Got my first shot Wednesday. It was at a Costco on Ashland Avenue, in a provisionally curtained-off area next to the customer service counter, just beyond the checkout lanes. The woman who called to confirm my appointment instructed me to enter through the exit doors, but to be careful because they come out fast and furious. Did she mean the volume-discount shoppers? Something else? I was just happy I didn’t have to register for a membership.

Most people are, or will soon be, going through some version of this process (save for the tinfoil hat types, of whom there’s a sizable contingent, as we have found out the last few years). It felt pretty routine to me. The people running this hastily-assembled operation were mostly competent, though the young woman at the registration desk could’ve used a gentler bedside manner—— there’s no call to bark at people to sit down, rather than line up, after giving them no clear instructions. Few of us are mind readers. The pharmacist who gave me my shot was calm and clear, which is all that really mattered. Afterwards, I was sent to another area with chairs, several occupied, and given a pink post-it note with the time fifteen minutes hence, and told to sit. They wanted to make sure there was no severe reaction.

I sat and watched another employee dart about, wiping surfaces, then left when the appointed minute struck. I didn’t feel anything, good or bad. I’d read for weeks about people smiling or weeping for joy at getting the vaccine. Did I miss something? Am I empty inside?

I got some lunch, then called my folks to reassure them it went smoothly. I have allergies, so they worry. Then I went home and went back to the bottomless website redesign k-hole I’d been living in the previous few days. I was a lot more preoccupied with recategorizing jpegs than any virus or physical malady.

The next morning, with the website thing over with and time to reflect on the day before, I tried to muster some hopefulness. It doesn’t come naturally. What’s encouraging is how people I know and the tone and timbre of news reports sound a lot more upbeat than they did a month or two ago. We’ve all been through the ringer. Maybe things will be better.

I’ve never been a ray of sunshine myself, so I have to look for what warmth there may be elsewhere.