Friday, March 19, 2021

Yup, got myself vaccinated, but won’t say how

      Yes, I got my first COVID vaccination on Monday. And no, I’m not going to tell you how it happened. In a manner embarrassing enough that I decided to never share the specifics. I didn’t lie. I didn’t body-check anybody out of line. Let’s leave it at that.
     The moment I made this uncharacteristic decision — discreet silence not being my forte — my immediate qualm was, “So what do I say if people ask?”
     And the fully-formed thought instantly flashing into mind was:
     “I’ll just say I got vaccinated at the synagogue with everybody else, in late 2019, just before the virus was released.”
     That’s a joke. I make jokes. It’s a twitch, a reflex, to cover unease at getting the life-saving shot that 88% of Illinoisans haven’t gotten yet. Is a good joke? Well, it plays on the psycho conspiracy theories that millions of Americans lap up like kittens around a dish of cream. Certainly not as wild as Secret Jewish Space Lasers.
     Is it a bad joke? Hateful? Anti-Semitic? Something that will lodge in the head of a nut? My gut says the Jews-to-the-front-of-the-line joke is not one whose unacceptability will only become clear to me after I’m flayed alive on social media. Yes, claiming that prejudice is mere humor is the traditional way haters dive for cover when called out on their bigotry. But jokes also have value, as a way for the targets of prejudice to process the contempt directed at them, making bigotry easier to live with, since it’s obviously never going away. Someone designed a “Secret Jewish Space Laser Corps” pin, and I thought of buying one, then decided people might think it was real, and that could be awkward.
     OK, OK. The vaccine. I have to tell you. So I volunteered to chauffeur a couple to Springfield to get their shots, because the woman can’t drive and the man shouldn’t, and I’m the nicest person ever. To Springfield, because many folks down there are numbed to the COVID peril by the barge of BS delivered nightly on Fox News, and so are uninterested in getting vaccinated. “It’s a gubment plot!”

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  1. After decades in the Chicago area, I now live downstate, across the river from St Louis. I love it. Much of the culture of Chicago, without the traffic, the parking madness, the expense. I miss the lake but outdoor activities abound.

    The downside? Far too many people down here buy the big lies of Trump and Limbaugh and Fox. Those lies used to be about politics - now their lies can literally kill you. If I live to be a thousand I will never understand why these madmen lie - and why chumps buy those lies.

    I got the vaccine, choosing from 5 total opportunities I sought out. Just yesterday I got a call from Walgreens, pursuing me in the hopes I would come in for a vaccine. They obviously have more vaccine than clients. Perversely, I'm turning opportunities down.

    Compare that to much of urban America and the rest of the world, where getting a vaccine is like winning the lottery - the lottery of life.

    The GOP and it's enablers have quite literally lost their minds - offered a life saving potion and rejecting it because they are too brainwashed to save themselves. Historians won't have the final word on this era. Psychologists will.

  2. Where can I find one of those "Mazel Tough" pins? I like it! It would go well with the "Yid Army" sweatshirt my wife gave me.

    For those not in the know, that's what fans of North London's Tottenham Hotspurs, a pro soccer team, call themselves. Similar to the way Green Bay fans call themselves Cheeseheads.

    At one time, the team's fanbase was heavily Jewish, and opposing fans made many ethnic slurs at the games...and still do. They even make hissing sounds, which supposedly means "Gas the Jews!" (British soccer fans can become quite Naz-ty--they sometimes kill one another).

    So what did the Spurs fans do? They simply threw all that snark right back in the smirking faces of their detractors, and began calling themselves Yids. Very much the way Blacks in America began using the n-word. The "Mazel Tough" pin would be a perfect fashion accessory on my new merch.

    I have not yet worn my new Yids sweatshirt in public. I don't think it will get quite the same reception over here. But it's orange, so maybe I can wear something Browns-related over the enormous Star of David and the Y-word during football season. Which, for Cleveland die-hards, is all year long.


    2. When I was the star of loud foul balls on a 12-inch softball team playing in a league of Navy bases in San Diego in 1963, we wanted to call ourselves the FWTC (pronounced Fautsee) Finks and the powers-that-be forbade it -- might offend someone named Fink (I much later met a lawyer called Fink, who was and I suppose remains a nonfinkish person and didn't seem the type to be easily offended). We won the championship by the way, even though the cleanup hitter, me, had only one hit all season, that a triple on which I hurt my back (which still bothers me from time to time) sliding into third.


    3. Thanks muchly, Mister S, for the fast reply. The pins are 1.6 inches wide, cost fifteen bucks, and half of the profits from this product will be donated to candidates and organizations working to defeat QAnon supporters running for Congress.

  3. After reading an article in the NYT siting some anecdotal evidence that some coevid long haulers are experiencing a diminishment of symptoms after receiving the vaccine I'm feeling much more of the frenzied desire to get one.

    I'd thought the lethargy and brain fog would finish over time and was content to patiently wait my turn. But my symptoms have worsened over the last two weeks with weakness and pain speeding from the bottom half of my body to my shoulders and arms.

    Hope to find an opportunity to get the jab soon and see if I feel any better. Feeling likthis sucks

    Anybody hestant , resistant or waiting patiently. Get the jab if the opportunity presents itself. You don't want to get this virus. It sucks.

    I'm jealous of your good fortune.

    1. I'm inclined to believe any chance to evade a virus of any kind is worth taking. Some years ago I was hauled into hospital and diagnosed with congestive heart disease, a debilitating condition held somewhat at bay by a daily regimen of pricey pills that will probably eventually do me in. I asked my cardiologist what had caused it and he said "almost certainly a virus."


  4. I guess I understand the rationale, but almost all Jewish humor seems based on hurtful stereotypes, which means that I, as a backslid Presbyterian, can't repeat the many jokes I've heard from Jews without being considered anti-Semitic. (The only near joke I know about Presbyterians refers to the ultra conservative Scottish 'Auld Kirk, which supposedly proscribes intercourse standing up by married couples because it may lead to dancing.)

    Anyway, although questionable as your grounds for qualifying for the shots may be, I can't criticize you for seizing the opportunity. More than worth enduring the tedious drives to and from the state capital.


  5. You have to stay in control. We’ll be looking for indications that Bill Gates is now controlling your mind.

    1. One reliable indicator of being under the influence of Bill Gates and his Windows nano-bots is that after being up and about for several hours each day, I become so distracted and confused that my productivity slows to zero until I have a good nap to reboot. One hour later, I'm good to go.

      Wait a minute, I haven't HAD a vaccination yet...

  6. "You don't want to get this virus. It sucks."

    Damn betcha it does...
    It cost both me and my wife nearly the whole month of February.

  7. People should take advantage of whatever options they have, in my view, and this column makes me wonder how many doses are going to waste in places where folks decline the opportunity to get the vaccine. Much better in your arm than in the trash, for sure.

    On the other hand... I won't belabor the point but still, given how popular this post (from only 2 weeks ago!) seemed to be with the Commentariat, I do marvel at how it compares to today's column.

  8. You’re hilarious. Thank you. I’m happy you got the vaccine. Life is better, the more of us who have it.


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