The Cosmos Giveth...the Cosmos Taketh Away...
No buried ledes tonight. I got my first Pfizer vaxx today. I'm relieved and grateful. I understand vaccine hesitancy, and I think we could all use an added dose of empathy and humility when it comes to people's decisions about the vaccines one way or another.
I'll try to practice what I preach. I'm not a scientist. I've worked in several career fields - consulting, IT, and foreign policy. None of them involved science. Well, there's that political science asterisk. (Not trying to dis political scientists, I just think a different term could be used.) I excelled at quickly reaching that plateau of yea, put Scott on that, he's not a terrible option. I was an awesome not terrible option.
I decided that I trusted the testimonials, the benefits outweighed the possible risks, and given that everyone I know and care about was opting for the vaxx, I'd rather be a zombie with them than going through The Road without them. (My version of The Road would have been a micro-short film...the trailers would roll, the intro music would play, there'd be a Monty Python Aaaaarrrrgghhhhh, and the credits would come up. I hope you didn't buy the mega popcorn unless you're willing to take it home...and if you bought Red Vines over Twizzlers, this zombie is hunting you down for poor life choices.)
But I understand vaxx hesitancy. I know people who have and will roll their eyes at that statement.
Europe and America have both paused parts of their vaccine roll outs with AZ and J&J. I think they'll start again, and I'd have happily taken either, but if we get back to humility, that should be enough for anyone to allow for some empathy or understanding for people who are hesitant about taking a vaccine that has not been FDA-approved and has sped through the system. If an approval that has been touted as the gold standard for a long time is waived, it seems reasonable that some people would view that with some trepidation. We should be able to simultaneously believe that the speedy process was warranted and to also allow for people being unnerved by the speediest process ever during a global pandemic.
I hope that the data continues to support the administering of vaccines. My guess is that half on, half off doesn't really benefit us. I hope we all end up being happy and healthy regardless of how we choose. I hope I don't turn into a zombie, because the thought of eating brainzzzzz makes my head turn. At least make me a fast zombie. One of my notions of hell is being stuck behind legions of slow walkers. (We all walk at different speeds, for a host of legitimate reasons. I'm talking about the three people ambling along with three dogs, taking up the entire sidewalk without a care in the world, and discussing the horrors of their Monday morning Zoom calls.)
Enough of the vaccine theory. I got mine, and I'm relieved. I got it one day before Vax Day for everyone in Washington. I can rationalize with the best of them, but I'm going to explain why I won't be losing any sleep over getting it one day before Vax Day. I wanted to get it at the Yakima FEMA vaxx site* run by the National Guard. I wanted to see the site, document it, and thank the workers for mobilizing against this threat. Yea yea, I know, sounds cheesy, but I was in the army and wanted to get the shot there. I went online on 13 April late in the afternoon and checked for appointments. There were a lot of appointments. I concluded that me waiting until 15 April wouldn't amount to a hill of beans. I think my photos support* that.
Massive, impressive operation. I rolled right in. The process took about 30 minutes. I wasn't timing it, really, but it was a lot of slow driving, a few quick conversations at checkpoints, a jab, and then a 15-minute anyone turning into a zombie? cool-down.
I am so glad I drove out there. It was inspiring to see the young men and women in uniform and the local volunteers run that site with professionalism and courtesy. I am just going to get cheesier here - they all honored their uniforms, military and volunteer. I have completely soured on our elected officials and senior officers, but my criticisms don't apply to the rank and file. E-5s and E-4s tackling a pandemic without breaking a sweat. Cool.
I assumed that's what I'd see, and I wanted to document some of that. But it's a well-oiled machine. Wild cards don't work well. You can't just have someone show up and call an audible. If I want to document it, and I do, the right way to go about it is sending an email to the NG unit.
I walked around Yakima a bit before I hit the road home. I like Yakima. You can like a place and recognize that it's probably not a good fit. If I tried to force it, it wouldn't be a bad fit, not at all.
I opted for 12 for the road home. A good decision / bad decision. I took the first exit on 12 for some coffee at Starbucks. That falls in the good decison category. Masks and my hearing, I don't have this verbatim, but I loved the exchange.
I'll have a black coffee and the mozzarrella and tomato sandwich.
Great. Can I get your name?
Scott, just run your card and we'll have that out to you.
Hmm, the chip's not working.
Well, Scott, we'll get it working, and I'll be here until it does.
Scott, it's been messing with us all day, it sure has. Try the swipe, Scott.
In the past year, I haven't heard my name said in conversation very many times. It was nice, not frivolous, not forced, and very much appreciated. I was on the uphill portion of the slope, and it continued.
What goes up must come down. And it came down fast. Somewhere along 12 I broke the law. No ifs ands or buts about it. I was speeding, by a lot. In general, I'm not a speeder. Aside from the rally racer Impreza drivers, most Subaru drivers are not speeders. I'm not a saint. 85.376% of the time I'm in the +/- 5mph field.
Some really bad timing. A truck slowed in front of me to turn left. I slowed, a lot. A truck was getting a lot bigger fast in my rear-view mirror. The truck in front of me turned left, I gunned it (as much as one can gun a 2014 Subaru Outback), and it felt good. Really good. I had the music on, I was on a back roads straightaway near Mt. Rainier, and I was in heaven.
Then the lights flashed on in front of me.
Originally I wrote about the encounter with the sheriff, which was positive, aside from the fine. I tried to write about one criticism, but I missed the mark. I'm not a great writer. So I've just deleted it.