Got our shot-Vaccine #1

We’re strong, confident, and infused with Moderna. First shot was yesterday morning (02/10/21) with my sister and husband at the Tucson Convention Center. 


It was very organized, with volunteers along the walk-in lines guiding us to each check-in station, extra masks given out (although we had our own), and a quick shot in the arm. 

Our appointments were for 8:30 AM. We got there early, easy parking next to the Center, and on line around 8:20. We were done and out by 8:50. By the time we were in the car on the way home, we had received emails that we had an appointment for shot #2 ready to be scheduled.

Hank and I made a point of thanking each person who helped- the outside line check-ins and desk people, check-in at the individual booths for instructions about the record card (“take a photo of it – this is your only record”), guides who gestured which way to go with a courtesy I’ve seen from hosts at up-scale restaurants. And the vaccine giver and his partner. 

“Thank you for being here and helping.” 

“Well, thank you for coming in,” was a frequent reply. 

A shot in the arm, time notation on my registration sheet and move on. 


Last stop before we could leave. One of the huge convention halls was set as the post-vaccine waiting area. Our task – sit for 15 minutes making sure there were no negative effects. There was an array of equipment up front which looked reassuringly like medical aids. A huge digital clock kept the time uniform. 

It was the largest group I’d been among in eleven months. I felt like a tourist gawking at all the fascinating sights. So many people. Tall, short, old and older, manicured, natural, all sizes, shapes, colors. It was a vaccine Gathering- short, socially distanced, and sanctioned.

I sat within earshot of the exit door. The exit interview consisted of  “How are you feeling, sir (or ma’am)?”  Each person got the doorkeeper’s considered care as he looked at them and checked the exit time written on their sheet. He also deserves a diplomacy award for calmly directing one hurried person who wanted to leave without waiting back to his seat. It required several repetitions with consistently calm instructions and the arm slowly extended with the courteous back- to-your-seat gesture. Very cool.  

As I exited, this kind person asked, “How are you feeling?” looking right into my eyes. 

“Good. How about you?… I have a question. How many times will you ask this question today?” 

“Probably 300 on my shift.” Muffled laughter from both of us with a thumbs-up from me.

I’m sure he was smiling behind his mask because he had those smiley crinkly lines  around his eyes. With a glance at my info sheet and time, he said, “You’re good to go.” 

And I was. 

Smiling behind my mask

Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She’s retired from professional writing gigs after 30 years of teaching, coaching, editing, and gathering writers to publicly share their work. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships. In retirement she writes to inspire, to connect with folks, and for the pure enjoyment of it. Ethel enjoys sharing stories at Odyssey Storytelling, Zoom gatherings, and anywhere there’s a Zoom mic.