#340! That was my number at Parque Zeferino on Friday, March 19, 2021.
The night before, Glenn and I spent the evening watching Netflix’s Unauthorized Living until close to midnight. Then Glenn checked his email before falling asleep. There, in the inbox, was a message from our friends: Kathy and David let us know that their church in San Miguel had sent them a notice that the Pfizer vaccines would be available in San Miguel for 3 days starting the next morning.
We had heard nothing. Information was on the COVID-19 SMA Facebook Page, but it hadn’t come across into our feed, even though we follow it.
Thank god, we got that email and the link.
Skedaddling downstairs, we clicked the link, read the information, and gathered my Mexican driver’s license and Resident visa along with finding my Folio number from my registration over a month ago. I was all set to go.
We got up at 5:30 am, before dawn, and excited. This would be a big day for one of us. I am over 60, Glenn, not so until May 16th. We would be a 50% couple for a few months.
I allowed myself half a cup of coffee. No more!! I usually have to pee all the time and doubted there would be potties available. I was right.
We got to Parque Zeferino after passing the IMSS office, whose line we determined was long. In reality, after arriving at the Parque, it was much shorter than ours. Damn.
We got in line right at the bathroom spot at about 6:45. Yippee, I could pee. Surprising myself, I made it the following six hours as a camel.
Our line was orderly, but no one socially distanced even though they were asked to. We tried to keep as much space between us and the people in front of us, at least. The people in the back kept crowding. Wouldn’t that be my luck to get COVID now? But all looks good, so far.
The vaccines arrived with the National Guard. And a bit later the line started its slow progression forward. We did not know how many people were in line in front of us. It snaked partway around the park in front of us, and people kept adding to the line in the back. How many of us would get the jab? I had heard one number, but it turned out to be wrong. We only knew they would keep giving them till they ran out for the day. Both of us had all our fingers crossed.
Eventually, some distancing was accomplished as the workers kept coming down the line requesting this.
When workers came through and counted us off, I was more encouraged. And when they gave me a little slip of paper with that #340 on it, I breathed easier. I clutched that number like my life depended on it. It could.
Glenn and I have been pretty protective of ourselves, only going out once in a while into open space. We have limited the friends we see, and where we have visited with them. We have done our diligence and would have to keep at it until Glenn too got the vaccine.
Finally, at about noon, I saw the gate creeping closer, the entry to Shangri-La, the Promised Land, backstage.
And then they announced two more could enter. It was my turn; I stepped forward. Glenn was not allowed in. He would have to wait until May. So, I sent him off to spend time at a cafe down the road. The reward for being such a trooper and hanging out with me, playing translator. I admit, with concentrating on my writing this past year, I am rusty in my Spanish.
At the registration table, they asked for my registration/confirmation number (Folio) and the driver’s license and resident card I had remembered to bring. Then I got escorted to a chair and given a bottle of water and a granola bar. They recommend having something in your stomach, and besides some cashews we brought, we hadn’t eaten since 5:30.
As always, Mexicans step up to the plate with their calm demeanor and lovely smiles. Everyone was so nice and unhurried.
There were rows of six chairs across and as the person in the front chair moved on to the vaccination tables, the ones in the chair in the back of them moved up. Someone directed each move and everything was orderly, efficient, and very well organized.
It was my turn now; I had my blood pressure taken; she gave me a smile and announced mine was excellent. They noted my information on a sheet of a leger and then on the paper noting I had my first vaccine was filled in.
I hardly felt the jab. A small, barely noticeable prick. But one with such significance. Life-changing. I felt the small tears form. Realizing that all over the world others were joining the vaccinated.
I had a half-hour wait before being allowed to leave the park and I walked out a fortunate woman.
The only downside of the day was the lack of appointments. But as many on Facebook wrote about their day, just think of it as a line for a rock concert.
For us, the entire morning lasted about as long as it would have taken us to be in the Leon airport and on a flight back up to Oakland. This option was much cheaper.
I have to say a huge thank you to the wonderful people giving their time and energy to the vaccination effort. They all couldn’t have been nicer.
I needed some food by now, and a restroom.
Glenn was waiting for me at a lovely cafe, Hierba Santa – Cocina del Sur. We tried this for the first time on the recommendation of our friends Karen and Nate Moon. In the back of an alley off Calzada de la Aurora, (#48A) right before the bridge when walking out of Centro, this is a wonderful find.
The owners, Daniella (Danny) and Paco, are delightful. And Paco is masterful, his creations full of great flavor and absolutely stunning to look at. When we were there, their little white dog, dressed up, was well behaved and wandered around like she owned the place.
Glenn had the Ceviche de Camaron before I arrived and then we tried the Tostada de Pulpo a la diabla and the Panuchos along with limonada, agua de jamaica, and their strawberry/cucumber drink. All were excellent. We can’t wait to come in and try the breakfasts. It was an excellent choice to celebrate my first vaccination.