Journal of the (Covid-19) Plague Year: I Got the Vaccine

On April 13th, I got the vaccine.

I went to Independence Ohio, where the Cleveland Clinic has a mass vaccination center. Upon entering the driveway, I saw signs directing drivers to drive towards the traffic cones. At first I thought I was going to get a shot in my car, but the cones directed us around to the other side of the building. An attendant told me where to park the car and where to enter the building.

As soon as I entered the building, I found the kiosks to check in, just as I do for my regular doctors appointments. Someone took my temperature before leaving the vestibule.

After the vestibule, a health care worker asked me if this was my first or second appointment. I said that it was my first. She told me that I would be getting the Pfizer Vaccine, and asked me to walk towards a line of people. To the left of the line, I saw rows of cubicles. Another worker directed us towards one of the rows. I walked down the row and a woman waved me into an open cubicle. She asked me if this was my first or second vaccine, and checked off the appointment on her computer. She asked me if I had any allergies; I said no.

She then pulled out the syringe with the dose. The needle seemed longer than I expected. Normally, needles don’t bother me, but for some reason, I couldn’t look at it. I kept my gaze straight ahead while she gave me the injection. It burned more than other injections I have had. The woman gave me my vaccine card, which is marked with the date of my first shot. After that, she directed me out the other end of the row, and said that a woman would give me a timer.

A woman greeted me on the other end of the row and handed me a timer set to 15 minutes. She instructed me to walk down the hall to a large, open, waiting room. It was only then that I fully realized how many vaccines the Cleveland Clinic was doing in that location. I think I saw about 60 chairs set up in rows, spaced out 6 feet apart. I sat in a chair and waited for the timer to go off. Once it went off, I was free to leave.

I felt incredibly tired the rest of the day, but that could have been exhaustion from pandemic burnout and relief. My arm was very sore for a couple of days, but it was nowhere near as sore as it is after a Tetanus shot.

I get my second dose the first full week in May.


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Still Life with a Lobster by Jan Davidz de Heem


I like this assortment of objects. The bright red lobster in the center is striking.

This is also from the Toledo Museum of Art.

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Dancer and Gazelles by Paul Manship


This is at the Toledo Museum of Art. I hope I get to go back someday soon.

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I’m Still Here

2020 has definitely taken a toll on me.

I lost interest in the blog. Everything seemed really pointless.

I still haven’t had Covid-19, but I know a number of people who have.

The cases in Ohio are worse than ever, though when I checked the cases today, the 7 day average positivity has gone down, so that is good. I have been working from home for 9 months tomorrow.

This whole year has been a strange combination of boredom and fear. And anger. So, so much anger.

But I am still here. I am going to try to write, even when I feel empty.

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Stag at Sharkey’s by George Bellows


This painting is listed as a Must See at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I don’t like the subject matter, but I can respect the artistry.

And I can respect the fact that George Bellows is a fellow Ohioan. He is an OSU alumnus. OH! IO!

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90’s Songs: This Is How We Do It by Montell Jordan

This song needs no introduction. And it never fails to make me happy.

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Documentaries You Should See: This Changes Everything

This Changes Everything is a documentary about women in film. It’s an often frustrating depiction, especially when the actresses read descriptions of female characters in films. “Pretty. Big tits.” It is both a documentary and a call to arms. It’s a big reason why I decided to do the Chick Flick Movie Awards. But then the world ended.

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Starrucca Viaduct, Pennsylvania from Jasper Francis Cropsey


I love the autumn foilage.

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Tear Down All Statues (I’m Serious)

One thing I hear all the time is, “If we take down statues of Confederate officers, where does it end? Will we take down all statues?”.

To which I answer, ” Why not? ”

To be clear, I am not saying we should not have any statues. Instead, I think we should take a page out of Larry Wilmore’s book.

Larry Wilmore, in this video, makes a proposal for the Confederate flag. “Why not take it down now, and then you can debate putting it back up?”.

I actually think this would be a good exercise.

Each community could take down all of its statues and then debate putting them back up. Ideally, this would start with more abstract questions, such as “What is the purpose of statues?”. “Are there ‘deal breakers ‘, acts that are so horrific that they disqualify a person from having a statue, regardless of their other accomplishments?”.

After this, the community can review the historical evidence of the person’s life, and allow different voices in the community to prevent different viewpoints.

Will this happen? Not in a million years. And I can’t pretend this would singlehandedly fix the problem of racial injustice. But I don’t think it would hurt.

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Re-Read

1 Dobby has a winning, childlike appeal.

2. The rule that underage witches and wizards can’t use magic outside of school is very unfair to children in Muggle homes. Harry gets in trouble for something that is not his fault. It also gives children in wizard families an unfair advantage, since they can’t face the same consequences.

3 While the book focuses on prejudice against Muggles and Muggle born witches and wizards, Harry experiences a different kind of prejudice. He experienced prejudice against witches and wizrds.

4 Fred and George show a more open way of looking at the world. They pick the lock, explaining that they think Muggle skills are worth learning.

5 The story sets up early on that Ginny has a diary. Funny

6 I can’t help but wonder at the ethics of bringing Muggle born children into a world where they will face prejudice and hatred without preparing them or providing them any kind of support system.

7 Where does the Muggle hatred come from?

8 I find Professor Binns very funny. The idea of a ghost professor is very amusing.

9 The book is constantly showing that something is wrong with Ginny. It definitely rewards careful reading.

10 Hermione is very naive in this book. Ron has a lot more wisdom.

11 Once again, Dumbledore deals in secrets rather than being honest.

12 I wonder how many Americans appreciate the fact that the Phoenix is named Fawkes.

13 They just take Hagrid off to prison without trial. The magical world is very, very flawed.

14 The magical world also treats sentient, non-human beings very poorly.

15 The book also strongly hints the horrified and that Harry is an unintentional horcrux.

16 The early books have unambiguously happy endings.

17 The movies did Ron a great disservice by taking away his speech about Muggles. We get to see that he shares the views of his family and that he rejects the pure blood ideology of Malfoy.

18 Ron is a foil to Harry, but he is also a foil to Draco. Franco is a wealthy, only child where Ron is poor with lots of siblings.

Before you leave, please donate to Trans Lifeline.

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