Got first dose of COVID vaccine today.

End of a long wait? Light at the end of the tunnel finally or just the first hurdle crossed? Not sure how I feel. Not that I was waiting with baited breath to be vaccinated. I don’t have any plan of traveling in the near future and was kind of getting accustomed to the constraints of stay at home. Our HMO was falling woefully behind in vaccinating the different tiers ahead of us. Also the fact that my betterhalf won’t get vaccinated at the same time as me was another factor in my lack of enthusiasm to be vaccinated early with my age group.

However when we got an email from the CEO of our HMO that not even fifty percent of the age group ahead of us had been vaccinated and no dates could be estimated about our age groups and we may check other options to be vaccinated, my betterhalf started pushing me to register with the state and the county. Reluctantly I agreed but definitely did procrastinate as much as I could. The state site did not show any prospect but the county health services site did had an opening ten days after registration. All locations and dates prior to that were full.

Ultimately the date arrived today. The location was about ten miles from our house, a twenty minutes drive. As the place was unknown to me, I decided to be little early. The online registration asked to be there fifteen minutes before appointment time but I was forty five minutes before time. Boy, am I glad I did that. When I arrived at the facility and as I was entering the parking lot, I saw two long lines at ninety degrees to each other. From the car it was difficult to figure out which line was for what. After I parked my car, instinctively I moved towards the shorter line. It was also the line nearest to where I parked my car.

The sign near the end of the short line proclaimed “COVID vaccination by appointment only”. I felt good that I am in the right line. Then the elderly gentleman infront of me asked me when was my appointment. I said 11:45 AM. He said his was at 11:15 AM but he was in line for last fifteen minutes or so. Nothing that I could do. A volunteer came and told us to keep our IDs and appointment information ready for verification. A sign near by said Moderna vaccination only. However the volunteer informed us that the Pfizer vaccine was received the day before at the facility and therefore we would get the Pfizer vaccine. Till today, at that facility everyone had got Moderna vaccine. She also told that no fabric masks would be allowed inside the facility and to replace fabric masks with surgical masks that she provided if needed.

At the end of the line, ID and appointment information was verified and a clipboard and pen along with three pages of forms were provided to be filled up and on completion to go and stand in the long line to be ushered inside the facility. Here was the dilemma. There was no table and chair to sit down and fill the forms. People were sitting wherever they could and trying to fill up the forms. I decided to stand in the line and keep filling the form as the line moved. Thank God for the California sun. Though it was warm but better than be at the mercy of the weather gods like much of the US at present. The second line did maintain social distancing but to be honest, the first line fell woefully short in maintaining any semblance of social distancing. Once the forms were completed, staffs and volunteers checked them in the line itself and put a green sticker on top of the form. To the credit of the staffs and the volunteers, they were helpful and jovial and I must say, under the circumstances, they did and excellent job.

At one time only five people were allowed inside the facility. Once I entered through the main door, I thought the wait was over. Hah, it was not so. I think everyone had learnt well from Disney parks to hide the long lines inside from the people lining outside. One more station where the forms were checked and ascertained if people were there for the first or the second dose, those who were there for the first dose were made to stand in another line for registration. Those that were there for their second dose were sent in for vaccination directly from there.

There were six registration booths where the forms were taken, information entered into computers and a sticker with all necessary information was given to be pasted to the front of the shirt and then sent along to be vaccinated.

From that point onward, things moved fast. Health care professional who administered the vaccine to me was a really nice, young lady who answered all my questions thoroughly and before I knew it, it was over. She handed me a small card with the vaccination information and sent me to the appointment station for the second dose.

Following the well laid out yellow brick path, sorry the yellow arrowed path, I arrived at the appointment station, got my appointment date for the next dose, reminded to bring my card with me and I was done.

From the start of the process, that is standing in the first line till being done it took about fifty five minutes. Could the process be improved? Sure, everything can be improved. But without an iota of doubt, from the first encounter with the staff at the beginning of the line till the last person scheduling the second appointment, everyone did their job sincerely and in a jovial manner. My hats off to the health care professionals in the vaccination facility. Well done.

And thus completed my first dose of COVID vaccination. Five hours and still no signs of any discomfort. Soreness of the arm till now is non-existent. So far so good.

Apple and Orange Blossoms : Tuesday Photo Challenge – Future

Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge prompt for this week is  “Future“.

I was looking for a suitable photo to post to represent “Future” theme.  Today was Linda’s One Liner Wednesday prompt and suddenly an opportunity presented itself to kill two birds with one stone.  Please don’t get me wrong. I am not for any killing, specially birds.

Weather had been really nice here for last couple of days and I was working in my garden to take care of various plants.  Orange trees and apple tree are in full bloom.  The apple tree is small and comparatively young.  It also did not give us any fruits last year.  As I was coming back from my morning walk with my dog, Skooby, I looked at the blooming apple tree in my front yard.  I hoped that this year it will bear fruits.  My wife had been talking to the gardener for some work to be done for a vegetable garden and she had talked with him regarding some needed care for the apple tree.  As I was looking at the tree and the apple blossoms, the one liner quote suddenly came to my mind that would also work for the photo challenge prompt “Future”.  So here it is and for good measure, I am including my entry for One Liner Wednesday prompt also.

Apple Orange Blossoms_R1

A present not taken well care of will not bear fruit in future.

©Pranab Sarma, 2018

Orange blooms are from a California navel orange tree in our backyard.  Couple of years back we had so many oranges that few branches broke because they could not bear the weight of the fruits.  Last year there were barely a few on the same tree.  My wife had been caring for that tree during last year and looking at the new blossoms, we are hopeful that it will bear fruits this year.

Let’s see what the “Future” beholds.

One-Liner Wednesday – Future Blooms

This post is in response to Linda’s  #1OneLinerWednesday.

Apple Orange Blossoms_R1

A present not taken well care of will not bear fruit in future.

©Pranab Sarma, 2018

I was looking for a photo to post for Frank Jansen’s Tuesday Photo Challenge prompt “Future“.  Weather had been really nice here for last couple of days and I was working in my garden to take care of various plants.  Orange trees and apple tree are in full bloom.  The apple tree is small and comparatively young.  It also did not give us any fruits last year.  As I was coming back from my morning walk with my dog, Skooby, I looked at the blooming apple tree in my front yard.  I hoped that this year it will bear fruits.  My wife had been talking to the gardener for some work to be done for a vegetable garden and she had talked with him regarding some needed care for the apple tree.  As I was looking at the tree and the apple blooms, the one liner quote suddenly came to my mind.  Orange blooms are from a California navel orange tree in our backyard.  Couple of years back we had so many oranges that few branches broke because they could not bear the weight of the fruits.  Last year there were barely a few on the same tree.  My wife had been caring for that tree during last year and looking at the new blossoms, we are hopeful that it will bear fruits this year.

This Moment

Do not care any more for life
Will take it one day at a time
As it comes
One hour,
One minute,
One moment
To ponder
Live in the moment
Live for myself
If I do not live
Does it count
Living for others
Everybody has own
Selfish reasons
For living
Their lives
No silver bullets
To end this agony
Of what will happen
In future
So why care
This moment
That I live
That’s what matters