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And Then He Jabbed A Needle In My Arm

April 6, 2021

“I have been in the revenge business for so long that now that’s it’s over I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.”

– Indigo Montoya

I was strangely nervous. We have been careful for so long. I was afraid of jinxing it.

Did you know that the American WWII General Patton was famous for putting himself in the battle? He was part of some of the bloodiest, and most successful campaigns during the war. Clearly, he was a big part of the Allies winning the war.

Do you know how he died? He was killed in an auto accident shortly after the end of the war. Survived the bloodiest conflict in history only to die from a car crash.

Maybe that’s what I was thinking about.

I got vaccinated today. (Do I even need to say vaccinated for what?)

Our local Walgreens got a shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine today. And they were taking walk-ins. I gave them my information and then the pharmacist asked me to have a seat for a few minutes while he helped some other customers. While I was sitting there, my reaction was surprising to me.

I was nervous.

I don’t like needles. But, that wasn’t why I was nervous. I just look away and think about something besides the piece of needle piercing my skin and jabbing into my muscle. Yeah, anything but that.

And it wasn’t the vaccine itself. I have some friends and family who are anti-vaxxers. They wouldn’t describe themselves that way, but everyone else would. We don’t discuss vaccines much. The discussion typically ends after I ask how many people they know who have been infected with smallpox or polio. No? Yeah, vaccines work.

No, I was nervous because of the story of Gen Patton. I’ve managed to avoid becoming infected for over a year. My lovely wife is still dealing with the after affects of her bout with COVID. My son had it while living at home. My daughter and her family had it while she was giving birth to my grandson. He was COVID free. I’ve had friends and family who had COVID. Fortunately none died. I was always worried that I would get it and bring it home to my family.

I remember as a teenager when Russian President Boris Yeltsin visited the Seattle area. This was shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union. Yeltsin was the first democratically elected president of the new Russian republic. While in Seattle he announced that the soviet missiles were no longer targeting locations in the United States, including Seattle.

All my life I had lived with the threat of nuclear annihilation. Living in Seattle, we had

  • Boeing aircraft factory
  • Microsoft
  • Bangor Submarine base
  • Fort Lewis Army base
  • McChord Air Force base
  • Hanford Nuclear facility
  • Everett Shipyards
  • Bremerton Navy base

We lived in what you would call a target rich environment. And being the state in the lower 48 closest to the USSR, we knew that if a war ever broke out we’d never hear about it. We’d already be dead. It was a fact of life, like hurricanes in Florida, or Tornados in Kansas. It was something that you just accepted.

And then President Yeltsin said, “We are not targeting you anymore. We have pointed all our missiles at locations out at sea.” Of course, they could retarget them, but no one was going to accidentally blow us up.

It was a weird feeling. Later North Korea announced their nuclear missile program and as Dory in “Finding Nemo” said,

Good feeling gone.

But for a while it was as if a weight was lifted that we didn’t even realize we were carrying. That’s how I felt waiting for my shot.

The pharmacist delivered the Johnson & Johnson shot a few minutes later. It’s a single shot rather than the two stage vaccine with some of the other manufactures. Frankly, I would have done whichever one was available.

He warned me that I may experience flu like symptoms for a few days. And I won’t be considered fully vaccinated for a couple weeks.

But, in the meantime, it’s good to know that the cloud is starting to lift.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2021 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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