Archive for October, 2009

Swine line thoughts

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I wish the camera on my Blackberry still worked. I wish I had taken a photo of the line up when I turned up a half hour before the clinic opened. It was the longest line I had ever seen.

At first I felt bad as I was holding a spot for my family. Mark and I stayed in constant contact to determine how fast the line would go, when he should pick the kids up from daycare.  But then I felt smug. These people had their kids outside in the cold all day!  These poor kids!  These poor parents!  I am so glad ours showed up about 2 hours before their shots – we actually could have waited longer to bring them but we didn’t know how fast it would go.  They actually had a great time. It was a big adventure to be picked up early, to be fed lots of snacks, to be able to run around a big patch of grass.

I was there from 11:30 until we got the shots just after 5, and finally left the parking lot around 5:30.  Kind of unbelievable.

It was such a sea of modern humanity. Women on smartphones. Kids on Nintendo DS’s. Babies in smart strollers.

It was also a sea of confusion and misinformation.  We were given sheets regarding the priority groups and people still didn’t understand whether or not they should have had all their kids with them.

No one could accurately estimate how long we’d be waiting. I refused to give up. Loads of people in front of me gave up.

We got given numbers around 2pm.  With no indication of what the numbers meant in terms of wait time.

A young juggler turned up, put out a box to collect tips. I thought that was a great idea. He was such an entrepreneur.  And the kids were watching and clapping.

He left before my kids came. Other entertainment would have been a great idea.

Some catering trucks turned up.  Where were the other businesses?  We could have used some goodwill.

The staff were pleasant, but it’s almost surprising that in a crowd that size, there wasn’t more anger over the lack of communication.

I should have worn comfortable shoes and mittens. I was wearing pointy flats and a 3/4 length sleeve coat as I was at work 3 hours before I got there.

I should have brought food. Mark brought me lunch around 3.

We could have waited to do it another day.  We could have seen how this was going to play out, if the doctors’ offices were ever going to get it (mine said no).  But I didn’t want to wait.  I didn’t want to take the risk any longer that Callum, with his history of respiratory distress, could get it. Could drown in his lungs like the boy who died.

I can’t keep my kids in a bubble. I can’t pull them out of daycare and school in case they get exposed.  We are taking vitamin D (which we never did before). I hope they are washing their hands more in their classrooms.  But I decided that I wanted to give them this extra protection, after weighing the risks and options.

The nurse was nice. The kids watched us get ours first. We distracted them with Halloween candy. And it totally worked. The shots barely hurt and Oliver didn’t even cry.

Despite concerns about the process, about the vaccine, about the itchy bump on my arm (not an unusual reaction to a vaccination for me), I’m still glad we waited in line.  I really hope it works.

ps – this was our choice. I respect your choice, whatever that choice is. I hope you will do the same of mine.