The Chair is eligible for a COVID vaccine and, after many, many, many MANY tries, finally got an appointment for the first shot on Monday. This is no small thing for someone who lives in Los Angeles, the national epicenter for COVID infection during the month of January.
There are good things and bad things about being eligible right now to get the shot.
1. Bad: You are, for the most part, in a very high-risk group of getting infected and perhaps dying from the disease.
2. Good: There IS a vaccine and, with any luck, soon everyone will get one. So in essence, it’s all good.
But LUCK is the key word.
Another is PRIVILEGE.
Still another is comedy of errors, if one can find humor in such things.
And if one were REALLY cynical (Note: And at this point, who isn’t?) one might also add key words and phrases like:
- Herculean, near impossible, challenge
- Severe disorganization
- Sheer, near criminal, incompetence of the prior Administration, or
- Sheer, purposeful and actual criminal indifference (Note: And perhaps willing passive genocide of the masses) by the prior Administration in order to open up the economy (Note: Admittedly a hair-brained scheme and one that didn’t work) in order to remain in power
Still, I digress.
It is not lost on anyone sane (Note: which eliminates at least two newly elected U.S. congresswomen) that after less than two weeks of a Biden-Harris Administration there is now a national vaccination plan by the federal government and a seemingly miraculous surge of shots in arms. (#MiracleORMedicine?)
That is, if you can figure out how to get one in a nation of 328 million people.
This is where luck AND ingenuity comes in.
It might be strangely reassuring to some that many wealthy, privileged and even famous people are having as much trouble booking an appointment at this point as the next guy or gal.
Except Cher. I’m sure Cher has gotten one. And frankly, she deserves it for making it this far.
Though on second thought, I doubt even COVID would have had a chance of stopping either her or, say, Keith Richards. Nevertheless, pandemic past as prologue best not to tempt fate.
Which brings us back to ingenuity and luck, something those two know something about.
(Note: Those are random names that came to mind. Please feel free to substitute anyone you know OR don’t know but have feelings about, even yourself).
Among the people I know in my COVID vaccine eligible group, which is many, I’m one of the last, if not THE last, to procure an appointment.
I registered at the county site, emailed doctors, stayed in touch with a hospital I’ve had other shots and procedures at, scoured social media and even begged friends to give me their secret.
No appointments, no openings in your area…
Well, at one point there was something at a sketchy clinic I never heard of in an area I was unfamiliar with. And after living in L.A. for almost four decades, that’s really saying something. But even there, I was told I could get one shot but for the second I was on my own.
That means the clock would start ticking every day for 21 days after getting that first injection and the Hunger Games shoot for the next vaccine would start all over again.
I figured the stress of that could do me in sooner than COVID given my personality type so I decided, um, no. Thank you, next.
Then two people in a row I knew booked, then another, then three more.
Chair, I told you to type in the place I just signed up at. They HAVE appointments!!!
No, they f-n don,’t, I replied. It says, no appointments are available, check back later. I’m not an idiot!
Nor am I lucky. OR ingenious. That’s even less debatable than the Jewish Space Laser aimed at California that caused the wildfires several months ago.
Meanwhile, parents of acquaintances, Facebook friends of friends I didn’t know who lived nearby, even some people I heard about who weren’t sure they wanted a shot to begin with but just figured, ah the heck with it, , I guess if they’re offering, were posting photos with their names, first vaccine date verified, and second appointment confirmed, everywhere I looked.
Meanwhile, I have now not used my car in two weeks, a near impossible feat in a town in the City of Dreams. Or, well, former dreams.
Though, where would I be going anyway during this surge upon a surge where no one of my age or medical condition can drive or walk down the street without someone shaking their head in pity.
But here’s the good news. Again. I wasn’t sick. Or dead. Yet.
But nor was I as smart as I thought I was. Perhaps I was no longer smart AT ALL. And NEVER WAS.
What I can say I’ve always been is determined and relentless. Meaning in a new burst of energy, I was now checking the county and hospital websites at least five times a day (Note: Okay, maybe six or eight), I was even getting more positive thinking. I KNEW I’d get that little sucker of an appointment soon. It was just a matter of perseverance. Hell, I’d eked out a Hollywood writing career by mostly not giving up. This would be a piece of cake compared to that.
Or so I told myself.
Which is why this week I almost lost it. After checking the online site that very morning I drove (Note: Finally!) to a medical appointment with my urologist (Note: Over share, I know) and while I was in the exam room waiting for my doctor, I got a text from a close friend saying she had LITERALLY JUST REGISTERED for a shot at THIS PLACE and to DO IT NOW!
Well, I had already given my sample, so I figured, oh, who cares, if a nurse comes in wanting something else they’ll understand. I start typing on my phone but you know about Internet signals in medical buildings, right?
But why had I just received my friend’s text and now couldn’t….
Oh, screw this sideways and backwards. And this time I mean it.
I put my phone away, swearing I’d now NEVER get the vaccine, out of spite.
Of course, that didn’t happen because as soon as you give up on something a door opens (Note: Especially when you don’t care anymore. I should have remembered this from all the bad relationships I had in my twenties). This weekend my sister texted me that a guy posted on Twitter that CSUN (California State University at Northridge) had just opened a number of appointments.
I type in my zip code. Nothing. Then I thought to type in the Northridge zip code. Something.
Well hello Chair, choose your date and time!! Pfizer or Moderna?
All this is to say, it’s not you. It’s THEM. And no, it shouldn’t have to be this hard.
Until then my best advice is this:
Fight every battle like you’re Cicely Tyson in the sixties and seventies.
She was a goddess. I had to.
RIP MS. TYSON (1924-2021)