Nothing to fear
Friday, the local Republican pseudo-newspaper in Greensboro NC the https://www.rhinotimes.com/ mentioned that the “FEMA mass vaccination site” again has the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is the one that I wanted to get. As you know, it was temporarily pulled back because of one in a million doses possibly causing blood clots, almost all of which happened in women. Birth control pills are known to cause blood clots.
I saw a couple videos, and went to the website where you make an appointment, which I completed. I already knew that very few people in Greensboro are getting the vaccine. I’m not sure why, but I think Louis Farrakhan scaring people that vaccines are used to transmit AIDS to kill black people might be a factor.
So I found that every single time period on Saturday (the next day) had available appointments. So I signed up for 3:00 p.m. on Saturday (today). I’ll share with you my experience for whatever value it has.
This Mass vaccination center was set up by Joe Biden and his minions to target underserved minority communities and make vaccine distribution “fair”. The appointment form wanted to know my race and my Hispanic status. I entered truthfully. They made the point that there would be no requirement to show an ID to get the vaccine. The vaccine would be free and no requirement to bill your insurance company, which in my case would be Medicare.
The plan was to keep the center open for 8 weeks, and vaccinate 3,000 doses per day, 6 days a week. So in theory it had the capability of vaccinating 1,500x6x8 people with two doses, or 72,000 people. It opened in early March and was then extended until the end of May.
Guilford County has a population of about 527,000 people, of which 290,000 live in Greensboro. To date, there have been 45,000 confirmed cases, 43,000 recoveries, 630 deaths, 43 people currently hospitalized. The ratio of people who contract covid and die from covid is around 1.5%, which is very consistent across all of the world where adequate hospitals exist.
Guilford County is roughly 2/3 White, and 1/3 black. Interestingly about equal number of people have tested positive. That could be because of more outreach to the black underserved community to test people. Also, a large portion of the population here is college students, which probably distorts some statistics.
Cone Hospital and pharmacies are also administering the doses. For a couple weeks, Cone hospital has been signaling that nobody is waiting in line. As of today, roughly 50,000 people have received either both doses of the two dose vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Keep in mind there is several week delay before you declared fully vaccinated.
So only about 10% of the county are vaccinated, while in the state of North Carolina vaccination stands at 29%. Keep in mind that children 16 years or younger cannot be vaccinated currently. I am assuming the county’s statistics include those done by pharmacies, but that may be incorrect. So that’s the background, let’s get to the visit.
I chose to do it this way because of two specific reasons. The first was that they had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The second is that I did not have to get out of the car. I have long believed the most dangerous place currently to be is inside a healthcare facility.
The FEMA site is in the large parking lot of the major shopping mall in Greensboro. I arrived about 15 minutes ahead of time, because that’s the kind of guy I am. More than anything the layout reminded me of the parking lot at Disney World, with cones directing you where you needed to go.
So I arrive at the first person who has the tablet with registration. Shockingly, my appointment that was confirmed by text and email was not in their system. They probably never anticipated that someone would make an appointment and be able to show up the next day. She specifically said “you’re not in the spreadsheet”. My guess is I registered after they extracted the spreadsheet for the next day.
So I answered the questions I already did in the online registration and they did a very cursory check. They did check my temperature. So much of this is nonsense. Everyone I was going to come in contact with either are vaccinated or have recovered. If I actively had covid, that’s irrelevant other than they would be wasting a vaccine. My temperature must have been okay, so I moved forward. I was asked if I had a mask and I showed my unopened box and said since they had been vaccinated or recovered there was absolutely no reason I needed to be wearing a mask.
The next place asked me several of the same questions again. The woman talking to me asked if there is any chance I was pregnant or breastfeeding. As a 65 year old man, I was tempted to say yes. These days you can never be sure. I sort of smirked but didn’t make an issue. I figured she’s either joking or bored or had no discretion to not ask the question. Twice I agreed that I understood there was a small chance of a blood clot and I was willing to take that risk.
Having made it that far, we were to the point of getting the shot, however apparently they didn’t actually have the vaccine there. It probably took 10 minutes for them to retrieve it from wherever it was, probably at the clinic inside the mall. This wasn’t a problem because there was nobody behind me for the entire time, and only one car in front of me. 90% of the people were just sitting around and had nothing to do.
So a woman in a military outfit injected me. I have absolutely no idea what her training is. I asked her if she was with the national guard, and she volunteered that – no she was in the Air Force. I suggested that what she was doing here was more useful than bombing people in other countries. Heh.
Having received the shot, I was directed to pull forward to a holding area where a nurse would monitor my well-being for 15 minutes. I already knew this from the video explaining the process. That suggested that the person who gave me the shot was not a nurse. After 8 minutes, the nurse walked by and said how you doing, and I said I’m fine and she let me go.
While I was waiting, the passenger in the car in front of me decided to get out of the car. She was in desperate need of smoking a cigarette. She looked very underweight and in bad health. I thought about suggesting to the nurse that they be reminded that the vaccine doesn’t kick in for at least 3 weeks, and they shouldn’t be hopping out of the car and standing around. But since I think most of this is a foolish exercise, I didn’t see any upside to pointing this out.
My guesstimate is they are maybe getting 300 people a day, maybe even less. The governor has threatened that he’s not going to repeal his statewide mask mandate until June 1st and only if 2/3 of the (16+) population is vaccinated with at least one dose. Yesterday, he actually backed away. He knows the Republican will challenge him in court if he keeps extending his 60 day max emergency executive order. Republicans control the Legislature and they are not going to give him further “temporary” emergency powers.
So it’s been 8 hours, and I’ve not developed any symptoms yet. Hypothetically, I have wondered what would happen if the vaccine was actually a placebo and this was entirely fraudulent. For now, I’m assuming they’re telling us the truth.