First dose down

I missed last Monday’s usual post because, uh, I sort of forgot. Well, Abby was home for Easter and we had a pretty busy weekend, and all of a sudden it was Sunday evening and oops.

This trend towards busy-ness is something that disturbs me. I hoped we could keep the space that came with the past year but nope. Not what I’m writing about today though so we’ll put a pin in that for another time.

How many tangents can I follow before getting to the point? Internet friends, A LOT. But I’m going to focus now.

Our newspaper publisher/owner has been ON IT as far as keeping tabs on when our staff would be eligible for vaccinations. And here in Oregon at least, media eligibility kept getting closer and closer — first it was May, then it was mid-April, and then all of a sudden it was April 5.

So in light of this, I waded into the confusion that is signing up for a vaccine. Well, it wasn’t THAT confusing, mostly I was trying not to do it wrong (all we hear is don’t call the doctor or health department, we’ll call you).

Johnson & Johnson vaccines were available at The Store That Must Not Be Named, so I, along with my coworkers, attempted to go through the website and sign up. I had to fill out a form, then answer some super weird questions to prove I wasn’t a robot, then got kicked back to the starting screen and had to fill out the form AGAIN and answer more super weird questions, the result of which was that TSTMNBN was unable to verify I am human and urged me to try again in 24 hours.

This is why nobody likes you, Walm… I mean TSTMNBN. Not one person in my office was able to sign up that way.

Well, fine. I didn’t want to go there anyway. I learned I could go on our doctor’s office website and filled out a form with my contact information and the reason why I thought I was eligible and they’d give me a call back when a vaccine was available. And hey, they had no problems verifying I’m a human, which helped restore my self-esteem.

Eric did the same; we’re both considered frontline workers. Sideline here for a shout out to Catholic guilt: We want to get vaccinated, but are we taking a vaccine away from someone who needs it more? Are we, in short, killing grandma with our selfishness? I get to deal with my guilt AND Eric’s, so super fun. We finally concluded that Oregon is open to almost everyone at this point (and senior citizens were at the top of the list starting in February) so we may as well go for it.

Filled out a short form Friday afternoon and had my appointment Monday: Got a call asking if I was available to get the Moderna vaccine Tuesday morning at 8:45. Indeed I was! And I was able to schedule Eric’s as well. Two birds, one stone, etc. Take THAT, TSTMNBN.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got to the vaccination site, and it ended up being quite the largescale operation. But they had it set up efficiently: Sign in at this table, go to this table to get your vax card, then go to this table to get the actual vaccination. Several tables, very short wait, many questions on whether or not I’ve ever had an adverse reaction to a vaccine. The nurse who gave me my shot told me to relax my arm (spoiler alert, as soon as you tell me to relax I am NOT RELAXED), but honestly, that was the most painless vaccination I have ever received. It wasn’t even a pinch, more like a pressure, and not even a hard pressure. But then I had to go to the 15-minute waiting area and, naturally, spent the time before Eric finished up by worrying obsessively about whether or not I could feel my throat closing up.

I made Eric sit beside me and we held hands because we are in love and also he is a very soothing person to be around. He reminded me that if I had to ask if my throat was closing then it probably wasn’t. (Anxiety! So fun!)

When my 15 minutes passed, I was directed to the last table, where they scheduled my second dose. The end. Oh wait, I did get a rash from the bandage and my arm hurt for a day and a half, and then I felt compelled to order $9,562.93 in Microsoft products,* but that’s it.

What a relief. Now we just need to get vaccines okayed for those under 18 so Johanna can get hers, too.

The morning was made even more exciting because I had forgotten that Tuesday was also Johanna’s sophomore orientation at the high school, and classes started at 8:40. And we said we’d pick up a friend on the way. Those girls were on it and I was early to my appointment, so props to them. Although it did mean they had extra quality time outside before being let into the building. P.S. Last week the high school scheduled separate orientations for each grade level and we’ve already gotten an email from the principal that a student has tested positive for COVID. Well, duh, but also, I was hoping we could go a little longer, at least. Anyway, today is a working day for teachers and then tomorrow classes start for everyone. Not a full day, but five days a week, at least for now.

Who else wants to share vax stories? It’s fascinating to hear what others have had to go through to get a vaccine and how the various health departments are handling it. Yes, I need more hobbies, but also, do I?

P.P.S. Happy birthday Mom, you lovely lovely woman.

*For those not in the US who might be confused by this joke: There has been so much misinformation surrounding the vaccine — and, if you can believe this, one of the conspiracy theories is that Bill Gates has implanted a microchip into the vaccines in order to control / track / whatever you’d do with a microchip, I guess? I don’t pretend to get it.

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