Alexander Hamilton said it best: “I am not throwing away my shot“. I had an opportunity to get my vaccine now rather than wait till mid April 2021 under the NYS set rules of availability. Some local hospitals, at the end of the day, rather than throw away left over vaccines, send a shout-out to the elderly and infirm that vaccines are available to the first-come, first served applicants. That would be me.

I applied and I got a spot. I was not going to throw away my shot. I made the trek down to the north end of Manhattan and was able to get my covid-19 vaccine at the end of the hospital’s long day. The line wasn’t that long but looking at the markings on the floor, generally the vaccine lines were out the door and down the city block. A security guard affirmed my observation. It’s a tough world out there.

The line for me started inside the arena. There were plenty of floor markings for us to keep our social distancing intact.

I have to say that the place was very well organized. And I must say that every single person there was eager to assist you in one of the most kindest and respectful way possible. I didn’t feel like a number. I didn’t feel like a patient. I felt like a real, live human being. I was treated with respect and dignity and for that I am very, very grateful.

The line moved quickly. First there was a check-in to make sure your online appointment had posted. Then you had your temperature tested (via palm, not forehead). You were then given a questionnaire to fill out with your own pencil to do so. No sharing. The line was long and winding. Most people on the line were elderly. Many of them in wheel chairs. Many had accompaniment. There were a few younger people scattered about, but not many. There were many doctors and professionals wondering about. Most everyone had a position and stuck to it.

The lines were long and winding but moved quickly. The arena was massive.

Because the line and crowd was so massive, there were ‘spotters’ along the line telling you what was going on and how much longer you had to wait. I found this very comforting. It was rather scary. I was alone. My husband couldn’t be with me because there were no parking spaces at the hospital garage. So he sat in the car, parked on the street till I was done. Which was several hours. Since I had a list of allergies, they wanted to watch over me for 30 minutes longer than normal. It was a very long evening.

When it was finally my turn to get the vaccine, I sat with a nurse who explained everything to me. We went over my allergies and she assured me I might not get a reaction. I was given the Pfizer vaccine, sat in the waiting area for the extra thirty minutes and the nurse was correct. I did not have a reaction at all. That was a relief because I had heard so many horrible things about allergic reactions!

The shot was painless because the needle was very thin. Later on, I did feel slight pain at the injection site but it was minimal and probably expected. After I was given the injection, a feeling of relief came over me. Now I had a 50% better chance of NOT dying or getting infected. I still have to be vigilant and wear a mask, social distance, wash my hands but I was on my way towards freedom. While in the waiting area, a person came over to me to set up my second appointment. It has to be by the same manufacturer and within three weeks. My return is February 11th. Ten days after I get the second shot I will be 94% safe from the coronavirus.

I said a prayer at this moment, thanking God and Jesus for this life-saving vaccine.

As I was leaving the nurses station I told her that my brother died of the virus. “He didn’t make it” I sadly told her. And with that she took my hand and we both shed a tear for my brother. This has been a very hard life experience on all of us. “Thank you for sharing that with me” the nurse said back to me. I replied with ‘Thank you for all your hard work and for giving us the vaccine.”

Do whatever you can to sign up and get your vaccine. There’s nothing to be afraid of. My experience went extremely well. Pounding out on my computer for hours and hours finally paid off. I’m going to live and I’m going to be healthy. I’m going to be walking along my fave beach real soon. “It’s time to take a shot” said Alexander Hamilton.

Yes. Yes, it is.