Our Experiences With the COVID-19 Vaccine

It went from a headache to total convenience.

Patrick J. Regal

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I am a public school teacher who is headed back to the classroom right after spring break. Taylor is currently employed as an essential worker. We both found ourselves in the early phases of vaccine distribution, but the process of signing up here in Maryland was all but smooth.

Despite our Governor, Larry Hogan, touting on March 2nd that “We’re now averaging a new record of 35,730 shots per day” — this was not the reality at the beginning of vaccine rollout. Maryland still ranks 25th in percentage of population vaccinated, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

On January 27, I did what most concerned citizens do…and turned to Facebook, tagging the page for Governor Hogan in the post:

Maryland vaccine distribution is a complete mess. I’m watching surrounding states pull it off, why can’t we? What is the problem? We’re talking about people’s lives here.

Once again Governor Larry Hogan has proven he can’t actually do anything except hold press conferences and talk about himself.

Hogan must have read my post because we were both able to get appointments not long after.

For awhile, we would get texts (yes — texts!) from the state saying “New appointments available!” and, of course, we would instantly click the link. Already gone. One night, I sat refreshing the appointment page every 5 minutes for hours. Nothing. I’m pretty sure I was on a waiting list’s waiting list for awhile.

Nevertheless, I eventually got an early Saturday morning appointment at the Baltimore Convention Center, about a ten minute walk from our apartment. How convenient!

Convenience really was the word of the day when I went in for my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Health care workers at the site were friendly, kept the line moving, celebrated, laughed, and got me out in under an hour.

I can’t stand needles, but this was quick and painless. I found some dedicated time to listen to my new favorite podcast, got some fresh air along my walk, and had a pretty good excuse for a breakfast out as a treat. As if protection from a deadly virus wasn’t enough of a treat!

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Patrick J. Regal

Educator. Artist. Founder and Editor of Feature Presentation. Instagram: patrickjregal