The vaccination situation
By RALPH HARDIN
Evening Times Editor
Well, it was bound to happen eventually, and last Wednesday, it did …
I got my COVID-19 vaccination.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all aboard the vaccination bus, and I was eager to get my shot … except that I was absolutely not eager to get my shot. I wasn’t worried about side-effects or getting my secret government microchip implanted so that our shadow overlords can track my whereabouts.
No, I just hate needles. I hate, hate, hate them.
I hate getting a shot so much that I once let an infected spider bite on my leg get to the point that there was a streak of pink lightning headed upward from my calf. Once it was clear the infection was getting closer to some more private personal areas, I finally went to the doctor.
Yes, I am incredibly averse to needles. It’s not an irrational fear … It’s just that, well, they hurt. I’ve has a cortisone shot that burned like it was on fire. And I’ve had a penicillin shot that I swear was administered with a McDonald’s milkshake straw instead of a needle. Oh, and I had to have an ingrown toenail removed once. In case you were wondering, the numbing process involves no less than 24 injections. Sure, you only feel the first few, but I still got a little bug-eyed when the last one went a couple of inches into the tip of my big toe.
Don’t even get me started on the dentist.
But anyway, once the governor opened up the vaccination eligibility list to Phase 1-C, which included the media, I resigned myself that it was time to get my vaccine. As a side note, if you’re wondering how high on the totem pole the media was on the state’s list of essential workers and such, about a week after Phase 1-C was eligible, literally everyone in the state 16 years old and up became eligible, so, pretty high up there, I guess.
So, I began looking for a place to get my shot, and it was pretty difficult to find a place that had openings. But I honestly wasn’t in any sort of hurry. I got on a waiting list, I don’t even remember where just now, but I was told there was a pretty good chance of getting the call.
“Just be sure to answer your phone and be ready to come right then,” I was informed.
But in the meantime, last Tuesday, I saw that the City of West Memphis was holding a COVID-19 vaccine clinic the next and there was a number you could call and make an appointment to get vaccinated. So, I called, expecting to get put on hold for a long time only to then be told there weren’t any available slots.
I was pleasantly surprised to immediately get a real, live person who took down my information and asked me if 10 a.m. was OK. It was almost so fast I wasn’t quite sure she was already scheduling my appointment. I told her 10 a.m. was just fine.
About that time the next day, I walked into the Eugene Woods Civic Center with my mask and my photo ID. To my surprise, there was not a huge line of folks waiting in line. There were a half-dozen sign-in areas and another half-dozen stations where the actual shots were being administered.
The fellow at the check-in station greeted me and took my temperature. He then told me I picked a good time to come.
“It’s just a quick in-and-out,” he said.
“Yes, I know how shots work,” I quipped.
I’m pretty sure he chuckled under his mask.
Anyway, at the first station, I answered some basic health questions, filled out a couple of forms and received a little goodie-bag. Then it was over to the shot-giver. She gave me my choice of arms and then a little swab and a stick later it was over. It was actually the least painful shot I have ever received.
She directed me over to another set of socially-distanced chairs where I needed to wait 10 minutes or so before I could go. While there, I filled out a survey about vaccinations and how eager/reluctant I was to get mine and whether or not the media had made me more or less concerned about getting vaccinated.
All it all, it was a pleasant experience and I go back in a couple of weeks for my second dose. I actually had forgotten I had even gotten the shot until a few hours later, while grocery shopping, I went to pick up a gallon of milk and a lightning bolt of pain shot down my arm. I had to switch arms just to get my milk.
That soreness lasted a couple of days, but that was the only side-effect that I had, and now I’m halfway to being fully vaccinated. So, I definitely recommend getting your vaccine and I strongly suggest getting it in the arm you use the least.
Now, I just need to know where to go to get my microchip activated.