Underwire: March 2021

I’m feeling a tiny bit sunny! Los Angeles infection rates have come down, more vaccine is on the way, hints of the beautiful Georgia spring are starting to emerge.

The past three weeks, for the first time in a year, I’ve been attending large in-door gatherings of hundreds of people. Super-spreader events, you ask, darkly?

Well, sort of — spouse and self have been volunteering one day a week at Atlanta vaccination centers, super-spreading immunity to hundreds of people a day through the Fulton County Medical Reserve Corps. We are, of course, not trained medical personnel. But we are warm bodies that can be posted at intersections to direct traffic, fetch wheelchairs for disabled persons, and help people fill out appointment cards for their follow-up shot.

Seeing the number of paid and volunteer workers, and the space and organization it takes to vaccinate 800 people in a day has given me a glimpse into the scale of the effort underway. Currently we (the US) are giving over 1.5 million shots a day–an historic mobilization.

The opportunity to have short conversations with generally happy strangers has been greatly refreshing to my spirit. It’s still mostly older people getting vaccinated at this point. If it is their second shot I sometimes chirp “Congratulations!” After all the history they’ve seen, I like to know the COVID won’t get them, they won’t have to die alone, and we’re all a step closer to normal life.