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A (nearly painless) jab for the common good

We entered through the livestock gate — number five. Most people joining us appeared patient as we waited. So far, there was no balking or bolting as several Navy corpsmen ushered us forward into the inevitable.

We had arrived at The Expo drive-thru to receive our first COVID vaccine. I’d come to look fear in the face and strike a blow for common sense. Plus, my daughter had urged me to take care of it, our positions of authority having reversed at some point.

An ally accompanied me. Lane, a fellow hesitant, was my sidekick. Being somewhat of a prized wienie when it comes to vaccines and needles, I sought the most relaxed and nonchalant atmosphere. I mean, what could be simpler than just cruising in Giovanni with some tunes playing, pausing to roll the window down, and offering my left arm for the greater good? My friends all told me they hadn’t felt a thing, and I believed them.

I must say it was well coordinated, and there were far more steers, uh, cars in the queue than expected. We’d made an appointment, but it was unnecessary and made no difference. Everyone is welcome to mosey in during operating hours. They’re serving up the Pfizer vaccine seven days a week — from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and noon to 7 other days. The walk-thru option is at Gate 2 and serves the Moderna flavor on different days and hours. Visit the Jackson County Health & Human Services website for more info.

We were encouraged to see many fellow wienies, I mean, fellow humans taking advantage of this option. We sat making wisecracks about being cattle waiting to be branded and took a couple selfies. I had my ice bag handy in case the woosies made a play for my consciousness.

At last, the wait was over. It was my turn to help in the process of returning life to normal, as normal as life gets, anyway. I lifted my sleeve and produced my target flesh while looking at Lane. To be honest, I felt the shot. So, when you get yours, don’t feel bad if it stings a little more than expected. It was over quickly, and I grabbed the ice bag, though it wasn’t needed.

Lane got his in his right arm since he’s a lefty, and we knew to expect sore arms. Lane felt nearly nothing — figures. I think it has something to do with muscle mass.

We exited the barn feeling frisky and relieved, then sat for the 15 minutes listening to oldies and being observed for any immediate adverse reaction, which is extremely rare. Aside from not sleeping well the night before, I was on cloud 19 and feeling triumphant. We stampeded for lunch and a glass of wine to celebrate.

Later that evening, my arm became quite sore, while, once again, Lane experienced nothing. Some people are just born martyrs. I took a couple aspirin, which took care of it, no big deal. One more aspirin before bed, and I slept like a protected baby. By morning, I hardly knew I’d had a shot, and by morning two, I was a new woman ready for the week-long planned coastal vacation.

So, I write this from the beautiful Oregon Coast. I don’t think there’s any more spectacular drive than springtime along Highway 138 out of Sutherlin toward Elkton. Do yourselves a favor and make this trek soon. We definitely live in one gorgeous and diverse state, and we’re heading toward a healthier tomorrow.

Today we went beachcombing again along a stretch that butts up against a steep cliff. With an eye to the waves rolling up, Lane provided a metaphor for our present times. He stood facing them and asked, “Are you coming in or going out? Make up your mind!” So, we wait again for the tide to recede.

Get vaccinated and reward yourself. You’ll feel better knowing you’ve done something good for yourself and the neighbors. Plus, you’ll earn gloating rights.

Peggy Dover is a freelance writer/author. Reach her at pcdover@hotmail.com.