Speaking of getting vaccinated. . .
Top Cat’s two kids in California worked the phones for weeks, and yesterday they finally got us an appointment for the Covid-19 vaccination here in New York state!
It was a same-day appointment so, at 5 o’clock in the evening, we bundled up and trudged through a foot of snow to a hospital in Queens and by 6:30 PM we were shot and half-way to being corona-proof, and sorry that Long Island is still in lock-down mode and we couldn’t go out for a celebratory dinner, or drink. We were that giddy.
The rule is that you have to hang around the hospital for 15 minutes after you get shot (or “jabbed”, as they say in the UK but, interestingly, not in Australia, where they, like us, say “shot”, and where they also call a tight Speedo a “budgie smuggler” and I’ve been laughing all day about that one). The nurses want to make sure you don’t have a bad reaction to the vaccine, so as I presented my paperwork to the attending health care professional in the waiting area, she looked at my form and asked me to say my name.
“Vivian”, I said, wondering if this was part of the screening. You see, Top Cat and I are in the official Old Farts category of vaccine recipients, so maybe the young lady wanted to make sure I still had my marbles, you know, in that I could remember my name and not bore her with stories about the price of bread in 1977.
It was 32 cents! A loaf of Wonder bread was 32 cents!!
Anyway, I tell her my name and she exclaims, “That’s so pretty!” She says, “I’ve never heard of this name before. I didn’t know how to pronounce it.”
This is not the usual reaction to my name. Six times in my life I’ve been asked, about my full moniker, Vivian Swift, “Is that your real name?” Fewer times than that — exactly twice — I’ve had someone say, about “Vivian”, “That’s my name too!”
It’s a rule. When two Vivians meet, you have to get all excited and become best friends.
That’s because there aren’t a lot of Vivians out there in the world, but I would have expected a full-grown woman of what looked to me European descent would have come across “Vivian” at least once in her life. So, that was weird.
P.S. My twin sister goes by a nickname that is rather unusual and no one has ever asked her if that’s her real name, although one guy did go, “That’s my dog’s name!” Her name is Elizabeth, but everyone calls her Buffy.
During registration for the vaccine at the hospital, I was asked “What is your ethnicity?” and I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve ever been asked that. I had to think hard. Scottish-American? White? Anglo? From the gene pool that made Appalachia great?
I went with “Caucasian,” but I didn’t feel good about it. The woman questioning me was African-American and I’m 75% sure that word doesn’t have a whole lot of positive connotations for her.
She also asked me about my religion. I briefly considered saying “None,” but decided to be more pro-active. I said, “Atheist.”
So, that was weird, too. Top Cat and I assume that these questions were for statistical purposes, and not a way to make the experience of getting a longed-for vaccination in the middle of a pandemic even more bizarre than it had to be. Because it was bizarre.
Here’s the surprising thing: The hospital, in the heart of Queens, New York, was practically empty. It was almost creepy. Although there was a loooong line of chairs looping around the enormous lobby, all appropriately socially distanced, there was no one sitting in them. There was no waiting at all, and we’ve been trying to register on-line for a month. It was Top Cat’s daughter who called this hospital from Los Angeles, got a top administrator on the phone. explained our situation, and got us these coveted slots for vaccination. Go figure.
Once we did the registration, we went immediately into the vaccination tent (it’s indoors, isolated from the rest of the hospital; technically, the tent was set up in the atrium) and signed more paperwork, and then we were seated in another screened-in area with a nurse. We didn’t get shot together. The nurse-to-patient ratio is strictly one-to-one.
BTW, The hospital was giving two vaccines: the Pfizer and the Moderna, and it was random that we got Pfizer but Top Cat says that’s the one he wanted anyway.
I hate shots like crazy, so the most anxious time for me was sitting with the nurse, waiting for the vaccine to be made up. It seems that each syringe is made individually, and it was 5 minutes or so before mine came, sealed in a plastic envelope, delivered on a tray.
“This will be a little cold,” the nurse said, and I’m thinking that I’m about to get shot with fluid that was, until 5 minutes ago, being stored at -80 degrees centigrade (-176 degrees Fahrenheit), and I began to sweat. Turns out she was talking about the alcohol swab that she rubbed my arm with. It was cold. I flinched.
The shot itself lasts less than a second, and I managed to jump at that, too. “Ha ha,” the nurse said, “You very nervous!” (She was of Asian ethnicity.) Another nurse, passing by, said to me, “How does it feel? Pretty good, right?” I said, “It does feel good!”, and she said, “Congratulations!”
My arm didn’t hurt right away, but it aches this morning. It’s not like I’m injured or anything, it’s more like the ache you get from thinking you can start doing multiple dead-lifts on your first day of weight training and the next day your body says, “Don’t pull that shit again.” I speak from personal experience.
We get our second shots on March 4. We’re going to plan something awesome to celebrate what, for us, finally feels like The Beginning Of The End.
Meanwhile, in another news this week, it bears to be repeated:
And this happened, when the MSNBC news commentator, Rachel Maddow, was sued by the network that broadcast the My Pillow guy’s two-hour video filled with baseless conspiracy theories about the election being rigged and placed blame on electronic voting system companies Dominion and Smartmatic:
And a reminder of how different it is to not live in Trump’s America anymore:
And another Republican who thought Covid was just like the flu had a little rendezvous with karma on February 7:
Meanwhile, the House of Representative sent their Impeachment managers over to the Senate to begin presenting their case that Donald Trump should be found guilty of denigrating his path of office:
The Republicans, who want to avoid dealing with the merits of the case, are trying to hide behind procedural arguments, such as the one about it not being constitutional to hold a trial for an ex-president:
This is to get you all in the Weekend Mood:
From Kitten to Cat photos:
Have a great weekend, everyone! We’ll meet here next Friday and vent about how the Republicans have let Donald Trump get away with inciting sedition, bandwe’ll do it together so we don’t have to scream into the void alone.
Don’t spend too much time googling for photos of “budgie smugglers”, because before you know it, it’s early afternoon and your blog is late and you are regretting all your life choices that did not make you Australian. I speak from personal experience.