The week of Feb. 1, 2021, began on a positive note for my sweetie, Kathy, and me. Kathy had a scheduled first covid vaccination at Region's Hospital in St. Paul, MN. This was through our healthcare provider, Health Partners. The process was slick and she was in and out within 45 minutes (30 minutes of which she had to sit to determine if she had any reactions - she didn't). I dropped her off and went to McDonald's where I read my book in the car. Kathy got the vaccination because she is over 75 years old. I didn't get one because I'm 74 (bummer). Several days later and Kathy had no reactions to the vaccine and is scheduled for her second injection in several weeks.
I must admit I was a bit jealous (can you believe anyone would be envious of someone getting a shot?). That changed on Wednesday morning when I received an email informing me I had won a slot in the Minnesota State vaccination lottery!! I set-up a Thursday morning appointment for 10:30 am at the Minneapolis Convention Center, a huge place that covers several blocks in downtown Minneapolis. We were told to arrive no sooner than 15 minutes before our appointment, no problem. I left home a little earlier than I intended because we got about 3 inches of snow the night before and the roads were a little slippery. I slid into the parking ramp with plenty of time to make the 15-minute window. At the main entrance, I had to prove I had an appointment (I showed my email) and was directed across the atrium and to the left. We were given a second mask to wear (I was already double-masked, but had to wear the one they gave me as well so I was triple masked. Well, here was where the fun began! I turned the corner to the left and saw a long line stretching halfway down the length of the center. When I got to the end of the line and qued-up, it was apparent I would be here for a bit. I snapped a few photos with my cellphone to give you an idea of the line.
|Near the end of the line.|
|Ala Disney, they snaked us into another large room to keep the line long!|
|Once out of the Disney detour, the line resumed in the main hall.|
|Headed back to the entrance.|
|We must be close, we finally turned the corner.|
|Back to the main entrance, where we started|
|Looks like we are close.|
|My savior Sarah!|
|The 15-minute reaction wait area.|
Because this was the first day of the new process and location, there were folks from the local TV station (KARE 11). As you can tell from the photo I took of my TV, my boots made the nightly news!! I'm selling the image in an 8X10 glossy if you're interested ($25 or $50 if you wanted it signed). I must have at least a thousand requests already, so hurry or they will be gone!!
|My legs and boots on TV.|
As you can see, Kathy and I are on two different routes for the vaccinations. Her's was much smoother and quicker. I was in line for over an hour and, according to Google Fit, covered a half-mile getting in and out. Also, her vaccine is from Pfizer and mine was Moderna. In fairness, my process had a much larger group. The process can be improved, but it is inherently challenging due to the number of injections given. There is hope folks, stay safe and wear your fricking masks!!