The COVID booster is now in my bloodstream. At this rate, I’m beginning to think we’ll need a few more lines on the little paper vaccination card.
“I’ll just need your card and proof of ID,” said the pharmacist at the local grocery store.
I handed him my driver’s license and a modest piece of paper increasingly becoming as crucial as my passport.
He handed me a clipboard and a pen and invited me to take a seat.
Like a waiter, he asked which vaccine I wanted.
I placed my order.
“Great, I’ll go thaw one out for you. Might take a few minutes.”
I sat down, a bit surprised at how far getting a vaccination has advanced. In what seems like a decade ago, I thought back to working with other volunteers to help check people in for their first shots at a mass vaccination site. I remembered the palatable anxiousness and the emotional tears as we checked off their names and pointed them to pull through to orange cones leading to the next stage.
Many cars that day were multi-generational — young and old. I remembered one car in particular where the adult child was the interpreter for the elderly parents. Although she wouldn’t be eligible until the next phase, she made sure her parents were vaccinated.
I’ll never forget the grey skies and matching wet blanket of uncertainty.
Later on, as boosters became available for my age bracket, I found myself at the site again on the receiving end of the line, waiting as volunteers approached my car window.
This week, with the background of old pop music mixed with announcements of chicken wings on sale at the market where I got my booster, the moment felt so different, every bit as surreal as my first experience.
The world is changing — and so is the virus. And with each change — or mutation — the cocktail of items in our boosters is further challenged. And although I’m not a doctor, I respect the science enough to understand the goal is to keep me out of a hospital and fight the more extreme elements of the virus.
I also accept, even with my booster, I may end up with the virus but be in a much better position to avoid the worst outcomes. I’m a numbers person, and I get it. I’m not going to sit on my hand with a pair of fours and hope for the best.
The point I’m making is if you are so inclined, getting a booster is about as complicated as ordering a coffee at a fast-food restaurant.
The pharmacist returned in a few minutes and asked me in which arm I wanted the shot. Minutes later, I was done.
I thanked him for his work and pulled on my jacket.
My vaccination dance card is filling up — now three lines noted. And as much as I am appreciative of those behind this effort, I pray my card one day becomes a curiosity, a relic from another time.