These days most zoom calls I’m in on or overhear begin and end with discussions about vaccination. How did you get your slot? Which shot did you get? Any side effects? Have you had the second? Where did you end up going? If you’ve heard enough, scroll on because I got my first vaccine today and I’m gonna write about it!
It was at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston and what a well-run operation it was. The navy was there! There was NO waiting. Given how badly our (Republican) governor rolled out the vaccines during Phase I and II, I wasn’t sure how it’d go.
I registered for an appointment through the state’s mega-vaccine-site-site (think Fenway Park) and didn’t expect to hear back, honestly. So when my primary care doctor offered me a slot, I took it even though it was a month off.
Then the state-run operation came through with a slot two full weeks earlier. I grabbed it. Amazing how long two weeks feels in the new terrain of waiting for immunity.
Getting there: my map app arbitrarily goes mute when I can least afford it, so I wrote the three critical turns on a slip of paper. Super old-school, I know. Finding the parking garage entrance was the only part I was worried about. And maybe the path on foot through the guts of the Prudential Center. I get turned around even in malls that have linear east/west layouts, so… (it’s intentional on the part of the designers, I’ve read, but who am I kidding?)
A trip somewhat familiar, and yet? It’s been a long time since I jumped in the car and routinely went places. Even a run to Staples in the next town over gave me pause recently. But since this errand fell in the realm of reclaiming my life, it felt important to go alone.
I calculated that I needed to leave forty-five minutes early in order to arrive at a reasonable time. They wanted you there fifteen minutes early.
When I hear “lobby,” I think of a large shiny entry way with a chandelier. Maybe a few clusters of tasteful plants and seating. This was not that. It was a labyrinthine path through corridor after corridor with left turns, right turns, and not much signage.
It took a long time, all this walking. Did I mention they wanted you there fifteen minutes early? More turns. And a few more, and at last — there was the line into the auditorium.
Navy troops ushered us along. “Get your ID out.” My registration form flapping. The vaccination space was gigantic and I mean gigantic.
Oh, look! There’s Eataly! Oh look! Here I am walking under the clumps of netting and they’re still hideous!
There was only one point in the long, non-linear route back to the car when I wasn’t sure if I’d made the correct turn, but low and behold, there on the marble wall: Ropes & Gray. Well, then.
Once back on the turnpike, I felt such relief. Thought, “I’m going home.” Home and all that might mean. I felt lighter. I tried to imagine how the same route’s gonna feel in three weeks, and couldn’t quite.
When I walked in the door, husband joked, “Did Yoyo Ma serenade you?”
Alas, no. But it didn’t matter.