I’ve been shot! And here’s how.
I climbed into my car a few weeks ago. On a Saturday afternoon. With my mask and hand sanitizer. Because of a pandemic.
I drove east. Out of State College. Into rolling hills. Semi-trucks to my left. Semi-trucks to my right. Sheetz gas stations as far as they eye could see. Because of Pennsylvania. And I drove. And drove.
I listened to the Gleeman and the Geek podcast. Because I’m from Minnesota. And I like keeping up with the Twins. Did you know the Twins signed J.A. Happ? And Andrelton Simmons? Well, now you do. Not sure those moves will get us back to the World Series. But who knows? It’s been 30 years since Jack Morris pitched 10 innings in game 7. That’s a long time.
Anyway, about getting shot.
I drove for a little less than an hour before I came upon Lewiston. A hamlet in the Pennsylvania hills. And I don’t mean the play. I’m not going to reference Hamlet this week. At least I don’t think I will.
I followed the exits for the hospital. My car came to rest in a parking lot. I didn’t pay for parking because I was in rural Pennsylvania and nobody pays for parking out here. I walked across the street. Followed the signs. Entered a waiting room. There were 50 people. All of them in masks. It was the most people I’ve been around in months. I was anxious. And that’s when it happened. I followed a nurse with a clipboard.
And she shot me.
The first dose of the Moderna vaccine is coursing through my veins. Stimulating my immune system. Doing whatever it is that vaccines do. I didn’t pay attention in 9th grade Biology. My understanding of anatomy is limited.
I waited for 15 minutes after getting shot. The fine people at the Lewiston hospital monitored me. Then they told me to be on my way. I drove west through the hills of central Pennsylvania. Learned more about J.A. Happ’s velocity. Picked up KFC for my family.
Do you know that I haven’t eaten KFC in over thirty years? Probably since the Twins last won the world series. I don’t know what came over me. I stopped in the drive thru on the way home. It might have been the vaccine causing me to act erratic. There’s certainly nothing consistent about me visiting the colonel and his chicken.
Anyway. I got home. Spent the next day in bed. A little tired. A little sick. My immune system did whatever it is that vaccines make immune systems do. Stimulating it and whatnot. I watched the NFL playoffs. I napped. I let the shot do its thing.
I’m scheduled to drive back to Lewiston in February. To get shot again. With the second dose of the Moderna vaccine. I’m told the symptoms that accompany the second round are a doozy. We shall see. I’d take those symptoms over the novel coronavirus, that’s for sure. But again. I’m not a Biologist. Just a simple man who has, in fact, been shot.
It feels strange that I’m getting vaccinated. Especially as I know of folks who are older than me that are still unable to get access to the shot. People more at risk.
A friend of mine who is younger than me scheduled his shot around the same time I did. That’s how I learned I could sign up. I logged into my healthcare provider’s portal. Clicked a few buttons and, suddenly, I had an appointment in Lewiston. My friends who are doctors and nurses assured me that I should get the vaccine if I’m able. Educators in Pennsylvania are eligible. So that’s me, I guess. The roll out is so confused. Disorganized. My wife Katie hasn’t been able to schedule hers yet. And our boys, of course, are too young. But, as the old person in our family, I suppose it doesn’t hurt to get the vaccine. You know. So that I can grocery shop for us with ease.
So I got the first dose of the vaccine. Will we grow fourth heads or fifth arms? Maybe, friend. But maybe not. Maybe our immune system will just be stimulated. And maybe, just maybe, we can begin to move past this Covid season. Lord knows I’m ready for that. I bet you are too.
So that’s how I got shot.