I frantically responded to a few quick emails and began packing my bag. Looking up at the clock, I realized I was cutting it close. I needed to leave by 2:50 to allow enough travel time. I passed a fellow teacher in the hallway and wished her a happy birthday. How have I not see her one time today? I heard the echo of the car line. 267 red, Jenkins kids you are blue, 15 orange… I maneuvered around a few students crowding the door. Finally, sunlight and blue sky. What a beautiful afternoon. The soft breeze kissed my cheeks, the blooming daffodils decorated the yards, and the new green of the awakened grass and trees greeted me. There was a skip in my step, not just due to the welcome of spring and an early day away from school, but the anticipation of receiving my first COVID vaccination shot. Hope was just around the corner. I could feel it. I have been waiting for this day for weeks.
I sat at the table with my book in hand. Waiting 15 minutes after the shot is a book lover’s dream. I shared my information with the receptionist. She was typing and clicking and searching the screen.
What time is your appointment?
Could it be under a different name?
Not that I can think of.
I have your information here, but there is no appointment time with your name.
I pulled out my phone and searched through my photos.
Here is a screenshot of my appointment date and time.
I’m sorry. I can’t give you a shot if I don’t have you down with an appointment. All the shots are accounted for. I can take down your name and number and call you if there are any extra shots at the end of the day.
My heart sank. Everything inside of me was on the edge. I wanted to burst into tears, I wanted to slam my fist on the table, I wanted to shout, “I need this shot today!” But instead I took a few deep breaths. I stood up shoulders slouching looking for the closest exit. I walked out dazed and in disbelieve. I was supposed to feel on top of the world right now. I was supposed to feel the hope of the light at the end of the tunnel. But instead, I felt like it was yet another COVID disappointment.