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GARY SMITH: Getting needled

Forget the constitutional debate and ‘gimme the shot’ by Gary Smith | April 2, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

A very nice young lady shoved a piece of sharp metal into my arm the other day. And I didn't even call the police.

In fact, I had asked her to do so and was pretty happy she did. And no, I'm not one of those people.

However, the Lovely Mrs. Smith and I are among the (thankfully) growing number of those people who have had both doses of the covid-19 vaccine.

Which one I'm not quite sure. I don't recall there being vaccine sommelier to discuss my choices, which I believe came down to "get it or don't." I picked the "get it" option and have been satisfied with my decision. Bit of a sting at the first and dull ache at the end, which is also consistent with my other choices that involve a sommelier.

Speaking of choices, it seems hard to believe we're talking about choice as it applies to the thing we've all been hoping for with regard to covid-19. And yet, like most things in our nation, any discussion reveals that, well, whatever we're talking about, there is more than one thing going on.

Rather than engage in a long, drawn-out discussion about whether it's my constitutional right to potentially get sick and die of a disease that getting jabbed with a needle can likely prevent, I went with, "That's a really dumb argument to have," and "Gimme the shot(s)."

You can go all "Jefferson-Hamilton" to your heart's content. I want to see the grandkids and actually eat in a restaurant again.

And as far as those who are concerned about what they're putting in their bodies, yes, I understand your worries. That is a big deal, and there certainly enough examples in history of doctors recommending things that turned out to perhaps not be such a good idea (leeches, anyone?).

But these vaccines appear to have been exhaustively tested and to the extent that anyone can know the long-term impacts, those have been determined to be negligible at best for the vast majority of us.

And if you're that worried about something foreign being put in your body but still eat hot dogs and Slim Jims, I don't want to hear about it.

Which helps explain why I found myself shuffling along in a line with a lot of other science-trusters (or people who also want to see family and eat somewhere besides their house again) to get my shot.

I've got to say, despite the numbers (I'm guessing about 100 folks ahead of me), things moved along fairly briskly. I mean, I've waited longer for hot chicken in Nashville and it was only slightly less life-changing.

One minute I was asking if this was the line I was supposed to be, the next I was being asked which arm I wanted skewered.

I was going to inquire where my lollipop was, but I didn't see a jar anywhere and there were people behind me, so I didn't want to slow things down. Or be seen obviously sulking.

As far as side effects, well, other than my shoulder hurting, I didn't have any. And, as far as the shoulder, well, as previously mentioned, someone did stick a sharp piece of metal into it, so, likely there was going to be something.

However, as one of the most blissfully unaware people you'll ever meet ("Is it hot in here or am I literally on fire?"), I may not be the best person to consult.

I have heard that side effects or symptoms include achiness, upset stomach and headaches. Which, at my age, sound basically like a Tuesday morning.

Sitting patiently waiting to discover if I was going to turn into a zombie (I did not, in case you're wondering), I did feel like my vision was blurry. But then I realized my glasses were still on top of my head. So, you know, probably not related.

There is one side effect not previously mentioned, though. I suddenly have a tremendous sense of relief. Yes, I know, I have to give it a few days to be largely clear. I'll still need to wear a mask in public (which might be just fine with a lot of you). And even then, the vaccine is only 90 percent-ish effective. But I've never been exceptional enough that 90 percent of anything won't take care of me.

So, yes, someone jabbed a sharp piece of metal into my arm recently. It was the nicest thing that happened to me all day.


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