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.

Warning:Week Forty Seven of My Fifty Two Weeks Journey with the Letter ” W”

We are always warned by somebody or other about something or other.  Warning labels are part of our daily life.  We have warning about our health, our finances, our education, our retirement, etc., etc., etc.  We are so dependant on warning as if without warning our life can not go on.  However we sometimes do not get any warning about some of the most important things about our lives.  The recent passing away of Alan Thicke is a warning to all of us regarding the fleeting nature of life.  I am sure the people of California would be more than happy to get enough early warning regarding impending earthquakes.

However sometimes even with warning signs flashing, people either tend to ignore at their own peril or find it hard to believe.  Such was the case of the recent election in USA.  Though there were plenty warning signs that the results may not be what majority of the polls were predicting, lots of people either were complacent or chose to ignore those warnings.  Now it is time to pay the price for ignoring those warning signs.  The events of last month and half are sending enough warning signs of things that are shaping up to revoke and repeal many of the progressive achievements of last few years.  Accepting the results of the election does not mean that we will have to acquiesce meekly to all the rhetorics that are flying around.  Acceptance does not mean to be resigned to one’s fate.  We need to stay engaged in the process, pay heed to the warning signs and also warn and educate regarding the perils of abject surrender.

As I an marching towards the completion of my yearlong journey with the letter “W”, I am realizing many of my Write Anything Wednesday posts are taking a subtle political tinge.  May be I will take some rest at the end of the year and regroup my thoughts.  Maybe this post is a warning to me that I need to open up more to other ideas.  Whatever it may be, for week forty seven of my fifty two weeks journey with the letter “W”, I start my poem with the word ” Warning”.  And my dear readers, I am warning you, the poem definitely has a political tinge.


This post is in response to Write Anything Wednesday-Dec-21-2016 sponsored by Writerish Ramblings

WALK

Walk the path you chose
All alone if you must
Life is yours to live
Keep it under control

Walk for your health
As best as you can
Let not life’s worries
Kill all the fun

Walk the path less travelled
At Least make a try
Lead life as happy as can be
Kind and gentle be you

Walk with your family
And with your friends
Lots of goodwill and love
Keep you happy and hale


Write anything Wednesday Aug-24-2016

Well-being

Well-being and happiness
Endless joyous days and nights
Life a pleasant journey
Lovely state of mind

Beware, all good things come to an end
Eternity is but just a pipe dream
Infuse yourself with goodness and good health
Never be swayed by greed and always run after wealth
Give yourself the gift of a kind and loving heart

Wealthy you may not be, but sense of
Well-being and happiness will follow you around


Week 25 of My Fifty Two Weeks Journey with “W”

Write anything Wednesday July-20-2016

Well-being or wellbeing, my dear reader, decide you may
While I happily accept both and merrily go my way