Aisle Of Wit

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May The Fourth Be With Me

What a difference a year and a month make.  Or not.

At the beginning of April 2021, fresh from my Florida vacation and the most crowd-free spring training I’ve ever experienced, I joyfully trucked up to the massive vaccination site in the parking lot of Six Flags Magic Mountain, clad in my crisp new City Edition Miami Heat #13 jersey (that’s on you, KG) and allowed one of the many attendants to capture the monumental moment of my long-sought second shot of Pfizer, thereby “officially” vaulting me to the promised land of the fully vaccinated.  This is what it looked like:

Of course I posted these images on my social media, and why not?  At the time, these celebratory shots of shots were on almost everyone’s timelines, with more smiling through pain being captured than the most recent bondage convention.  I had just discovered in Florida there was still a world where people could see each other’s lips, enjoy life and not die of a virus after all.  We were all looking forward to what newly elected President Biden promised to be the summer of freedom, with the return of indoor dining, loosening mask restrictions, warmer weather and yes, even larger crowds at sporting events.  Life was going to return to normal, we’d hug like it was V-J Day,and of course for me that would mean financial prosperity and solvency.  Maybe even resolution of my other issues?

Sure, I was cautioned of the potential hell the second shot could trigger.  So many people said they go

t far more serious side effects from shot number two–searing pain, swelling, being bedridden.  I didn’t care.  I fought like absolute hell to get shot number one, uniquely falling into a sector that less than six percent of adults fell into–under 65, non-immuno-compromised, living in a zip code considered “low risk”, not employed in an “essential” position.  While others soared to the front of the line, I was constantly being told to “wait”.  I was a classic basket case of vaccine envy.  Finally, I fudged a little information (sue me!) and snuck my way into shot number one.  When I was confronted in the parking lot about my eligibility, I all but chained myself to my steering wheel, reminded that the desire to vaccinate people would often have relieved workers consenting to allow for vaccinations to occur assuming there were doses available.  On this day, my luck was good, and they surreptitiously asked me to drive around back where they jabbed me the first time.

The second shot felt like a coronation.  I got my free laminated card at Office Depot.  In a world where holdouts were being offered free tickets to baseball games, $100 bills or even chances at a luxury vacation, I got a coupon for a free Krispy Kreme.  I paid it forward to the grateful clerk at Office Depot.   I had timed this to overlap with the Final Four, resigned to the potential of being bedridden that weekend as so many predicted.  Well, not only did I have no symptoms, I walked 16 mules successfully.

And now here we are 13 months later, and this morning I’m getting my “recommended” second booster.  The fanfare is almost nonexistant.  Virtually nobody I know brags about these second boosters, let alone their first.  And the stats bear out this indifference.  As of this morning, 50,6% of Californians have received even one booster; in North Carolina, only 26% of people have.  The second booster data isn’t readily available on a quick Google search, which typically means no press release has recently been written bragging about it.  There’s debate even among health officials about how necessary it is for someone like me, who although demographically fitting recommended eligibility I am blessed with the best physical health of my lifetime.  No doctor has urged me to get it.

So why am I getting it, especially when I’ve made it pretty clear how I feel about masks and the forces that continue to fight like dogs to be able to enforce any shred of ability to mandate their use?  Here’s what I do know.  I’ve had three shots.  Except for a very mild ache in my OTHER arm after shot number two, I’ve had ZERO side symptoms.  When I had my first booster in October I even had my flu shot the same day, which also was deemed by “medical experts” as risky.  Again, NO SYMPTOMS AT ALL.

I’m doing it because I made a choice that for me it’s a comfort zone and based on my experience there’s no compelling argument no to.  Frankly, if it can justify my decision to choose to not wear a mask unless absolutely required by law, buoyed by the recency of the protective antibodies minimizing those blasted droplets, it’s worth the momentary pain of the injection.  Doing it for the community?  Sorry, not my speed.  Doing it for the immunocompromised among me that I care about?  Those that fit that category have essentially stayed away from all society for more than two years and have shown little indication they plan on reentering it any time soon, so it’s moot.  Small kids?  Few people I know have them, and again if they do they’re not even playing in the garage like they used to any more–their parents have elected to keep them quarantined from life until further notice.

For me, neither getting or a shot or getting diagnosed is now a newsworthy event.  I’m getting both bemused and frustrated that any time any public figure gets COVID it becomes an automatic headline. So Vice President Harris, Zach Levine and Matthew Broderick got the virus.  Harris was double-boosted, whine, whine, and she’s missing the White House correspondents’ dinner.  Shame.  She probably would have done a great dance number with Trevor Noah.

Heck, even Biden and Fauci essentially shrug their shoulders at this point.  Fauci’s avoiding the dinner too; Joe will show up and not eat.  Smart decision on his part; he can probably eat a lot better quality food at home anyway.

So if you want to celebrate my decision because you think despite my bitching I’m doing the right thing, well, thank you but forgive my indifference.  This shot’s gonna be a lot quieter, the drive’s gonna be a lot shorter and I really don’t expect anything of consequence to occur in the aftermath.  Unlike last year, I don’t expect the world to magically open up, people to start french kissing me and life to go back to normal.  We’re even more divided on this matter than ever.  The CDC, WHO, state agencies and doctors are flailingly trying to repeal judges’ decisions, make sure they’re in every MSNBC news cycle, advertise on virtually every run of station break on local news and sports broadcasts and pushing boosters with the same urgency as they did last year, when I was far more desperate and receptive.  Since I deal in a results-oriented bottom line world, I guess they can consider me a successful mark.  But, honestly, don’t expect me to be your spokesman.

If I somehow get the virus at some point, I’ll be frustrated, but not surprised.  Considering the high wire act many accuse me of living, I’m sure a few cynics will snark silently at my expense.  I might write about it at some point.  But not right away.   Because it’s just not a big deal to me any more.  Nor should it be to you.  But you do you, boo.  Just don’t expect me to eat a Krispy Kreme anytime soon.

Until next time…