It was over in a second.
Well, OK, the shot itself took a second but it actually took 90 minutes from registration to release but I did get my first COVID shot Monday.
I was among the 418 that day that took advantage of the Sikhs for Humanity arranging for a large scale vaccination clinic in the parking lot of their Manteca temple on Woodward Avenue just east of Airport Way.
The vaccination clinic is there today through Friday. There are limited walk-ins. Your best bet is to go the SJReady.org website and register there.
As you check in the day of your vaccination they book you for the second shot the week of May 3.
I was originally going to wait a while to make sure those more vulnerable were able to get shots even though I turned 65 last month. To be honest I’m being cautious like most people but I really don’t have an anxiety level about COVID-19 like more than a few people do.
When I checked the SJReady site on Saturday morning and saw they had a significant amount of openings on Monday I figured I should just get it out of the way.
The fact I’m a white male that doesn’t belong to the “right” political party commentators have been going overdrive trying to paint me as anti-vaccine. They point to polls done by the same people who missed the mark on the 2016 election by a country mile as proof positive that — in their vernacular — Republican males don’t care.
Oh, I almost forget. Because I’m also in a rural region like the San Joaquin Valley I’m the trifecta for anti-vaxxer candidacy. This is why more than a few self-righteous blogging posts and websites based in the Bay Area urge those unable to snag a shot for a vaccine where they live to lie about their residence and say they live on this side of the Altamont Pass and book an appointment at vaccination sites that are specific to the county you reside.
As one blogger put it, “if those Neanderthal hicks are too stupid to take advantage of shots then you should get them and not let them go to waste.”
Nothing like a sense of wealth and assumed geographic superiority to justify “crashing” vaccination clinics designed for specific counties.
San Joaquin County — just like other counties as you go down the valley — is struggling to reach critical communities of people. Some define them as underserved. Others define them as the working poor.
The task for valley counties in general to reach those population segments is much more difficult than in urban areas.
The reasons run the gamut from Internet access, transportation issues, and lack of healthcare access to the fact even the working poorer have to commute long distances here in the valley.
The biggest challenge for the valley might be the severe shortage of medical professionals based on per capita. You might say that makes no sense as anyone can access vaccination clinics. But if you usually don’t routinely access healthcare because the system is overwhelmed by being understaffed, it creates another wall to scale to get people vaccinated,
Sikhs for Humanity are working at perhaps securing a Saturday and Sunday vaccination clinic to reach commuters who leave Manteca and other communities in San Joaquin County before the crack of dawn and don’t return home until the late afternoon or early evening. That makes accessing a 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekday vaccination clinic a bit if a challenge.
No vaccine should go to waste. But if vaccine carpetbaggers lie about their residence flood registration as it becomes available, it quickly reduces time slot options for those in this county that may have to juggle child care or need to arrange it around work.
Starting Thursday the gates will open in San Joaquin County. Everyone 16 and older will be able to get a shot. There will be people who for a variety of good reasons won’t get the shot, and by that I’m not referring to anti-vaxxers.
I’m willing to bet the incessant drum beat of social media and the need for the “media” — electronic, print, and Internet-based — to dwell on and magnify “bad news” or news that irks people in order to get viewers, readers, or clicks have given the anti-vaxxers a monstrous bully pulpit that is way out of whack with their true numbers.
The non-stop amplification makes people feel justified in taking pot shots against catgeories of individuals they can essentially taunt and label as anti-science. If the goal of those that are mortified by the anti-vaxxer movement is to get those who appear hesitant to get shots it’s a bizarre strategy to belittle and ridicule them.
I’ll be honest. I didn’t feel the needle stick at all. A lot of it has to do with 340 plus times and counting spending a couple hours every two weeks with needles in both arms for platelet donations. But I’ve seen people who pass out and get extremely ill when they even see a needle. If you are fortunate to be stronger when it comes to needles, get the shot for them.
Then there are people who have underlying conditions that can make getting a vaccine risky for them. If you’re blessed with good health, get the shot for them.
If you are worried about side effects and understand the extreme vast overwhelming ones people will get are harmless, consider this: I felt a bit lousy on Tuesday. It may have been a shot, it could have been a 4-inch gash I got on my forehead Sunday, or some food I ate Monday that disagreed with me. It might be a combination of all three.
If that is enough to stop you from getting a vaccination because you are blessed with DNA, rarely get sick, and are fairly convinced that your odds of getting COVID are extremely low, then don’t think about your personal mortality or health which may indeed not be on the line.
Thinks of helping make sure the death count of neighbors, family, friends or others in the community does not keep going up and up. There have been 108 Manteca residents so have died either directly from COVID-19 or complications the disease has created with other issues they were dealing with since the pandemic started.
Get the shot for those who may not win the health lottery and get seriously ill with long haul after effects or die from COVID-19.
Also keep wearing face masks where common sense as opposed to the government tells you to. In all honesty if you think about it they are one in the same. If you doubt that how else do you think we have had one of the lowest flu seasons on record in terms of death and people getting sick?
This is about finding a comfort level with COVID carnage so we can return to some sense of normalcy which benefits everyone. It is also about helping protect the vulnerable and those that are on the losing end of the coronavirus’ roll of the dice.
Get the shot for them.
This column is the opinion of editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of The Bulletin or 209 Multimedia. He can be reached at email@example.com