Friday, August 6, 2021

A Shot or a Jab?

Which would you prefer?

  In Britain we call vaccinations "jabs" but when I used this expression to someone here,  they recoiled in horror - "A what? Oh - er you mean a shot?" Which makes me think how things have changed over the past few months. In February, down in Florida,  we dragged ourselves out of bed at 6am to get on the web and desperately fight for the tiny number of vax slots available at Publix supermarket - those with slower internet connections didn't have a prayer, competing with thousands upon thousands of other hopefuls. We signed up for text alerts from counties all over the state, we hovered anxiously over our phones waiting for the call -  and when it came we danced in celebration. I had friends who travelled four hours and back in a day to get their precious Pfizer or Moderna in  some far-off town, which, by some fluke, had availability. When hubby and I finally got our shot slots we queued in a long snaking line in a redundant shopping mall - finally reaching a huge, cavernous hall with rows and rows of people rolling up their sleeves like a scene from a dystopian film. How we wanted to hug that nurse! How grateful and privileged we felt and how secretly smug that we were so tech savvy that we'd managed to snag number 8,000 in the Sarasota County queue when others were lamenting, "I'm only number 63,000!" And now no one wants their miraculous free gift any more. I drove past our equivalent of the local council offices and saw a person dressed, I do not joke, as a coronavirus, ball, spikes and all, pathetically waving a banner screaming, "Get your vaccinations here!"  They could have added, "Purrrleeeeeeze!" Any queue was conspicuous by its absence.

  I have two practical suggestions. Number one: pretend it's still scarce and exclusive. That will get 'em interested. Number two: start calling them jabs. It sounds far more exciting.

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