By Darren Smith, weekend contributor
I happened to be in my home office last Sunday afternoon looking through Professor Turley’s website. He updated his recently published article on Easter Sunday and read the following change:
“We went to the open vaccination site, but there was a three-block line that barely moved with hundreds of people. We finally went on bail instead of waiting in line for hours on Easter Sunday, but we hope the family will be vaccinated soon. “
I had to think about how to deal with the upcoming vaccination event in order to be more relaxed, such as how and why I avoid the rush to get off a plane that has just arrived at the gate.
The only time in my life that memory really serves me, that I had to wait in line to get vaccinated, was in my elementary school in the 1970s. The teacher told us it was time to go to the gym and prepare for a shot. Each of us in the class stood up, rolled up our sleeves, then someone used a gun-like injection device on us. I have a ring-shaped mark on my shoulder so I wonder if it came from that experience. I have no idea what the shot was for, maybe smallpox, swine flu, or prophylaxis against the fumes. It must have been important, even though it was unexpected. At the time it seemed more normal to be in school, or should I say it was “harmless”. I do not suspect that adults lose their marbles about germs, as they do today, in order to avoid possible worries among us children.
Today I see advertisements from vaccination centers with dozens, if not hundreds, of people standing in line and determined to get vaccinated ASAP. It seems almost ironic that we were previously instructed by politicians and bureaucrats to avoid each other at all costs, and now we are expected to be sarded together in a matrix of lines for hours to be cured of this dreaded disease become . I have to wonder if the activation time for the vaccine to work in the body is faster than the possibility of being infected by a virus carrier who is among everyone else in the building or on the line. But it seems like the government knows everything and what is best for us all.
Instead of getting into such a headache, I would say that another approach could be to stay at home, maybe celebrate Easter with family as our host suggested, or do something relaxing instead of standing in line . How does it resemble the departure of an airliner? Well here it is.
The typical and usual situation when arriving at the destination terminal when flying as a passenger on a commercial airline is that once the aircraft arrives at the gate and the signal is given by the captain, about a third of the passengers get up and jockey around the position in the aisle, all vie for an extra foot towards the exit. Some are even content to transform into what appears to be uncomfortable as they have been forced to bend over due to the overhead bins looming over them. And there they stay, distorted and impatient but determined to go without a second, sometimes ten minutes or so. I finally decided I had had enough of it.
I tend to prefer the back of the airline mainly because I’m too stingy to fly business class or worse. (Not that I’m denigrating First Class, because if someone is willing to pay five times as much to take off and land at the same time as me, I’ll take advantage of the potentially lower cost of my tickets.) And when the plane arrives at the gate and everyone immediately critical, to rush and stop, I just sit back and relax. You can stand and get upset about how long it takes. When the last standing man leaves, I can get up at my own pace and leave calmly without bumping around other people’s luggage. In the end, I probably only lost a few seconds to the penultimate passenger, who used to be the last man standing in line. But I suspect he was perhaps the annoyed passenger because his seating arrangement forced him to wait the longest, but I chose to be the last to leave and consequently had nothing to hold me back. Sure, it might just be a matter of semantics, but your mood often determines the amount of stress you can endure in life.
That being said, another source of amazement is how many of these people rush back to baggage claim to wait again. This time they hold on to the arrival of their suitcases – every tired passenger stares longingly at the door from which his luggage is finally emerging. One has to ask why these people have so much freight and so little for me. I think Yali might appreciate the fact that I never check a bag just so I don’t have to experience this carousel. I also found it a lot less of a hassle to travel lightly. It might require a visit to a public laundry while on vacation, but when traveling to foreign lands, a laundromat is a way to see more of the reality in their society than just sticking to the tourist constructs and getting a pre-made version.
But to come back to my story of vaccination guns, germs and steel nerves: Stand in line for hours or plan later and wait just a few minutes? I think it’s just a matter of perspective, which is more important and useful.
By Darren Smith
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