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What About This? By Wayne Cipriano

By Wayne William Cipriano

We got our Covid-19 vaccinations, and they were GREAT!

Rosalie was all for the shot – I was a little more restrained. In fact, I vacillated right up to two days before our appointments.

I talked it over with several neighbors, some family and heard a lot of the same reluctance I was feeling. Was the vaccine brought along too fast? Was it properly tested and for long enough? What would be the impact of this formula on new mutations of Covid-19 (or 20, or 21)? Was my shot kept cold enough, long enough to remain effective? And even more questions. But eventually it came down to numbers.

I’m an older guy and I’ve had asthma all my life. Chances are I’ll never get any of the Covids, and if I do, it will probably be a light encounter. But what if I do get it, and it’s a pretty serious strain? Then, I might be in trouble.

Now, I’ve heard of some negative reactions, but they seem rare to start with and not very serious overall. Were some affected, yes. But compared to the thousands who had no reactions and those with a sore arm or a light sniffle, there didn’t seem to be much of a contest. I’m 60% or more protected right now, and I’ll be 90 – 95% protected when I get the second dose, in exchange for a needle prick and perhaps a day or so of discomfort.

The probabilities might suggest passing up the shot – I probably won’t get any of the Covids. Like smallpox, chicken pox, mumps, measles, whooping cough, polio, etc. which I’ve never contracted either. But I was vaccinated against all of those as a kid. Who is to say that I would not have gotten these diseases without being vaccinated, and the shots were a waste?

I’m a conservative guy, I don’t gamble much, especially over important issues. 

I got the shot, but I was a little hesitant. Now, I’m glad I did.

Naturally, everyone has to make up their own minds if and when to get the shots. One of the considerations is how quickly “herd immunity” will come along to protect us. But, on the way to herd immunity a lot of people are going to have to get Covid-19 (or 20, or 21) and get better (or die). And even then, how sure are we that a person cannot spread Covid even if they do not become sick from it? 

Also, and this is just me, it’s pretty cheesy of me to sit back and wait for everyone else to get the shot or get sick (or get dead) to protect me from some or all of the Covids. That strategy is pretty one-way, isn’t it? And, what if “herd immunity” never happens, the mutations continually defeat it?

And let’s not forget about those people who can’t be vaccinated; allergic to it, under treatment for something else, too young, too sick, and so on. It seems to me I can be a good neighbor to these folks by doing whatever I can to prevent Covid from coming to visit them through me.

We showed up for our appointment to get our first shot a little early so we could see what was going on. But, from the time we passed the local auto parts store and saw the dedicated traffic lane noted as “Vaccines”, to the time we left the parking area after our shots, we never got a chance to sit and watch. Everything, every aspect of the experience was planned and scripted to a “T”.

We were shown every turn, every stop well in advance. We were offered coffee and sweet rolls, handed paperwork to fill out, had our appointment numbers placed on our windshield, directed to our parking space without ever having come to a full stop.

And having parked, we began to fill out the paperwork but were interrupted and told to exit the car and board a volunteer – driven golfcart for a ride to the vaccination center. Once there, we were seated before a volunteer who filled out our paperwork for us (much faster, much better), explained all the vaccination protocols and such, and then sent us on to a gathering area until 15 or so of us were seated there.

When we got to 15 or so waiting, we were taken en masse into the inoculation area where each of us were sent to a “shot unit” of two persons. One of them gave us the shot while the other dealt with paperwork, records, information dissemination and return visit scheduling.

Rosalie says she did not feel anything at all, not even the band aid placed on the shot site. I felt a stick and the band aid. Evidently, these “shooters” have learned the trick to a good shot: put the needle in quickly, put the medicine in slowly. 

After our shots, we were sent to a separate waiting area for our group of 15 or so where we waited while being watched for any adverse reactions. I’m not sure how long we waited there, but it seemed like only ten minutes – Rosalie says it was longer. While we were there, several people walked by asking if anyone felt “strange or out of the ordinary”, and since none of us did, we were ready to leave.

As we sat being watched, I noticed that every chair and every desk area any of us used was wipe-disinfected each and every time it was used and vacated by anyone. Even the waiting areas such as ours was wiped as each group of 15 or so was sent home.

When our waiting period was over, we were guided out of the building by another exit to find a line of golfcarts driven by volunteers waiting to drive us to the parking area and our car.

After driving away, we parked in a clothing store parking lot and waited an additional 45 minutes or so just to be sure everything was good. If we were home, or just getting there, it would be a long ride back if such a trip became necessary. Everything was fine!

Well, it is up to you, but nobody can use the excuse that the process was too long, or too confusing, or too inefficient, or the people there were not “nice” – they were happy and helpful, dedicated and competent. We must have spoken to fifteen people at least and everyone was eager to help us and put any of our concerns to rest. As Rosalie said, “There wasn’t a grouch in the bunch.” And we were not among the first to get our shots. We were Numbers 303 and 304 – plenty of time for any bad attitudes to show up.

The Health Department, firefighters, rescue people, cops (city, county, state), National Guard, health professionals and all those fabulous volunteers got together and planned out and then delivered a wonderful experience. This should be the prototype for all future mass inoculations. Each and every one of these people needs to be thanked for such an efficient, seamless, and effective procedure. Here’s mine:

Thank You For The Excellent Way In Which This Procedure Was Planned And Executed! You Should Be Very Proud Of Yourselves. We Are Very Grateful To All Of You For All Your Efforts. Thanks Again!