PV Headshot Jean Shriver.JPG

Jean Shriver

So, what’s the hot topic with seniors this week? The weather in Texas? Reopening the Palos Verdes schools? Oh, don’t be silly. 

The Silver Set is all abuzz with nothing but talk of vaccines.

Have you gotten yours? Where did you get it? Is it Pfizer or Moderna? And how are you feeling?

Like many people I know, I had good luck when I called Kaiser. Even though I’m not a member, I got an appointment in Gardena for my first shot.

I am fortunate enough to have a daughter-in-law who is willing to drive me to important appointments, so we arrived right on time. I was hoping that even though she isn’t seventy-five yet, they might offer her a shot as well. That would be an appropriate thank you for her chauffeuring, I thought. 

We lined up outside for the 3 p.m. appointments and were taken inside right on time. We appeared to be a realistic slice of Los Angeles, well older Los Angeles that is. 

We were black and brown, Anglo and Asian and all of us appeared to be happy to be getting their vaccine. 

The Kaiser personnel were universally smiling and soft spoken as well as efficient. 

We moved from one station to another until finally that needle went painlessly into my arm. Then I had to sit for fifteen minutes with my fellow vaccinated--guess they wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to keel over. Alas, there had been no offer to vaccinate my faithful daughter-in- law.  

I am happy to report that I felt fine, both on that day and the next. I get my second shot next week.

The word is going around that with Moderna (which is what I had), the second shot lays you low for a day or so. Never mind. It’s worth losing a day to feel more protected.

Of course, I’ll still wear my mask and try to be socially responsible, but after two weeks have passed, a trip to Trader Joe’s won’t feel like a dangerous safari. Lingering among the potatoes and onions will go back to being normal and I won’t screech if someone accidentally brushes my sleeve. 

I’m entertaining fantasies like having a friend over or meeting another vaccinated pal at an outdoor restaurant like The Yellow Vase. 

I’m guarding against the thought of going hog wild and inviting a couple of friends to come have a drink and some crackers in my living room. I can just imagine Dr. Fauci tut-tutting at the mere thought. Maybe by summer that idea will fly. 

I wonder if my mother is looking down from Heaven and smiling to see me so eager to get a shot.

When I was small, the mere mention of a needle sent me into my closet and had me slam the door with all my might. 

“Come out,” my mother would plead to no avail. Desperate, she’d say If I didn’t stop hiding in there, I wouldn’t be able to go to a friend’s birthday party that week.

“Don’t care,” I’d reply hanging onto that closet door for dear life. 

By the time I came out, I’d often lost the privilege of going to anybody’s birthday party for months. All right with me. Anything was better than getting a hated shot. 

And now nothing is better than the peace of mind I hope to have after I get my second shot.


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