Saturday, October 16, 2004

Field Report On Flu Shots

Well, I guess we've all heard about the shortage of flu vaccine and Kim Jong-Bush's health plan: "Don't get sick." If you haven't, read Fixer's post (you can scroll down a little to get to it, too) on the subject, then come back.

See, Fixer does the grand scheme of these things, being the Master and all, while I, the grunt, get down in the trenches and find out what's really going on and how issues affect real people. This one came about quite serendipitously (Hey! Lookee here!) on me and the missus' weekly adventure, aka grocery shopping.

There we were, rounding the corner from the cottage-cheese-and-ice-cream aisle and heading for Frozen Food. The F.F. aisle was blocked by a long line of people, taking up its entire length. They were standing in line for flu shots right there in Safeway. Old people. There were canes and walkers, wheelchairs and electric scooters, and such hair as there was, was your lighter shades. I didn't check their teeth, but I'm sure a lot of those folks could have just held them up if I had wanted to.

We continued our shopping and eventually got to the checker. She told us that there had been a line for the shots since six A.M. (it was about 10:00 at the time) and they had already run out of vaccine once and had to recop. Mrs. G. damn near slapped me when I wondered out loud what might be the significance of herdin' 'em down the frozen food aisle. After all, that aisle is full of preserved stuff. Actually, the pharmacy is at the far end of it.

I did some checking: The shots cost $20 and the high-risk criteria applied to be eligible. They took Medicare, cash and checks. Note: "High risk" does not mean the risk of CATCHING the flu, but the risk of DYING from it once you've got it. We were not eligible and that made us feel young.

We are prepared to undergo any hardship, make any sacrifice, to bring you the latest stuff on this blog. We never did get any frozen food.

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