i received an automated call from CVS this morning while i was still in bed, something about updating my insurance info for a "prescription P." i haven't had a prescription at CVS for years now, and i've heard about these phishing scams pretending to be vaccination sites. so i did what any normal person would do, i hung up the phone. only then did i realize that "prescription P" might've been in reference to pfizer, and it was probably a legitimate call.
i woke up ready to go, couldn't wait for my 1pm appointment at the medford center CVS to get my first dose of the pfizer vaccine. mRNA vaccines - a technology that've never been tried before until now - and i was getting it! my father informed me to eat something before i go, so i had a glass of almond milk matcha latte, which sent me to the bathroom before i left around 12pm. in the car i also packed two jars of slow fermented jiu niang and 2 jars and a large 10 cup tub of yangbaechu kimchi. the kimchi stunk up the car something fierce, i was glad i wasn't carrying any passengers, and was afraid i might spill the kimchi and ruining the car forever.
it took me just 12 minutes to get to medford center. i went there early so i could visit ebisuya, do some shopping at the japanese market. i parked in the pack, a municipal lot that you pay by using one of the kiosks, it records your plate number and the amount of time you plan on staying. fortunately i had change (though it would've also accepted credit card), at 25¢ per 15 minutes. i paid for half an hour.
it was crazy windy, as i made my way to the storefront. for some reason the doors were locked, i tried them a few times. then i noticed the store hours, and apparently they're closed on mondays. doh! i paid for parking for nothing! i got back in the car and drove to the CVS.
for some reason medford center has two CVS's, with one right next to ebisuya. but that wasn't the one offering the vaccine, while was a store a little further out. this CVS had a massive free parking lot (for customers). part of the lot was built on a hill and i parked on an incline, engaged the emergency brake just to be safe.
when i went in i saw a crowd of people sitting in close proximity to one another, shielded by fabric barriers. later did i realize they weren't waiting for their vaccine, they'd already gotten it, and were waiting the 15 minutes to make sure they didn't have any allergic reactions before leaving. inside of a tented area were two nurses administering the vaccine. the whole area seemed very makeshift, just a 12x18ft unused corner of the store. there was a young woman named alyssa behind a podium, and i checked in with her. i was actually there early, 12:30pm, and alyssa told me she couldn't check in me until 15 minutes before the appointment.
so i left the store and wandered around medford center, in the blustery wind. a saw a police officer fumbling with a bicycle and a woman sitting on the sidewalk with a bike helmet, rubbing her leg. she must've had an accident, maybe a car hit her but i didn't see any other vehicles, or maybe she got thrown off her bike by the strong winds. while i walked, a firetruck came by, followed by an ambulance. when i came back again, the bike was locked to the flagpole in front of church and EMT's were trying to get the woman onto a stretcher.
i returned to CVS by 12:45pm. alyssa looked me up on her printout of people coming in for a vaccine today and i wasn't on the list. she said in that case i had to register first at the pharmacy at the back of the store. i waited in line and turned it was the wrong line, the pickup line, where i should've been in the dropping off line. when i finally spoke to the pharmacist, she tried to enter my insurance info into their computer but there was something wrong with my insurance and it took her 10 minutes before she finally managed to put me in their database. i then went back to the front of the store to wait to speak with alyssa. she was going on her break and a man checked me in. he filled out a covid-19 vaccination card with my name, my birthday, and the type of vaccine and lot number i was receiving. i then waited in another line to be called by the nurse to get my shot. i took off my jacket and my shirt.
it was 1:10pm before the nurse finally called me. on her table was a bunch of syringes already filled with the vaccine, some disposable gloves, alcohol wipes, and an used needle disposal bin. she asked if i'm allergic to any vaccines and whether or not i've had a vaccine recently. before she even asked, i told her i wanted the injection in my right arm. the needle was very thin and the nurse acted quickly, already injected me before i knew what happened. after she put on a bandaid, she asked me to find a seat outside and wait 15 minutes before leaving. she wrote the time on a post-it note so i'd know when i can leave. a woman who was receiving the vaccine did have a history of allergic reactions, she they asked her to stay for half an hour before leaving. there were all sorts of people there: old, middle aged, young. a boy looked like he was 18 years old. another was a 16-year old girl who was accompanied by her father. thing is they don't check, you could easily say you're a first responder, or a teacher, or any of the other categories of people who are now eligible for the vaccine. it doesn't matter too much since in 2 weeks MA will open up eligibility to everyone.
when my time came up i left. i'd already checked the map and figured out how to get to belmont via the mystic valley parkway. i was thumbing my arm, trying to find where i got injected, but i couldn't feel anything. there was hardly any traffic, i made it back to my parents' place in just 16 minutes, by 1:40pm.
my sister also got vaccinated today, this morning at a cambridge CVS. she received the moderna vaccine.
i had some leftover braised beef stuffed in scallion bread for a late lunch, along with some soy milk mixed with buttercup squash. my mother tried my yangbaechu kimchi, she loved it, said it was very crunchy and not salty like my usual kimchi.
while my mother went out for a walk, my father and i drove to home depot by 3pm to buy some early season crab preventer. we ended up getting a 15lbs. bag of vigoro crabgrass preventer and fertilizer for $21. my father also bought a can of glossy polyurethane for the wooden swingset.
back at the house, the plan was to rake the thatch from the lawn before sprinkling the crabgrass preventer. unfortunately i broke the larger plastic rake when i started raking. the other one was a smaller metal rake but it wasn't as good as the plastic rake. it had broken off right at the end, so my father tried drilling out the wood, so we could put back the rest of the handle. but the embedded wood was just too deep. dejected, we figured we might not be able to apply the crabgrass preventer until tomorrow (when i can buy a new rake), but on a whim i tried pushing the handle into the partially cleared socket on the rake head and it managed to stay in tight enough to rake. we raked the front lawn before my father started applying the crabgrass preventer. i went to the backyard and started raking. when my father came back, he'd already used up most of the vigoro in the front lawn, there was only enough for a small patch of backyard lawn. i'll come by tomorrow afternoon to buy another bag of crabgrass preventer and do the rest of the backyard.
maybe all that raking and moving my arms triggered something, because when we came back inside for dinner, my right arm began to hurt. it's not too bad, like a dull ache, like getting punched in the arm, the pain you feel after getting a bruise. the pain got progressively worse throughout the night, but a minor discomfort at worst. otherwise i don't have any other symptoms.
after dinner i biked back to cambridge with my bike that's been in the backyard since yesterday. i hardly noticed the wind, maybe it was diminishing by then. now that winter is over and i've been doing more biking, i feel like my endurance has increased, i no longer feel tired anymore.