Level Ground, 52, 53, & 54. Vaccines!
I have been rather busy these days, nor can I really sit still for long. One of the reasons is the beautiful weather which pulls me outside. Today is the first day I have worn shorts this year, and my summer slip-ons. It is neither hot nor cool, just right. The other reason is that my husband got his first shot on Wednesday morning, and I get mine tomorrow morning.
Finally, after two calls to the number of the SERGAS, the Galician health service, we got our appointments. My husband's vaccine was Pfizer, and I assume mine will be, too. That means we have to return around the middle of next month, but I don't care. We will be SAFE from this devil virus.
Of course, safe doesn't mean we won't absolutely get Covid, but it diminshes our chances of suffering a severe bout and possibly dying from it, or getting complications. Unfortunately, to reach the level of immunity that means not avoiding large crowds, the majority of people should get the vaccine. We know of at least three people, possibly four, that have affirmed they're not getting that shot because, "it's experimental, and no one knows what's in it." You've got to love how some folk prefer to do their research reading consipiracy junk instead of scientific journals, or instead of finding out what people who actually know what they're talking about, say is the truth. To all those doubters: smallpox was eliminated thanks to vaccination. The probabilities of dying from smallpox were high, the probabilities of getting scarred to the extent of needing cosmetic surgery, even higher. Give thanks to Edward Jenner and his vaccine discoveries for not being in danger of suffering it. Or many other eventually dangerous diseases.
My husband got his shot at the mausoleum of egos in Santiago, the Cidade da Cultura on Monte Gaiás. We had never been up there, and when we drove off the highway exit that led to it, my worst suspicions were confirmed. A large esplanade where the hilltop had been cut away was filled with strange shaped buildings with no redeeming quality, at least one of which was still under construction. The sun blasted down on the cars searching for a decent spot to park, and on the undulating roofs. In the middle of summer, on one of those scorching afternoons, it must feel like hell is supposed to feel.
There was a continuous movement of cars, both coming in and going out. Searching for a parking space was imperative. In the end, after I had dropped my husband off, I caught a spot the moment it was vacated. Some drivers were testing the patience of the security guard in charge of managing traffic. One pulled his SUV off to a side where he shouldn't, and the guard walked up to his window, waving her arms and beginning, "Pero, vamos a ver, non pode facer eso..." ("Oh, come on, you can't do that..."). Then, she lowered her voice as she berated the driver. People were congregated at a bus stop. Others were walking up to the entrance, while a trickle was dispersing itself through the parking lot. When I got to where the entrance was, I saw that a long line was formed and moving quite quickly. My husband was no longer visible, so I called him. It turned out he joined the quickly moving line, was marshalled inside to a booth, got jabbed, and then was led to a spot where he had to sit and wait twenty minutes to ascertain he had no serious, immediate side effects.
While I waited, the line waxed and waned. As the amount of people grew, two other lines were formed, depending on appointment times. From the back of the building, people were coming in my direction in dribs and drabs. A Red Cross ambulance was available, and waiting. To try their luck, the people coming out had a lottery seller awaiting them, and a guy selling the Mentireiro Verdadeiro, a Galician version of The Old Farmers' Almanac. But neither was doing much business. A group of school children exited a bus that had parked in the spaces for buses, and was being herded over grassy cobblestones to the far end of the esplanade. A couple of tourists asked the ambulance driver where the entrance to the museum was, and he explained that they had to go around to the back. If it hadn't been for the vaccination crowd, the place would have been deserted. There was no one else around that had come to simply visit.
My husband finally came out, and he told me he'd gotten the Pfizer, and would receive an SMS to get his second shot in about twenty-one days. So, by the end of June we should be both covered. His only reaction was a very sore arm the next day, no fever, no chills, nothing else. Hopefully, when I get my shot tomorrow, I won't have a greater reaction than that, either.
Here's to the beginning of the end of this nightmare.