My sticker sticker.

It practically goes without saying that on the morning when I was to drive a dozen miles northwest and a thousand feet down to get my first shot of Kindly Old Doc Pfizer’s Sho-nuff Genuine Bug Killer, it would be snowing sideways from the northeast at 40 mph, the power would be yo-yoing, and the cul-de-sac would look like the top of a Marie Callender’s coconut cream pie fresh from the freezer.

The wind, the power outage(s), and the cat clued us in at about 2 a.m. that it would be an interesting morning indeed. Ordinarily we’re talking about a 15-minute drive here, most of it in fifth gear. But traffic lights were out all over the place, with transformers on fire, and I had my doubts about whether we would even be getting out of the garage.

But I noticed that two neighbors had laid down tracks in the pie — pardon, the snow — and when I checked various weather cams around town I was all like, “Say what? Are these shots from yesterday?”

Nope. The fabled Albuquerque Snow Hole was in full effect. And so, by the time we slalomed through the whiteout and one pileup (not us) to the corner of Tramway Boulevard and Tramway Road, it was smooth sailing all the way down to the Presbyterian COVID-19 Vaccination Hub. The wind wasn’t even blowing down there, and we were seriously overdressed.

We were also about 40 minutes early, which turned out to be perfect. Seriously, the whole deal took about 45 minutes, including standing in line, passing through various checkpoints, getting the shot, and spending 15 minutes afterward waiting to see whether I’d turn into The Incredible Hulk or just explode in a manky cloud of pink stink.

Everybody involved was cheerful, helpful, prepared, and efficient. It was the finest example of the American Health Care Machine in operation that I’ve seen since … well, since forever. Frankly, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Bravo and chapeau to everyone involved, including Herself, who came along to make sure I did not soil myself (I hate needles, unless I’m the one doing the needling).

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43 Responses to “Stuck”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Good fer you. I get my second jab next week and Meena gets her second shot the week after.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Chapeau to you and Herself!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      She was eyeing me during the 15-minute waiting period, the way a vulture watches a sick coyote. I could see a massive eBay sale in her beady little eyes. Bikes, Macs, back issues of VeloNews and BRAIN. …

      • SAO' Says:

        There’s a joke in there somewhere about giving maybe your Sam Hillborne a code name, so if we see it on eBay we know you’ve been taken hostage.

  3. carl duellman Says:

    i was also amazed at how efficient it was when we got ours. i’m not sure who was in charge, the baptist church where we got jabbed or the catholic hospital that did the jabbing. either way i’m glad they worked well together. and the we got burritos after at the food truck down the way.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      These people were moving some product, lemme tell you. And I was astonished at how pleasant and engaging everyone was. Me, I’da been standing with my back to a wall, throwing syringes at people like they were dartboards. “Gotcha, ya little bastid, now get the hell away from me. Next!”

  4. Libby Says:

    Good! Glad the snow hole was in effect to ease your path!

  5. DownhillBill Says:

    Got my second last Saturday, I think we lucked out being dealt the Pfizer as it has notably fewer side effects. The only one I had was a little soreness of the injected muscle, and that was mostly on the first shot. The last time I was this excited about getting a shot it was morphine in the ER. (Bike crash, of course.)

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Good on ye, mate. It must be nice to have this behind yis. Me, I have never been excited about shots. I took allergy shots for years, in Texas and Colorado, and always hated them. This nurse was a pro sticker, though. I never felt a thing.

  6. debby511 Says:

    Congrats, PO’G. I go in for my second jab (also Pfizer) in two days. Forecast is calling for snow, I’m hoping the driving isn’t too bad.

    Mild reactions to the first one, mainly muscle pain at the injection site. 48 hours later, all normal again. I hope the second jab is equally mild!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Fingers crossed, Debby. I have a little soreness in the arm. It was a tough choice: Do I get it in the right or left arm? I’m right-handed, but I sleep on my left side. Oh, well. At least I didn’t explode.

  7. Stan Thomas Says:

    Getting mine on Saturday (here in jolly ‘ol England). In some ways I feel unworthy. It’s been rather easy to keep myself to myself and avoid the plague. My life’s pretty much unchanged, it’s the world around me that’s been affected. But there’s no mechanism to say give it to this nurse or this teacher so I’ll go stand in line, take my turn and stop being ungrateful.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I felt unworthy as well, Stan. I didn’t really care who they shoved into line ahead of me, because I have minimal contact with other people. There are people out there who have more human interaction in an hour than I do in a month.

      But if all of New Mexico’s vaccination sites are running as smoothly as this one was, well, it won’t be long before they’ve stuck everyone who wants sticking.

  8. Herb from Michigan Says:

    I get the final shot Sunday at a local pharmacy and had no trouble at all with first go around. But my son in law just tested positive and is mildly ill. I read that the current spike is hitting his age group pretty hard. And he’s been locked down working from home for the duration. But he went to pickup an appliance at Best Buy’s which might be his link. That or their so called “safe bubble” leaked. I confess the vision of POG giving shots to people and a few words of snark had me laughing like hell. With a doctors smock no less. Could you whip up a cartoon of this Patrick to cheer us all up?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Here’s hoping the son-in-law bounces back quickly and completely. The nurse who stuck me said she had had The Bug@ and was happy to be back doing the work she loves.

      Cartoon, hey? People still like that sort of thing? I’ll take it under advisement. Thursdays are a leetle busy around the rancheroo. Herself has meetings out the wazoo and I am compelled to wait on her hand and foot.

  9. Stephen Newhall Says:

    Got my first two weeks ago, being an Old Guy Who Gets Fat in The Winter, along with asthma got me into the front of the line. Also amazingly efficient.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Geezer with the asthma here as well, but that didn’t move the needle (haw) in my case. Still, glad we’ve both taken that first hit.

      How are things at the shop? I haven’t checked in with Two Wheel Drive lately but it sounds as though product will remain elusive in 2021.

  10. Pat OBrien Says:

    AZ is now doing everyone over 18. Pfizer is approved to the age of 16. Moderna and J&J approved only to 18 or older, and we are older. Second jab for us on Saturday. I can’t wait. Side effects on first jab with Moderna were slight soreness at injection site. It was gone in 48 hours. I’d rather get a jab from a nurse than from George Foreman!

  11. Dave Watts Says:

    Well congrats, Patrick. One down and one to go. Hope you’re feeling near 100% following. I was out for two days following my second. At least I know they didn’t load the syringe with a placebo. Once you get past the second shot, you might feel somewhat invulnerable, but don’t let your guard down.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Which flavor did you get, Dave? I hear that second step can be a doozy.

      And never fear, I am in no rush to run around in restaurants and hotels with my face hanging out. I have a long and checkered history of overdoing after illness and/or injury and getting ill and/or injured again. And mirable dictu, after 66 years the lesson may finally be sinking in.

      Also, it’s kind of like driving, isn’t it? You’re not necessarily concerned about your skills, preparation, and vigilance — you worry about the other motorists and what they might have been up to before they slipped behind the wheel.

  12. Shawn Says:

    When the wise elder and I went in for our first poke, it was also snowing up here. I love driving in the snow and it was a great time to get out for the vaccine. We had no problems but unfortunately for a number of other elders, the snow conditions were keeping them from making their vaccine appointments.

    Because we live in a smaller town with excellent health care, the set up for our vaccinations was well coordinated. The facility was amazing and the vaccination team was wonderful. Adding in the 15 minute observation period, we were in and out in about 30 minutes. We have nothing to be critical of as to the process and timeliness for our vaccinations.

    Note to Pat and others who may be yet to get their 2nd Moderna shot. I had earlier posted that the wise elder and I didn’t have side effects after the second stick. At that time about 6 hours after the shot with the exception of typical shoulder pain, we didn’t. But later that evening I was hit with a moderate fever and some joint aches. Because I knew it was only the vaccine side effects and would go away in a day or so, it was endurable and by early morning my fever had passed. The wise elder went to bed with no effects but was hit during the middle of the night and was still feeling the effects in the morning. All was well with a single Tylenol for her in the AM and an Ibuprofin for me the evening before. It was nice to have the day after to sit around and rest, although I would have had no problem going out and getting the blood flowing. But you know, it was raining and the bike really didn’t want to go out and get wet.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Glad to hear the side effects were minimal, Shawn. I haven’t had any vaccines in quite a while — I haven’t left the country since 1980 and don’t even have a passport — so this is uncharted territory for me. I hate being sick and am hands down the worst patient in the world. Herself won’t deliver superhero comix and chicken soup to the sickbed the way me sainted ma once did.

      I better lay in some Tylenol. We are woefully short of the basic medicines around here.

  13. John A Levy Says:

    ”””””””””””””””up here in Montana. We mad the same positive experience with the vaccine administration. had a little muscle
    ache for a couple of hours and after the second had day off body aches and joint pain. not bad for the ability to stay out of hospital and the grave. Somebody planned it to perfection. Unlike the swine flu vaccination fiasco of 1977. At Colorado State. you were ordered to report to stude4nt center ballroom at a specific time by the letter of your last name and wait in line till one of 40 vaccinators could m get and get an air gun to your upper arm and pull the trigger. 2 hours time lost and it was a half assed vaccine. I got the flu three days later. Then had to continue working 25 hours a week while going to school with 17hour load. What a charlie foxtrot. All we need now is the get elephinks to get the vaccine. conservative, confused and paranoid makes for petrie dish of disease.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I really was impressed with the drill, and seems like I’m not the only one.

      I don’t remember getting stuck for the swine flu. I graduated from UNC in 1977 and immediately pissed off to Winooski, Vt., for a little downtime before bellyflopping into the sewage lagoon of journalism back in Bibleburg. Down there we got stuck every day, by management. And not in the arm, either.

    • Shawn Says:

      There’s not much worse then fighting off the flu while going to school. Along with your attempts at studying, there’s a lot of fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer and some diff eq going on in the old body. Not to mention the frickin humanities! The one thing that really made it pleasant was hobbling to classes at 35 below. The only good thing was the fever kept you warm.

  14. B Lester Says:

    I got the jab last Friday courtesy of my employer. Daughter’s employer did the same on the same day. We both fared will with the Pfizer edition.

    My smarted half was waiting and decided to take the initiative, as is her habit, and booked one for next Friday the 2nd. Unfortunately it is at the Wisconsin Convention Center in downtown Milwaukee, about 150 mile round trip.

    She just texted me that our local med system e-mailed that she was next up, and she made an appointment for Thursday the 1st at our local hospital, and cancelled Milwaukee. Woo hoo!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Whoo, dodged a bullet there. One of the reasons we left Weirdcliffe was that we got tired of the 150-mile round trip for decent groceries. It was a pretty drive, but still, damn.

  15. Dale Says:

    My wife and I got our first shot of the Moderna about two and and half weeks ago. That was what the county health department had, and they did it very efficiently. We will be returning for the second dance on April 5th.
    I understand that a lot of old white guys (and I am an old white guy) do not want it. God bless them all. They can shuffle off the mortal coil sooner than most of us.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I think Herself is up for the Moderna as well, so we’ll be able to compare vintages and tasting notes. “Hmm, nose of rubbing alcohol, pain in the arm.”

      And yup, I know at least one OWG who says he won’t get the shot, says he doesn’t see the point (no pun intended). I asked if he’d like to have that carved on his tombstone, at his estate’s expense. No reply yet.

  16. SAO' Says:

    My wife got her first shot yesterday, at the FEMA -run drive-thru they set up at the Budweiser Events Center. Somehow she timed logging on perfectly, got the very first appointment on the first day of operation. And the IT folks hooked it up so the second shot was auto-scheduled.

    She was also in and out, door to door, about 45 minutes. Crazy how good it feels when government functions like it says it will on the ads.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That drive-thru setup is the shit, iddn’t it? They should give you a burger and fries as a reward (and a lure).

      My second round hasn’t been scheduled yet.* It would be interesting to get that one somewhere else, do a couple reviews on Yelp.

      *Actually, it has. Just got the notification. Same place. Winning!

    • JD Says:

      I’ve had the pleasure of working with FEMA at several man-made and natural disasters, here in the US and outside the US.

      They are often criticized for the usual disaster concerns: not fast enough; not enough; not long enough. My experiences were that they were incredibly responsive and caring under the most dire circumstances. They have a professional staff, but rely heavily on volunteers who sign up for “vulnerability” periods and have their bags packed so as to “jump to” when activated.

      If one wants a challenge in helping others; seeing firsthand the efforts made; and also the after-the-fact criticism that comes from “no good deed goes unpunished”, then I would encourage you to sign up and/or support them.

      WARNING: When working in those environments, the physical and emotional stress can be extreme.

  17. SAO' Says:

    Side effects may include … all known side effects.

    • SAO' Says:

      If you’re an over-achiever who likes filling out forms:

      V-safe is a smartphone-based tool that checks in on you after your COVID-19 vaccination. Your participation helps keep COVID-19 vaccines safe — for you and for everyone.

      If you got vaccinated in the last 6 weeks, you can participate in v-safe!

      It takes just a few minutes to register and get started. All you need is your smartphone and information about the COVID-19 vaccine you received. This information can be found on your vaccination record card. If you cannot find your card, please contact your healthcare provider.

  18. SAO' Says:

    Don’t forget, right before the jab, you gotta ask, “Will I be able to play the violin after this?”

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hee, and also haw. I’ve used that one before, only I say “Will I be able to play the piano after this?”

      Check-in dude asked me if Herself was there for the shot too, and I sez to him I sez, “Naw, she’s here to catch me when I faint.” I got a foot in height and 70 pounds in weight on her. It’d be like watching Wile E. Coyote catching one of those boulders.

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