Kindness Wanted

I usually find myself rolling my eyes at people when the simplest of niceties are not observed. I grew up learning manners mattered. You hold the door open for people, you do not sit until the host sits, and you always say "please" and "thank you."

It’s amazing how inconsiderate people are in everyday life unless they need something from someone else.

But, recently, I learned that niceties still exist. People are still kind and accommodating and generally, wonderful.

Starting the vaccination process

This March 2021, I was able to start the COVID-19 vaccination process. A very quick text blast went out saying that one of the mass vax sites had an overstock and they were filling appointments for the upcoming weekend.

I got a slot for Saturday afternoon and had to drive about 45 minutes to an hour to get there. That’s a lot for my little RA-ridden body to handle.

I was in the middle of getting my loading doses of Orencia and I had to postpone one of them for a week to get the vaccine.

Familiar stiffness and pain

On the drive up, I started feeling the all too familiar stiffness and pain. Thankfully, I thought ahead and brought my walking stick (read: cane). Aside from the drive, I wasn’t sure how long we would wait in line or whether there would be many places to sit. I came prepared. Furthermore, I wanted

Surprisingly, the entire thing took about 35 minutes, from walking from the parking lot to getting vaccinated and scheduling the second appointment. But, what really stood out to me was just how wonderful the people volunteering were.

Kind volunteers and nurses

I can imagine volunteering at a mass site like this would push anyone’s buttons after an extended period of time, but the volunteers and the nurses were kind, knowledgeable, and helpful.

So, recall that I had my cane with me. Many of the National Guard volunteered at this particular site. The first officer who checked me in immediately offered to show me the elevator, asked if I could use the escalator, and asked if I needed a wheelchair or any other accommodations.

The next step was to check-in via iPad. I was a hot mess. I was trying to stand and move up the line while holding my cane under my arm and holding the iPad in my hands. I kept whacking the volunteers and I felt so bad.

But, instead of getting annoyed, they offered to help me fill out the iPad if I needed assistance. They also asked if I wanted to use the elevator.

We waited in line for 2 minutes while people socially-distanced up the escalator. Everyone was very patient with me. One of the volunteers made a motion to help me get onto the escalator but caught herself. While I appreciate the sentiment, I’m glad she didn’t follow through. After all, I don’t want to be handled!

Offers for assistance at every step

The RNs and volunteers on the second floor were accommodating and made sure I felt comfortable moving around. When we were scheduling our second appointment, I was standing for the first bit. It took a little longer than I thought and ended up sitting down. 

The schedulers were horrified and apologized for not offering a chair at the beginning. As sweet as they were, I can take care of myself, thanks!

On our way out, a few of the Air Force officers were on cart duty. They offered to give me a ride to my car because, ultimately, we were having the best weather after a few days of rain and cold so I wanted to enjoy it as much as possible. The officers were around my age and joked that they probably catch up with me long before I got to my car.

Well, yeah, they were right. One of the guys was escorting an elderly woman and guess what? He lapped us!

There are still good people out there

To be honest, those kinds of jokes don’t bother me. I rather enjoy them because it helps me remember that it’s not so bad when I need assistance.

But, what really got me about this whole experience was just how wonderful everyone was especially since I had not asked for any accommodations. People were lovely and kind and just generally, good people. That is very rare nowadays!

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