Monday, November 15, 2021


This morning, after working the graveyard shift, I decided to attempt to get my COVID-19 booster shot, known as a borcester shot in Massachusetts.  The state-run vaccination site at the Westchester County Center opens at 8AM each day.  Upon arrival at the Center, the very polite, very professional National Guard personnel told that, indeed, walk-ins were welcome.  

At 7:55AM, I was the second person queued up.  The man ahead of me, a 60-something Latino, told me that he didn't speak English.  His name was Carlos, and he had taken the bus from Port Chester to get his booster shot.  When we were admitted after a temperature check, I told him that, if he needed any translation help, I would be happy to assist.  

I gave my ID and vaccine card to the pleasant guardswoman at the desk and told her that, although I wasn't immunocompromised, I would be spending the Thanksgiving holiday with my eighty year-old mother, so I wanted to get the shot before heading down to her place.  I finished the initial interview at the same time as Carlos, and the two of us proceeded down a couple of corridors to the actual vaccination area.

One of the healthcare workers asked me, "Are you together?"

"Not really.  We came separately, but if he needs help, I guess we're together.  He's a new friend, met this morning."

We were ushered into the same small room for the injection.  The nurse administering the jab spoke pretty good Spanish, and between the two of us, we were able to make sure Carlos knew about any contradictions, alergias por ejemplo,  Eleven minutes past 8AM, I received the needle stick... I didn't even feel a thing.  The kindly, good-humored nurse reminded us 'no cervezas' tonight, that we should drink plenty of water.  Carlos and I were given slips of paper reading 8:26, the end of our post-shot observation period, and we were shown the way to the observation room.  At exactly that time, I told Carlos, "Podemos irnos."  "We can go."  

When we left the building, we shook hands, and we parted ways, he to the White Plains TransCenter, I to my car.  I ran a few errands on my way home, and crossed the threshold of my apartment by 9:15.

I have a little bit of soreness at the injection site, but otherwise feel fine, just like I did after the first two inoculations.  Needless to say, I slept much of the day, but have been drinking plenty of water.  So far, I haven't manifested any weird magnetic superpowers, and the only friend I made today was a man named Carlos from Port Chester.  I wonder if I should feel slightly let down...


bowtiejack said...

Nice story. Thanks.

Richard said...

You both behaved like gentle,kind, intelligent men. No cause to feel let down or any regret.

I expect that we will have to do this again in a few months.

About Spanish, i will never speak it like it should be said.

In Los Angeles, it is actually the predominant language but that doesn't matter because the city is bilingual.

My Spanish is very poor. It is impoverished from lack of practice. But that doesn't stop me from inflicting it on others.

Anathema Device said...

A lot of the commenters I've seen about the booster shot say they were knocked out a little more than by the original vaccinations.

I hope that is not true in your case. Your kindness to Carlos has made the world a little better, which is a very good thing to do.

Ten Bears said...

I thought they were "brewster" shots?

Anywho, I happened across a line for boosters at MGH a week ago while visiting my fresh out of surgery spouse and given the circumstances I got in it. Didn't even make me wait fifteen minutes for observation and it was an auntie's daughter administering the jab, leaving us a chance for pleasantries of our own. I don't think the after-effects were as bad as the initial shots, but they were there, none of which were close to what I went through in Dec '19.

I sometimes get a kick out of telling people who look at me and don't expect to hear "No habla ingl├ęs" ...

emjayay said...

My PC doc happens to be part of the NYU hospital and university octopus taking over NYC. For the initial two shots and booster I had a choice of various tentacles to go to to get them. Didn't have to do any searching on my own - in fact they immediately headed off the phone calls and emails (on their all purpose patient portal deal) with emails saying they had everything under control and just wait, please. There are some advantages to the Big Med takeover. Guess what Americans, we are getting our own of National Healths whether you think it's Communism or not. Elsewhere I was in Kaiser Permanente, the prototype of US Socialized Medicine.

Anyway it's a skinny needle and I felt little or nothing and no noticeable reactions to any of the Pfizer jabs. Maybe we should all switch from the American "shot" to the Brit "jab".

We are fortunate that modern med tech developed vaccines far faster than previously possible. In any earlier time there would be nothing by now. Too bad so many Americans are (choose your own pejorative here please).