zu6179545_main_tm1385162313My plan for September was to get an RSV shot the first week, then toward the end of the month two more: annual flu and a Covid booster. From skimming the news, I thought the latest Covid booster and this year’s flu vaccine wouldn’t be available until then. But when I showed up at Walgreens for the RSV shot yesterday, the nice young physician assistant doing immunizations told me the new flu vaccine was in, so I got shots in both arms: RSV left, flu right. I was correct about the new Covid booster, though … he said they’ll have it by the end of the month, and that I should call first to make an appointment since they’re anticipating a crush.

Prior to this year I’d never heard of RSV, respiratory syncytial virus, let alone gotten a shot for it. I asked about that and the PA told me that while RSV’s been around forever, they haven’t had a vaccine for it until now. Which probably explains the heavy coverage of RSV in the news, a way of encouraging people to get the vaccine, and an example of the media helping the government get the word out. I’d like to think so, anyway.

I don’t like to look directly at needles going into my arm, so to cover the fact I’m not as brave as I should be, I get chatty. In this case I told the PA how my wife and I got our first Covid shots in the drive-through tents on the mall at the University of Arizona back in March 2021. The PA told me he was one of the hundreds of medical and civilian volunteers who manned tents and kept the cars flowing, an operation which ran for months and vaccinated a majority of Tucson’s population. Now there was an example of the government doing something effective and good. Drive-through Covid mass vaccination sites operated in most U.S. cities, pretty much around the clock for as long as it took, a massive effort requiring cooperation and coordination between governments, vaccine manufacturers, the medical establishment, the media, you name it. It was like something out of World War Two, badly-needed proof we can still do great things. When we want to!

Of course the whole time I’m talking, the PA, long finished with my shots, is trying to get me to put my shirt on and leave, because other folks are lined up waiting.

By the way, I feel fine. No reaction whatever. As is nearly always the case, at least with me. Now to talk Donna into getting her shots!

One last thing: I hope this post triggers the fuck out of any anti-vaxxers who happen to read it.

Mr. B went into hiding when I grabbed the leashes this morning, but Fritzi and Lulu were eager to go. I’d planned to turn north on leaving our house, but there was a guy with a dog in that direction, and Lulu, always the ferocious one when there’s another dog in sight (so long as it’s a safe distance away), was frantically barking and pulling on her lead, setting off Fritzi in turn, so we turned south instead, heading for the end of our cul-de-sac. And wouldn’t you know, out pops a neighbor with a corgi from that direction, so the bark fest started all over again. Once we passed and the corgi was behind us my girls settled down, but then out pops a poodle with another neighbor … well, I officially have the barkiest dogs in the hood. Now I’m no longer president of the HOA, it’s only a matter of time before they come after me!

Some local color: the view to the north, where they’re fighting a wildfire in the Molino Basin area; barky troublemakers Fritzi & Lulu.

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People die, but it’s always a shock when it’s someone you know. Someone you know who was younger than you. Someone whose reaffirmation of vows you officiated, seemingly yesterday but actually twenty years ago.

The happy couple, 2003: 2X4 and Skinnidip

Rest in peace, friend and brother hasher Joe “2X4” Beam.

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