A Shot In the Arm

This will be shorter than usual. I am dealing with a reaction to my second vaccine.

Upper Limb

A friend sent me one of those “do you remember?” emails. It was full of phrases we used in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. One that was missing was “a shot in the arm.” When someone said something stupid or got on your nerves you said, “I’m gonna give you a shot in the arm.” Often that was followed by a punch in the arm. If you were really ticked, you extruded the knuckle of your third finger when you delivered the shot. That sometimes left a black and blue mark.

All of this brings me to Thursday’s shot in the arm. For you Floridians, we got them at Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida. I’m going to get a bit snarky so before I do I want to heap praise on the workers and nurses who with courtesy and smiles do assembly-line like things all day long, hundreds and hundreds of times. The rest of the process is like torture.

Young Nurse

For the first shot, it took almost two hours to get into the park and then two more hours to get to the vaccination tents moving at about a quarter of a mile an hour. To cut the lines down outside the park, whoever runs this gig reconfigured the park so that every cul-de-sac in it was used. After a while, I could recognize the cars in the lane going in the opposite direction, a mere two arm’s length distance, knowing it would take them over an hour to get to where I was looking at them at some 20 feet distance. Reconfigured or not, it took the same four and half hours. It is maddening and to think this is the best we can do is more maddening. Thank goodness we weren’t in places shown on television where there are so many lanes the time is almost doubled. Not my idea of what an outing should be for anything no less for this.

But here’s a tip if you live in Florida and it might generally be a good tip for anyone who can find an appointment based dispensary. Several people we know have gotten appointments at Baptist Hospital in Miami. The way they run it, no one has waited more than 20 minutes! People have driven two hours to do it, easily accepting the highway drive over the slug-like march to the vaccination tents elsewhere. Try it, you’ll like it.

We were warned the second shot can produce a variety of reactions. My 42-year-old son was wiped out within hours of the shot but fine the day after. His wife was ok after the shot but the next day she felt like someone was using her bones as a drum set. My wife was fine then spent a day with leg cramps. I am light-headed, slightly nauseous. My arm feels like someone hit it with a hammer, and I’m so weak that after writing this I’ll have to take a nap—seriously.

Needle Injection

The good news though is plentiful. The reaction only lasts two days, if that.  Dr. Faucci, America’s Yoda for vaccines, says the reaction is also the good news because it is proof-positive that the vaccine is working. Best of all, you’re not going to die.

I almost lost two members of my family to COVID. It robbed them of four months of their lives. We know of several deaths in our social/religious circle. We know people who were so sick that they almost wished they would die even though they didn’t want to. It is a ghastly illness.

The end is this: Go get your shot in the arm–at least from my perspective!


Between a shot in the arm and its aftermath, a weakened Bill Gralnick feels less well writing about politics this week than vaccinations. His War of the Itchy Balls and Other Tales From Brooklyn is doing nicely. If you’d like to make him feel even better, help the book do even better by buying it. Amazon.com Kindle or paperback. But even before you’ve done that–get vaccinated…please.

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