.CovaX: The final jib-jab

There’s a story behind everything we do. Case-in-point: My second Covid vaccine. I received it yesterday, and sit here now in a state of minor delirium with a tale to tell.

Today I no longer fear the jib-jab, but life wasn’t always this way.

A year-and-a-half ago I decided to get a Shingles vaccine after witnessing the horror it inflicted on my friend’s right eye. I showed up for an appointment and then spent 10 sweat-filled minutes unsuccessfully attempting to let the injectress jab me. I could not take my eyes off the gleaming, spiky jib she wielded, and the fear it instilled in me was so overwhelming that I left, sans jib-jab, and never did get the ShinglesvaX. It’s the story of my life—an inability to acquiesce to jib-jabs.

So, when Covid-19 engulfed the world, I worried and wondered how I would go through with the eventual mandatory CovaX jib-jab, going so far as to engage puzzled strangers in extended monologues about it on numerous occasions. When the opportunity came to make my first CovaX appointment a month ago, I did so without hesitation, knowing my life depended on it. But still I worried.

There has to be a way, I told myself every day.

And then, a few days before appointment time, I had an epiphany: I won’t see the needle if I close my eyes. Simple words, but unlike any I’d ever told myself before. I listened.

At my first CovaX appointment, I informed the injectress of my jib-jab phobia, sat in the hot seat and closed my eyes. Intuitively understanding my plight, she immediately jabbed me. I felt almost nothing whatsoever—not in the psychopathic sense I experienced in my teens, but in the warmer, “Where’s the fear? Cuz it ain’t here, Dear” sense, if such a sense actually exists.

I felt no symptoms from the first CovaX jib-jab, either. True, I’m a universal donor, and the DL on the electronic avenues is that type “O”s have higher immunity to Covid than other blood types, but, I mean, whatever. Right?

The second jib-jab was a cakewalk. I encountered the same injectress, who called me by name when I entered the clinic—I’m that memorable—and again immediately jabbed me when I sat down and closed my eyes. Again: no fear.

But after 18 hours I did get a minor headache, feel somewhat achey-wakey and experience a mild state of agitated confusion.

So here I sit, stoned on CovaX: The final jib-jab. And all things considered, it ain’t so bad.

Mark Fernquest attends deep-desert post-apocalyptic festivals in his spare time.

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