By Jerry Zezima
Now that I have gotten my second dose of the coronavirus vaccine and am suffering no ill effects, aside from a troublesome bout of incoherence, which I was actually born with, I can say without fear of contradiction or incarceration that the pandemic is finally over.
Or more accurately, according to the nice and knowledgeable person who gave me the shot, it will likely end soon, thanks to my heroic and entirely questionable efforts.
I did my part to eradicate this once-in-a-century scourge by going with my wife, Sue, who had already received her second shot and accompanied me in case I fainted, to Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York, a major vaccination site with every important medical feature except, unfortunately, an open bar.
As I did the first time, I drove to the building that served as vaccine central. After Sue and I walked in and had our temperatures taken, I was directed to a table where a pleasant staffer named Charles asked to see my paperwork.
“Because I’m getting my second dose,” I said, “does that mean the pandemic is over?”
“I hope so,” Charles responded.
Tiffany, who sat next to him, added, “Now I don’t have to get my second one.”
“I’m here to help,” I told her.
“I appreciate it,” she said.
“I figured you were going in alphabetical order,” I said. “And since my last name begins with a Z, this is the end of the virus.”
“That explains why people are clearing out,” Tiffany said.
“They probably saw me coming,” I said. “I have that effect.”
“I’ve heard that about you,” Tiffany said as Charles handed me my paperwork and, very politely, told me where to go.
I walked down a hallway with Sue to a door with a sign that read: “Second shots.”
We stood in line for about five minutes before I was directed to a station where Olivia would be giving me the vaccine.
“How did you react to your first shot?” she asked.
“Just fine,” I said. “I liked it so much, I came back for a second one.”
“Maybe you could come back for a third,” Olivia suggested.
“I’d come back for a fifth,” I replied, “but you don’t serve alcohol, do you?”
“No, but I will rub alcohol on your arm before I give you the injection,” answered Olivia.
“I’ve heard that some people get bad reactions to their second shots,” I said.
“You might have a sore arm,” Olivia said.
“Does this mean I won’t be able to pitch in the major leagues?” I asked.
“I’m afraid so,” she replied. “You might also have a fever and chills.”
“Then I’d be running hot and cold,” I noted.
“Any other concerns?” Olivia inquired.
“I’m naturally lightheaded, so how will I know the difference?” I wondered. “And what if I become incoherent?”
“Then your wife will ignore you,” Olivia said.
Sue, who was standing nearby, nodded and said, “I do that anyway.”
“Your wife is smart,” Olivia said.
“You have a point,” I noted.
“Actually, I do,” said Olivia, who used it to painlessly give me the shot.
“Do you realize,” I said as I buttoned my shirt and took a card signifying I was fully vaccinated, “that when the pandemic is over, the only people wearing masks will be bank robbers?”
“Until then,” Olivia said, “you should still wear one when you go out. But you are doing your part to eradicate the virus.”
“So far, it’s kept me off the streets,” I said. “But pretty soon, I’ll be on the loose again. And no one will be safe from my stupid jokes.”
“In that case,” Olivia said, “people may have to be vaccinated against you.”
Copyright 2021 by Jerry Zezima