In an impressive act of bravery, I recently stood six feet away and, while wearing a bright red face mask that made my nose itch, watched my wife, Sue, get her first coronavirus shot. As I will happily tell Dr. Anthony Fauci when he calls to congratulate me, I didn’t even faint.
Of course, Sue deserves credit, too, because she suffered no ill effects aside from a headache that was probably caused by me. But it was just the first step in my superhuman fight to eradicate the virus. And it won’t end until Sue and I have had both of our shots.
My first one will happen soon, but it was a long time coming because it took weeks for us to get appointments. And they wouldn’t have happened without the help of our daughters, Katie and Lauren, who went online and got us registered.
Our longtime friend Tim Lovelette knows the feeling: His older son, Marshall, got appointments for him and his wife, Jane.
“That’s why God gave us kids - to keep us alive,” Tim said. “Otherwise, we would have been dead long ago.”
Tim and Jane got their first shots in an abandoned Circuit City building on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
“It went smooth as silk,” Tim reported. “And we both feel fine.”
Hank Richert, another longtime friend, had an even better experience: He and his wife, Angela, who live in the Carolinas, have already gotten both of their shots. And they were given, of all places, at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“We made it to the finish line,” Hank joked.
And he didn’t need help from either of his sons to get appointments.
“Our medical group set it up for us,” said Hank, who has a Ford Mustang GT convertible but instead drove his Hyundai Santa Fe to the speedway.
“We actually got to drive on the racetrack,” Hank recalled. “They funneled us into a garage where race cars are serviced. We got to a station, rolled down the window, handed over our paperwork, stuck out our arms and got our shots. That was the first time. I had a shot on a Saturday evening and Angela had hers the next morning. The second time, we got our shots on the same day. It was easy-peasy.”
“Did they wave the checkered flag when you left?” I asked.
“No,” answered Hank, who said he and Angela felt fine after both shots, “but it would have been a nice touch.”
On the morning of Sue’s initial injection, I revved up my Hyundai Santa Fe, an SUV that in this case stood for Shot Utility Vehicle, and drove to Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York.
We pulled up to a spot where a police officer sat in her patrol car.
“My wife has an appointment for a vaccine,” I said, pointing to Sue.
“Hello, wife!” the cop chirped. Then she told me what to do: “Make a U-turn, go to the end of the road, turn right and follow the signs.”
“You’re a cop and you just told me to make a U-turn?” I said incredulously.
“It’s legal,” she assured me. “And you won’t go over a double yellow line, so I can’t give you a ticket.”
When I got to the second spot, another cop told me to follow the road and added, “Watch out for potholes.”
“I bet Hank and Angela didn’t have to do that at the speedway,” I told Sue.
We parked the car and walked into the building where vaccines were being given. About 10 minutes later, we arrived at a station where Sue turned over her paperwork, rolled up her sleeve and got her shot.
“It was easy,” she said afterward. “Everything was well-organized. And I didn’t feel a thing. Next,” she added, “it’s your turn.”
When it is, I’ll know just what to say: “Paging Dr. Fauci!”
Jerry Zezima writes a humor column for Tribune News Service and is the author of five books. Email: JerryZ111@optonline.net. Blog: jerryzezima.blogspot.com.