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Thursday, April 18, 2024
Ross’ Ramblings: Red carpet treatment for COVID vaccination

I am not going to discuss the many yea's and nays of the all-important and increasingly emotional “vaccine or no vaccine” debate.

Atypically, symptomatically or asymptomatically, I put my life totally in the hands of scientists and health care professionals.

Yes, yes. Vaccine supply shortages. Rollout confusion. Ever-changing messaging. Political posturing. Even the best people don't always get it right the first time. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in 1933, as he outlined his plan to fight the Great Depression, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

I had the vaccine jab last Saturday. Now, I hope to respectfully encourage readers to seize the opportunity to experience a truly wonderful moment in time, an example of something being executed perfectly.

Over the past 12 months, we have heard it all, listening to the experts giving their opinions. The deciding statement for me was last week when a doctor on TV said, “Getting the shot won't 100 per cent stop you from getting sick, but it will guarantee you won't die from COVID-19.”  Good enough for me, eh?

C'mon folks, show love for your family, neighbours, co-workers and fellow ValuMart shoppers by getting the jab.  The good people at Stone Road Pharmacy were able to get me an appointment at the old Copps Coliseum in Hamilton and I was relieved. My son and daughter were very relieved.

I didn't have the brass to ask for a closer location, or even to ask, “Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca.” (Although, Pfizer also makes Viagra.)

Early Saturday morning, I drove to downtown Hamilton and the First Ontario Centre. There was no red carpet on the York Boulevard sidewalk, but there was red carpet treatment inside. Signage was clear and well-placed. It was all so, so organized.

I interacted with about 10 vaccine clinic workers, many of them deployed from the local public health unit. Each and every one was competent, enthusiastic, professionally uniformed, gentle, empathetic, eager to help and focused on the task at hand.  

The process was comforting, fast and there seemed to be a red carpet on the way to my jab desk, #9.

Temporarily deployed, Dr. Monica DeBenedetti from Stoney Creek arrived. I told her the images on TV of the needles being inserted at a 90-degree angle made me nervous. Would it be going right through the bone? She explained it was intramuscular, chuckled at the black “L” I had Sharpied on my left shoulder to help out, then soon said, “That's it. You are good to go.”

I had felt nothing. Nada. Happily underwhelmed, I got up and walked along the imaginary red carpet to the exit.

Driving home along the QEW, I kept thinking, “That was awesome. Did that just happen?”

Side effects? No nausea, no phlegmatism, just a stiff shoulder for a couple of days.

We are so fortunate to live in Canada … in 2021.

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