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03/08/2021

Hip hip hooray for V-Day!

Gerry Moran Kilkenny

This was the day I would receive my first vaccination for Covid-19 PICTURE: LuAnn Hunt/Pixabay

Wednesday, April 21 started out like any other day – crows scrabbling in the back garden for grub, finches squabbling at the bird feeder, the cat looking pleadingly at me for her breakfast.
Same old, same old.
But it wasn’t. This day was different; this day was special. It was unique.
And I was nervous. Well, apprehensive more than nervous. I’d showered and shaved - not a regular ritual during Lockdown. I mean who am I showering and shaving for? Who am I trying to impress? My spouse of nigh on 40 years?
The only way I might impress her of a Lockdown morning is if I walk into the kitchen in a wet suit and flippers! Which might merely impress upon her how insane or eccentric, or both, her man has become during Lockdown.
Anyway, I showered, shaved, donned a smart black pants, fresh socks, a pair of good, black shoes and a T-shirt!
Yep, a simple T-shirt because today was V-Day: VACCINATION DAY! On Wednesday, April 21 I would receive my first vaccination for Covid-19 so I wore, to quote from the long, detailed text from the HSE: ‘a short sleeved T-shirt or a loose shirt with a sleeve that can be rolled up easily’.
The text from the HSE continued: ‘Be on time. Do not arrive more than five minutes early. Do not be late’ (my God it sounded like a large Christian Brother with a large stick looming over me).
And so, with just a hint of fear and trepidation, I planned my appointment with military precision:
The appointment is for 10.40am in Cillín Hill. My house is a 10-minute drive away. I leave at 10.25am to arrive at 10.35am, just in time for my 10.40 appointment.
Cruising up the Ring Road what do I encounter? A bloody tractor! Now there are two types of tractor drivers – the first are caring, considerate and pull in to let cars behind pass. The second take a perverse pleasure in making you drive, behind them, at their pace - ‘Feck you in your Subaru. I ain’t pulling in’. These tractor drivers may well be psychopaths who refuse to move into the cycle paths to let cars pass (psychopaths don’t do cycle paths!).
Thankfully this tractor driver was the former, so I rolled into Cillín Hill bang on time for my vaccination.
Standing in the queue I spot some former classmates of mine, I also spot some women of my vintage and wonder why I hadn’t chased any of them around the Carlton ballroom back in the day!
And then I remembered, yes, they’re my age alright (no disguising your age in this queue) but girls didn’t go out with boys their own age, they were way ahead of lads their own age. Which is why we dated girls that bit younger but sure they were way ahead of us too.
If I have learned anything at this stage of my life it’s this: women are always way ahead of us men. And then I overhear some of the women talking about Tenerife and how they’d booked a holiday for November. And then I hear others in the queue saying they’d booked Tenerife for November also.
Seemed like everyone’s off to Tenerife in November. That’s when I felt like whipping out my phone and making a booking because if these chats are anything to go by there won’t be a seat left on an airplane come autumn and there won’t be a bed left in Tenerife!
Then I calm down and try to think outside the box - Barbados perhaps? But I can’t. A health worker beckons me into her cubicle to receive the jab.
And now after all the controversy about AstraZeneca I was about to receive it into my body, it was almost, and I don’t mean to be irreverent, like receiving First Holy Communion - my First AstraZeneca Vaccination!
And for a fleeting moment I had this mad vision of me calling to my neighbours afterwards and saying: ‘I’ve just received my First AstraZeneca Vaccination’.
Whether they’d have made a First Vaccination donation I’ll never know as the vision ended abruptly when the needle pierced my arm.
Ouch! Nah, it was painless.
And as I wait the mandatory 15 minutes afterwards, in case of a reaction, I spot a notice (several of them) ‘No photography or Video Taping’.
What lunatic, I’m thinking, would want to photograph or video people receiving their vaccines? Guess the HSE must know a few!
In the meantime roll on V-2 Day and Tenerife or Thebes or Tunbridge Wells! Any place we can get to really.

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