Thursday, February 11, 2021



            Most of America, it seems, is waiting for a Covid19 vaccination. Some of the far-too-many pandemic-watch sites I follow give details of the lengths to which people are going, often unsuccessfully, to get an appointment. Or, in some cases, a shot without an appointment or an appointment without a shot. Or maybe a phone call to someone who tells you there are no appointments available.

            Kim and I were waiting in two lines. A couple of months ago, after sniffing around the internet, I found a site where we could “pre-register” at the Northwest Michigan Health Department. I typed in our information, and then called the phone number, got through right away, and duplicated the pre-registration in case I had screwed up what I did online. After a couple of weeks went by, our friend Alice told us that Munson Healthcare in Traverse City was giving out vaccinations to patients in their system. I phoned, got through after four or five attempts, and was told to check their website. I did so, and learned that they were giving vaccinations to those over the age of 86. A week later, the age was down to 83. A week later, 80. We figured we were next. Nope. The next update said there were no new appointments because of limited supplies. It sounded like we were in for months of semi-quarantine, easily done because most of our neighbors are gone and we have a new freezer.


            We tried a version of dumpster diving by going to one of the NW Health Clinics to see if they had any, you know, extra doses lying around going to waste. We managed to get into the building but could not find any people there. They may have been hiding.


            Two days after the Munson update, we received a phone call from Northwest Michigan Health. Could we make it to an appointment two days from now? I think I said yes before she finished asking the question.


            Our mood instantly shifted from stoic patience to something like euphoria – or as close to euphoria as we can get at our age and comfort level. The nearest I felt to that feeling was on January 20 – Inauguration Day. Or maybe eating Kim’s chocolate mousse – a Valentine’s tradition.


            Getting the vaccination itself, in the small town of Alden (population 125), was effortless, with a combination of healthcare workers, police, and volunteers funneling people from the parking lot to the check-in desks to the nurses who administered the shots. We thanked them profusely and then back to our car where we waited fifteen minutes.


            No side effects other than lingering euphoria. We signed up for a daily follow-up survey as to how we were doing. Kim’s was a bit difficult as she has chronic pain and fatigue, so at first she checked off “none” as she was measuring from her baseline daily condition. After a few days she figured some of her pain and fatigue were a bit worse, perhaps as a side effect of the vaccine. I remain annoyingly healthy.


            We are counting the days until our second shots. Actually, I am counting the days. Kim is too busy photographing birds in the snow, making my valentine, cooking my dinners, doing laundry, baking cookies, dusting, doing “spring cleaning” of the kitchen shelves, showing me (again) how to make a bed, and connecting with friends and family on the phone. I’m not convinced that her fatigue is related to the vaccination. 


  1. Congrats! Your persistence paid off. It shouldn’t be that difficult to get a vaccine. Think of all the folks who don’t have computers/internet or can’t make all those phone calls/visits. Hoping to get a vaccine by Jan 2022. On 4 waiting lists now.

  2. UF Health was great. They notified us through MyChart to make an appt. I just had my second yesterday!