I am on my way to being fully vaccinated! I got my first shot a couple weeks ago and have my appointment for shot #2 coming up. While my first impression was a deep sense of relief at being able to protect myself and protect my community from the spread of COVID, I came away in deep awe for something else.
We can do big things.
My appointment was at a mass vaccination site, a theater they had converted for the purpose. So many people were manning each station – check-in, registration, directions, shot administration, after care, and exit. Every step was well-considered and plentifully staffed. All in all I was in and out in about 25 minutes. 10 minutes to check in, fill out a form, register, and get my shot, 15 minutes to wait and make sure I didn’t have a bad reaction. It was so coordinated and smooth and everyone was so lovely.
It’s wild to think how well our country has marshaled its resources to get people vaccinated. In just about a year we developed a vaccine and organized enough sites with enough efficiency to vaccinate tens of millions of people. THIS IS INCREDIBLE.
It gives me so much hope. When we as a people recognize emergencies and acknowledge the legitimacy of the needs in our country, we find we have all we need to tackle that mother-effer and find and deploy a solution fast. So much of the good we can do and that we do do really just comes down to what we recognize as being an emergency.
We finally have a party in power who recognizes real emergencies. Not threats of mass illegal immigration at the border, not “welfare queens,” not “your freedoms,” but emergencies like militarized police. Racism in our policing systems. Lack of access to medical care. Income inequality. Gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement. Climate change. We have a real chance to accept the reality of our emergencies and take effective action.
And the best part is that the most effective solutions are possible!! We have what we need to alleviate a huge amount of suffering, both immediate sufferings and the sufferings that will come if we don’t fix our toxic systems. So we should. It’s our duty and our privilege. I was so encouraged by what I saw while getting my first Pfizer shot and have big hopes for how we tackle other emergencies over the next few decades. Let’s do this.