Every time the phone rings on my mom’s landline, my eyes have been immediately searching out the digital read-out of the caller: First United Methodist (church secretary wanting to relay something), BSW Law (my brother’s law practice, probably brother Paul calling about my taxes), Ashmore Furniture (my mom’s book shelves delivery).
Daytime calls are never a concern but when they come late at night, there’s always a worry that a relative has some dire news to report.
So when the phone rang at 8:10 p.m. last Monday, my mom and I thought the worst. That is, until I saw where it came from: “Clark County Health Dep.”
Finally!! At the age of 56, it was now going to be my turn for the Covid vaccine.
“I’m calling for Cornelia Wieck,” my caller said. “Can you come in for your vaccine tomorrow at 11:15?”
Absolutely yes, yes and, yet again, yes!
Being vaccinated meant several things, but among the most important for me was to bring me one step closer to that China return. Although my city, Luzhou, still is not authorizing invitation letters for returning foreigners, I am fairly certain that once that ban lifts, vaccination will be a must. Having mine started in March and finishing in April will certainly speed up my visa processing once all the papers are in order.
A Well-Oiled Vaccination Machine in Clark County
I had already experienced the process of vaccination for our area after driving my mom for her first vaccination on March 18. It was a family affair: Me behind the wheel, mom in the passenger seat and little Bridget, our China rescue, perched on the armrest.
We drove the 20 minutes required along Route 40, across a wintry, prairie-flat landscape dusted with snow. We whizzed by huge hawks clutching to woodsy bare trees with bluejays and cardinals flitting about among the tall grasses lining the highway. After a 20-minute drive, we turned into Bolin Enterprises, a construction company who graciously allowed their warehouse garage area to be used as a vaccination center.
My mom’s appointment was for 11:30. We were in a line of 4 cars ahead of us, with checkpoint stations along the way for checking names and IDs, handing out forms to complete, directing us to move forward, and eventually entering into the nursing station for her shot. She received her vaccination card with instructional sheets on what to expect for the next few hours and days. No one exited the vehicle and we were told to wait 15 minutes in the parking lot area in case of side effects.
“Honk your horn if you feel anything strange and we’ll be right out to take care of you,” the nurse told my mom.
As it turned out, our parking lot wait was uneventful. Even Bridget was bored. She lay down full length on the armrest, her head resting on her crossed paws, and went to sleep.
And now, here it was my turn!
Knowing my Chinese students, friends and colleagues would have great interest in the vaccination procedure in my small-town area, I took my phone along to record the entire process. I later posted in my WeChat moments for everyone to share in my joy and marvel at the well-oiled vaccination machine of the Clark County Health Department.
Here it is below, for your viewing pleasure. Wishing you Ping An (Peace) for your weekend!