On Friday, I was lucky enough to receive my first COVID vaccine shot. My dose was given at a FEMA mass vaccination site in Maryland. It was a highly efficient operation. Only 20 minutes elapsed from the moment I arrived until the moment I left - that included the 15-minutes "let's make sure you don't have an awful allergic reaction" timeout. The entire tent complex was abuzz with organized activity and you could just sense the joy under people's masks.
What has stuck with my most about the whole systematic operation is the people. During my visit, I interacted with 10 individuals - some for only a few seconds. All of them are strangers to me and all of them will remain strangers to me. But each of these people has had a profound impact on my life. They made it possible for me to receive this vaccine. Without their hard work, I would not be rubbing this sore spot on my arm.
This vaccination site is a living reminder of the amount of unnamed individuals throughout the world who have gotten us to this point. All the scientists. All the nurses, doctors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. All the contact tracers. All the people actually putting shots in other people's arms. All the people doing what I can only imagine is a mountain of paperwork and administrative activity (someone has to design, print, and distribute all those COVID vaccination cards).
So... many... people.
Thank you. Thank you each and every one of you.