How to jump the line and still feel fine
I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die — Vampire Weekend
Even more disturbing than Covid vax deniers, bless their poor misguided hearts, are the vax entitled.
These are elites who grab shots before their turn so they may live long and prosper while the vax populi sicken and die. Let them eat ventilators!
Maybe you know someone who jumped the vax line. Maybe you’re ashamed to be that someone. Maybe right now you’re reading a Medium post by a hypocritical someone who landed a single-dose Johnson & Johnson through connections.
Jumping the Covid vax line is hardly easy. You have to network. Pull strings. Lie. Cheat. Do reverse Robin Hood and steal from the poor. Reject the hallowed values your parents taught, swallow your shame, and sell your mortal soul for fleeting earthly rewards. Like Fox “personality” Tucker Carlson, weeknights at 8/7 pm.
But being bad feels bad if you’re not a bad person.
Which you’re not. You’re a good person. The best most awesome special person ever, in fact. Like everyone is, Oprah said and Millennials believe.
Proof: You donate your old clothing and clutter you KonMari’d. While driving, sometimes you use your turn signal. You lecture ignorant apathetic SUV drivers about climate change. You courageously display a BLM yard sign that proudly shows your progressive, wealthy White neighborhood that you hate structural racism that keeps your wealthy neighborhood White. You post anti-Trump comments on Facebook that trigger your Trump-loving mother and her anxiety because at 91, she finally needs to learn.
But all your virtue-signaling goes for naught during a deadly 100-year pandemic when you’re young, hale and hearty and steal a Covid shot at life from the old, frail or ailing. Or from someone on the front lines who’s risking life for low pay to save and serve millions of lives.
Our personal response to the Covid, like with every deadly situation whether in war or peace, public or private, offers the perfect test of who we really are.
Do we care more about ourselves than others? Will we sacrifice so others can live? Or is it every man for himself? Would we rather go down with the Titanic than climb over women and children for a lifeboat and forever live in infamy?
(This is not, by the way, a sly reference to the difference between Republicans and Democrats, unless you want to take it that way.)
Yet who needs the emotional trauma of feeling guilty for snaking a Covid shot?
Hasn’t the Covid been traumatic enough?
If you jumped the vax line but love to sleep the peaceful sleep of the righteous without Ambien and its attendant psychotic dreams, then try one of these seven rationalizations:
1. Technically I’m a CDC 1A healthcare hero on the front lines of the Covid response because (choose one):
a) I’m a senior partner at a giant global law or consulting firm and Pfizer, Moderna and J&J are all, let me say, “lucrative” clients;
b) I post healthcare-related essays on Medium.com that get tens of readers;
c) I have healthcare stocks in my 401(k) which, let me say, has done pretty well during the Covid;
d) I care about my health, which literally makes me all about healthcare. And like Walt Whitman, I contain multitudes who like me need healthcare.
2. My friend has a friend who has a friend with a friend who is a doctor affiliated with a hospital that my friend says has extra shots they’re giving out to everyone, even Uber drivers who pull up.
My friend said he could hook me up. It would be horse-mouthing a gift if I refused. Also, I want to save those shots from going bad.
3. I started habitually smoking Kool Menthol Lights because of the Covid stress but mostly to have an underlying health condition to get an early shot to live longer.
To be honest, I habitually smoked for only an hour one day until I projectile vomited two weeks of meals and then my large intestine, but still, how dare you judge me?
4. I also ate two dozen Krispy Kremes for two days to tip the scales into obesity, also an underlying health condition for an early shot.
If you’d like to know more about my experience and your shameful body shaming, read my HuffPo personal story in the “Things not to say” series titled, “Don’t shame me because I ate two dozen Krispy Kremes in two days just to get a Covid shot.”
5. To quote Hamilton in “Hamilton”: I am not throwin’ away my shot/I am not throwin’ away my shot/Hey yo, I’m just like my country/I’m young, scrappy and hungry/And I’m not throwin’ away my shot.
6. I only got the 75 percent effective J&J single shot instead of the 95 percent Pfizer and Moderna double-shots.
Yes, thanks for asking, I was willing to be 20 percent more endangered so that others may survive and even thrive. No, I’m no Saint Teresa of Calcutta, but I feel blessed by the comparison even if offered ironically.
7. It’s not cheating when the goal is herd immunity. Dr. Fauci says we need to get the most shots in the most arms to save the most lives, end this pandemic and go back to normal life. I’m just doing my part by cutting ahead of the Trump sheep herd that needs to be herded to shots.
What if none of these Covid vax line-jumping rationalizations work?
Then quickly deflect with the classic joke about the epidemiologist who was hard of hearing when he was asked about herd immunity. Punchline: “Heard of immunity? Of course I’ve heard of immunity!”
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer