Lifesaving vaccine and free swag? Score!

Kathy Hedberg

At this point, if the government asked me to strip down to my skivvies and run down Main Street in 10 degree below zero weather, I would do it, just to get this dang COVID-19 thing over with.

I didn’t think the request to wear masks was such a big deal. But a lot of people refused to comply for one reason or another — some loonier than others. I think many people just thought this virus would go away on its own. It hasn’t, of course, and the effect of this disease has bitten us all in the rear end, whether we’ve been sick or not. I’m thinking maybe now even some of the mask-deniers might join me on a sprint down Main Street in our underwear.

Fortunately, however, the government is not asking us to do that. Instead it is offering us free vaccines that have been developed at the speed of light. That makes some people fear that the shots are suspect. I believe it’s the result of raising smart kids who aren’t afraid of trying new things and are capable of achievements old folks like me would never have dreamed possible a few short years ago.

Despite our oldness and our crotchety ways, it was the old folks like me who gathered at the old Prairie Elementary School gymnasium in Cottonwood the other day to receive our first Pfizer vaccination.

I was so excited I hardly slept the night before. Got up early, made a strong cup of coffee, ate my toast, showered, got dressed and was all ready and set to go. It was 6 a.m. I had to wait a few hours.

The vaccination site was crowded. I haven’t seen this many people on the Prairie clustered together in the middle of winter when there wasn’t beer involved. A very nice young man met me at my car and held out his arm, walking me across the icy parking lot and into the gym, where several Idaho National Guard soldiers were checking people in. So efficient, so polite these young people. I’ve had several family members in the military, past and present, so I’m partial to these young folks. In fact, I felt a lump in my throat as they escorted me through the line and helped me fill out forms. I just wanted to hug them and say: “Aunt Kathy’s proud of you.”

The shot itself was uneventful. I’ve been hurt worse stubbing my toe on the piano stool. But the attendant directed me to a folding chair on the far side of the gym and told me to sit there for 15 minutes to make sure I didn’t die or have some other adverse reaction.

It gave me time to study the papers they give you advising of the possible side effects and what is known — so far — about the success of the vaccine. As I said, I’d run through the streets nearly naked if it could protect us all from COVID-19, so a sore arm or a headache are a teensy-weensy price to pay for that protection.

Just so you know, I did survive that whole day after my vaccine. I drank another cup of coffee when I got home and went for a long walk. The only side effect was euphoria, knowing I had finally been able to do something proactive to help kick back a virus that has kept the whole world in a vise for more than a year.

My advice: Get the damned vaccine. Otherwise, you might be testing out your underwear on a cold winter day running down Main Street.

Hedberg may be contacted at kathyhedberg@gmail.com or (208) 983-2326.