Are We Cured Yet? Are We Cured Yet? Are We Cured Yet? Are We Cured Yet?

COVID-19 Vaccine!

“…but we might have some toilet paper and Clorox wipes left, if you ask nicely.”

“COVID-19 VACCINE NOT YET AVAILABLE” read the dual MS Word signs that have been hanging on the doors of our local Walgreens for at least a week, possibly longer. I can only imagine the conversation that sparked them, probably held a thousand times daily:

[landline rings]
“Hello, thank you for calling Walgreens, this is Eunice, how may I assist you?”
“Are we cured yet?”
“No.”
“Are we cured yet?”
“No.”
“Are we cured yet?”
“NO.”
“Are we cured yet?”
“I said NO.”
“Are we cured yet?”
“NO!”
“Are we cured yet?”
“NOOO!”
“Are we cured yet?”
“NOOOOOOOO!!!”
“Are we cured yet?”
[sound of a phone smashed, then screaming while running toward the horizon]

Once upon a time I was a McDonald’s manager at exactly the wrong time in fast-food history. I remember what it was like for the phone to ring off the hook as a horde of Teenie Beanie Babies collectors kept calling every ten minutes to ask which plush critters were in stock each and every day so they could plan their Happy Meal budget and eBay auction schedules accordingly.

To some, the promise of a Coronavirus vaccine is slightly more important than cashing in on hot collectibles. The stakes are a bit higher. Everyone wants to go back to The Way Things Were, and they want to go there now now now now NOW. If that wizardry could happen before Thanksgiving so several pounds of roast turkey and six cans of gross cranberry sauce don’t go to waste, so much the better.

But no, we aren’t there yet. Maybe soon, but not yet. The news is right there. The headlines are right there. The MAN did not secretly cure COVID-19 and then ship several billion bottles of Coricidin COVID Capsules and Chloraseptic Corona-Syrup to your local pharmacies without telling you. I promise when it exists, when it’s widely available, especially when it’s available to you personally, I trust the media, all your opted-in email ads, and your entire Facebook feed will make sure you know. Just follow the bouncing GIFs.

If it makes you feel better, the lines may not be as long as you think. Sure, many of us will flock to the vaccine stations and be prepared to wait hours for Big Pharma salvation if necessary, and we will bring many things to read because we know how long lines work. But at least you won’t have to wait behind a lot of anti-vaxxers. Even if all the clinical trials are certified by licensed scientists and the results are visibly demonstrable across multiple countries, rest assured some folks will sit at home holding their breath like, “Okay, sure, I totally trust aspirin, cough drops, burn cream, Tums, blood pressure meds, ice packs, Band-Aids, eye drops, Chapstick, vitamins, protein powder, Botox, and any substance Oprah has ever recommended, but VACCINES? Ewww, nope nope nope nope nope nope! Gonna stay far away from all that so I can stay ideologically pure and totally risk-free of catching adult onset autism!”

You also won’t have to wait behind the yokels who think this is all a worldwide hoax, or who’ve convinced themselves it’s Flu Lite. They won’t be there either. They’ll keep gathering at their nearest watering holes and their gas stations like, “Nah, y’all, I’m just gonna keep gambling with my life and the lives of everyone around me, because if I don’t have The Rona, therefore no one has ever had it and it’s all a massive scam and the 4600 dead Hoosiers and 1,000,000+ dead worldwide are just acceptable losses, okey-doke collateral damage, disposable souls who never would’ve mattered to me anyway. Because screw anyone who isn’t me me me me ME!”

So there’ll be plenty of doses for the rest of us, then. Someday. Possibly as early as 2021. But not yet. Patience, patients. Leave your beleaguered pharmacist alone, keep an eye on reputable sources for further announcements, keep the safety protocols going, and if you’re simply beside yourself on this, contact someone who’s as jittery as you are and see if you can console each other until the big day arrives.

I mean, the big day that the crisis is over, that is. Thanksgiving 2020 may still suck.

(Your Mileage May Vary.)

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