Walking the friendly streets of San Angelo, Texas with a camera and no agenda.
When I got back home there was a message from my doctor. His office had gotten their allocation of this year's flu shots and he had one set aside for me. He suggested (strongly) that this would be an exceptionally good year to get a flu shot. I believed him, called his office back and arranged to drop by today after swim practice to get poked in the arm. I figured that while I was at it I may as well also arrange for a third dose of Moderna/Covid vaccine as well. His office doesn't do Covid vaccines but he wrote a quick prescription which would allow me to get the Moderna shot prior to the government's final approval.
I got up in time for swim practice and flailed through my second practice since the big road trip. Still working out the driving kinks and tight muscles. Gold Medal Olympian, Clarke Smith was our coach on deck this morning and he handed out a great workout. The water was too hot today so he switched from a medley of middle and long distances (his favorites) to a tighter agenda of shorter sprints with more rest intervals. Hot water is nasty to swim in and leeches out water from your body quicker (osmotic pressure?). You don't really notice it till dehydration kicks in and screws up your physical performance but it's smart to bring your (non-breakable) water bottle to the pool deck.
After workout I dragged myself over to a Starbucks near the doctor's office and self-medicated with a small latté empowered with an extra shot of espresso. Revived and caffeinated I walked in, bared my left shoulder, and got my flu shot. Spent a few minutes kidding around with my doctor and then headed down the street to grab my third dose of Moderna vaccine from the 38th St. Pharmacy. No big news there, just nice folks and no nonsense. The shot was over before I knew it. This one in my right shoulder. And I hate getting punctured...but am getting used to it these days.
So, why did I get my third dose and why so anxious to get it now?
I'd like to travel a bit more this quarter and most of where I'm interested in going (to take photographs) requires getting on planes. And walking through airports. And sitting in rental car transit buses. And all of this requires me to be around nice, kind, smart people but also other people who aren't smart enough to understand the mechanics of pandemics, the efficacy of masking, and doing it right, and the reality that by the end of this year well over a million people will have died of Covid right here in the U.S.A. And most of those who will have died believed themselves to be exempt from a fatal outcome because....?
I think all air travel should require full vaccination of everyone in the closed metal tube, hurtling through the stratosphere. I believe that people unwilling to believe in the science of vaccines can't conversely believe in the physics of flying with any intellectual rigor and should not be allowed to menace the health of the virtuous. Fuck em.
But I'm not in charge and the next best thing I can do if I want to travel by plane is to be as fully vaccinated against Covid as possible and as medicated against the flu as I can be. Those two steps and the wearing of a tight fitting N95 mask in all indoor and on plane settings while traveling will go a long way toward making sure I have a fun time photographing when I get to my final destinations --- instead of gasping for breath, minute by minute, on some anonymous hotel room floor, hoping against hope that someone finds me before my oxygen levels fall below 70 and I become comatose. And expire.
So, it is in effect, an extension of my preparation to engage fully in my photography craft that moves me to embrace proven and safe medical steps to ensure my safety and, by extension, the safety of those with whom I come into contact.
If you are a crazy anti-vaxxer don't bother to get your undies in a bunch and send me pseudo-scientific crap from some MAGA website about vaccines, etc. It'll just go into the internet trash can as soon as I see it. Stupid is never a good strategy.
Added the next morning: The combination of the flu shot and a full, third dose of Moderna hit me like a ton of bricks last night. After dinner I headed to my favorite reading chair to dive into a spy novel and I couldn't keep my eyes open. My right arm (Covid vaccine) hurt like the dickens and I had an on and off fever all night long. My muscles were tight and I couldn't find a spot or posture on the bed that was comfortable. I'm much better this morning. But now tired.... I figure it's better to get everything over with at once. If one sleepless night prevents my demise from Covid I think that's a fine bargain. And I don't have a "real" job so naps will probably become the order of the day....