Thousands of people waiting in line, just for a chance to get it. Grown women pushing children aside for a spot closer to the front of the pack. Doctors' offices, town health departments, schools--no one has it. And that makes the rest of us even more desperate to get it.
It reminds me of the Cabbage Patch Doll phenomenon of the 80s. I think my grandmother actually went to fisticuffs with another granny over my first Cabbage Patch Doll, Lucy Therese. (Yeah, I got the doll. Grandma won. I come from a long line of hearty, Eastern European Mamas.)
I managed to get the Little One vaccinated and today is the eve of her booster. A huge relief, to be sure. But my work is unfinished. After all, what good am I to her if I fall ill with this 21st century plague?
So I've been trying like hell to get the vaccine for myself. No mean feat these days, as many of you already know. I considered lying to my town health department when they were doing their clinics. I figured I could tell them I was pregnant. Or caring for an infant under the age of 6 months. Or both. (That lie, I figured, might garner me extra sympathy.) But I'm a terrible liar. Plus, it kind of felt like bad karma to lie about something so big.
So, instead, I've been carrying around a can of Lysol in my purse. (No, I'm not kidding.) I've been bathing in Purell. I've washed my hands raw.
Many of my friends are actually a little scared of me now.
Over these past weeks, I've married my anti-flu vigilance with a steely determination to find and procure a dose of this vaccine for myself through honorable means. And my efforts have finally paid off. I have an appointment this week to finally get the most coveted accessory of the season: The H1N1 Jab. And I'm proud to say that I didn't have to bop any grannies over the head to do it, either.
Avoiding the Swine Flu by vaccination: $30.
No longer spraying Lysol on the Metro-North train to NYC: Priceless.
Now, if I can just avoid catching it until Thursday...