The sun is shining for a brief moment. It has been a wet July and another long COVID year. So I have set my my sweet little outdoor table in the direct sunlight, filled my big thermal mug with loose leaf earl grey tea, chosen clothes that utilise the powerful heat absorption potentials of a navy and wool. Mmmm I’m cosy and outside (and dry for a change).
I went down to Perth this week to get a vaccine in my arm. I Was standing in a big but weirdly moving line for a Pfizer jab. The opportunity was made available 7 weeks ago, and 5 hours into the opening, the earliest available option I could get was July 22. I booked in at 2:55 but have to be prescreened first at the mass vac centre down near the airport. It is chockers. Not too mush social distancing either. As a human who had been quite happy with this community effort, I find rooms full I’d people a little untasteful to my personal self.
They have a grid of people waiting on chairs.
8 rows 10 columns. And every 5 minutes there is a literal human Mexican wave of people moving forward to the next row.
I prove I am me, and that I’m ok with having this concoction injected into my arm and join the Mexican wave chair hopping dance. Between leap frogging chairs, I have my iPad and Apple Pencil working on an artwork in procreate.
I get to the front of the columns… and I listen to the ushers chatting about the volume of walk-ins wanting to utilise no show appointments. There are a growing number of people showing up each day.
Meanwhile the news reports that wa is the least vaccinated state of all. I feel as if the country I live in going a little bit mad. I’m here because I live with the hope, desire impatience and pain of one day being able to have a cup of tea with my NSW family in person. I’m here because someone has be first(ish). I’m here because I am privileged enough to be able to drive 98 km to get a needle, knowing that plenty in my community will have to wait until the needle comes closer to them.
In goes the needle and it’s back round to the waiting and monitoring bay for 15mins. A nurse asks if I feel fine as I book my next dose. The website tells me there’s one available closer to home sometime in August.
And I leave.
No not sure why I had to be 15 mins early. The needle went in at 3:15 not 2:55. It’s a good 1.5 hour drive home so I get some fuel and head off. Radio tuned to Perth ABC drive.
My boots were on, but I’m missing my hat… and I’m missing the time when news was not filled with news about the virus that will be the one history talks about. But forwards we must March on.