I got my flu shot today, finally. On Sunday, Anne received hers too. She just walked in and took a jab in the arm. She said it was crowded, but she got it done, easy peasy. For me, it wasn’t quite so easy. With the onslaught of Pfizer Pfanatics that the CDC has unleashed for booster shots, Walgreens stopped taking walk-ins and you now need an appoint to get a shot. On Monday, when I unsuspectedly walked into Walgreens, I was turned away. I had to scan a QR code that took me to the Walgreens website for making vaccination appointments. My first go at it was not too successful, because I ended up making an appointment in Chicago. Finally, I got it worked out and got an appointment for today and in the correct store. It was still a madhouse today, with more people queuing up for vaccinations than for prescriptions, but I succeeded. I wonder when the J&J vaccine will get approved for boosters?
Last March, Anne and I drove halfway across Missouri (Road Trip!) to snag our one-and-done Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccines. At the time, medical authorities were advising everyone who want a vaccine to take the first available one and not pay too much attention to overall relative effectiveness of the different vaccines. We managed to get ours in the first week that the J&J shot became available. At the time there was already some evidence that the J&J vaccine was the lesser of the choices, but we followed orders and took it, because it was available first. Subsequently, with the rise of the Delta variant members of the Pfizer Fanatics or Moderna Mob, our smugly double-dosed compatriots have been clamoring for a third booster shot, to super charge their already superior immunity. Not to be outdone, Johnson & Johnson recently announced that a second dose of their vaccine boosted immunity from 65% to 95%. 65%? I seem to remember that its effectiveness was higher than that before. Now both the FDA and the CDC, our famously clearly communicating medical authorities have approved a third Pfizer shot to boost immunity for old farts, like me. Moderna is expected to get approval for a booster soon too, but who knows when J&J will get theirs. This situation begs the question of what to do. Should I wait it out in the hope that the J&J gets approval for a booster soon, before all of my antibodies disappear or should I mix and match? I haven’t seen any guidance on this in the news yet. I guess, I need to ask my doctor.
Is it just me or is everything these days just another reminder of the Corona virus? Yesterday, the Pfizer vaccine got full approval for adults, green lighting the inevitable next phase of the vaccination program, making everyone get the vaccine. The government and the medical establishment have tried exhorting everyone and anyone into volunteering to take the vaccine, but too many people have balked at that idea. All sorts of carrots have been tried, mostly to no avail, now it is time to bring out the stick. Mandates are a coming. The biggest implementer of these mandates will likely be your employer and not the Federal government. You know the outfit that pays for your healthcare? I would think that they will be jumping at the opportunity of not having to shell out the bucks for your month long stay in an ICU. Self employed or your employer doesn’t provide health coverage? There are still other sticks to wield. How about not being allowed eat out, go to a show or enter a store? That’s what British Columbia has announced. They may be the first, but they certainly won’t be the last. Those index-sized cards that the CDC gives you once you have been fully vaccinated aren’t that difficult to forge. I supposed that some people will go that route, until the fully vaccinated Apps appear. This year in NYC, you will soon need to have one of those Apps on your phone and show that you’re vaccinated to the maître de before you’ll be seated. Living the hermit’s life will get pretty old, pretty fast. Especially, when everyone else is enjoying the end of the pandemic without you.
She said, “Are you even listening to me?”
He thought, “That’s an odd way to begin a conversation.”
I went to the eye doctor this week. It had been about two years. There are three demons that confront my eyesight, glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. Sort of the trifecta of blindness. Daily eyedrops have continued to control my glaucoma. My Dad’s side of the family have suffered from macular degeneration, but the doctor found my retinas are all pretty, pink and healthy. No danger there now, but there is still that third devil, cataracts. I have both kinds in both eyes and they have gotten worse as of late. Fortunately, there is a remedy for this malady. Unfortunately, it involves surgery. Consequently, I have scheduled my surgical consult for late October, following Maren and Dave’s wedding. Over a month or more, first one eye is operated on, then the other, a few weeks later. My big question is what kind of bionic vision do I want? I’ve always been pretty near-sighted, but I could change that. Normally, a middle road is chosen. Complicating matters are new high-tech artificial lens that allow for more natural near-to-far focusing and possibly removing the need for glasses altogether. Their downsides include added cost and the possible need for adjustments, which is a euphemism for follow-up procedures.
Also-known-as the dentist. Anne and I had dueling appointments, our first in over a year. We went in for a cleaning, but it looks like we’ll be back for so much more. Our dentist of thirty years retired a couple of years ago and not a moment too soon. A dentist with palsy is not a comforting prospect. A year before he retired, he teamed with a much younger, much more entrepreneurial dentist. Basically a move to prolong his practice another year and then hand it off. The former guy is gone now, off to Arizona and he really was a fan of the other former guy. There is nothing more uncomfortable than being ranted at by a man who holds a diametrically opposite political view point than your own, all the while thrusting sharp metal implements down your throat. The new guy has more of a factory than a practice. Staffed all by women, I guess that makes him the cock of the walk. They all wear the same uniform and are all interlocked via a wireless intercom system. I lucked out and got a really nice hygienist, with gentle hands. She’s the one that coined the phrase, a day at the mouth spa, which got a snort from me. Anne pointed out that the T-Rex probably had minions to clean its teeth, to which I countered, so did I. The hygienist was tiny and at one point she even called in her own minion to assist her by taking notes.