 28 at 1:10. We’ll be there!!!


Postscript: After I’d closed out this blog post, I read Heather Cox Richardson’s entry for today’s “Letters From An Amercian” (which is an excellent series and has been a daily lifeline for me for the last couple years). Thought it was worth posting here:

A year ago today, February 6, 2020, 57-year-old Patricia Dowd of San Jose, California, died suddenly after feeling ill for several days. She is the nation’s first known victim of coronavirus.

Now, a year later, on February 6, 2021, the official count of coronavirus deaths in the United States is more than 460,000, significantly more Americans than died in World War Two.

An interesting day to get one’s coronavirus vaccine shot.