The Beginning of the End - Have Vaccine, Will Travel -- The Pre-Recovery - CycleBlaze

December 27, 2020

The Beginning of the End

Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

It all began with an email after a group fitness class on a Saturday. This was odd because the school I work for never sends emails on the weekend. I was told to check it immediately and reply before 9pm that night if I did not want a covid vaccine. 

Group fitness. The source of my mental sanity and physical wellbeing for most of 2020
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There was no further information given: no details about the company giving the vaccine, nothing about the price, nothing about side effects or length of protection, no timeline as to the vaccine schedule, and no reason why we were selected. The only thing they said is that it was voluntary, but if we didn't reply that night they would assume yes and we could be liable for the cost if we later said no. All kinds of speculation abounded like perhaps the Chinese were testing this on expats in a form of clinical trials, and it hadn't been released to the general population yet.

I had a lengthy discussion about this with my loved ones, and the group chat at work was buzzing all night about this email with people weighing in yes or no. I decided to opt out and replied to the email as such.

Fast forward a few days. Another email was sent to me with detailed information about the vaccine that answered most of the above questions, and they said we needed to sign some documents. But wait, didn't I say no? The email was obviously a mistake. Even so, it was like that 'are you sure' prompt you get when you delete an email. The email was asking me one last time, are you sure you want to throw away this opportunity? Now with the information presented, are you going for it or not? What if this becomes a requirement for travel or work and you don't have the vaccine? Then everyone will want it and it could be scarce. You decided to throw away this chance to get it when you could. Are you sure about that?

I buckled. My reply was basically about how I could still get in on this, and then signed all the paperwork that afternoon. The next Saturday (Dec 26) they announced in another email that vaccination would start the next day, literally less than 24 hours.

It was game time.

Surprisingly, I slept very well that night. The next day, I got on the bicycle and rode very slowly out to the vaccination center which happened to be in a large stadium on the outskirts of Shanghai. As I was riding, I felt confident that this was the right decision, not just because of the travel opportunities that the vaccine could offer but a more fundamental reason: I would no longer be susceptible to COVID. Can't get it nor be a carrier to others. The pandemic would stop with me and it felt like a tiny contribution to a major cause for humanity at such an early stage. I was stoked. If this vaccine drive was successful, and there was every reason to believe so, then more and more people would follow and eventually build up herd immunity to end this pandemic. Not that it would be all smooth sailing and equal access around the world, however. There are still so many unknowns at this point. Like why we were even selected to begin with. But it was clear this was the way to go.

Here we are like sheeple entering the stadium, off to the slaughterhouse
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Required to enter the building. These health codes are a digital way to ensure you are covid-free and have been a hallmark of China this year.
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When we got there, the place was slam packed. Clearly this vaccine was already very popular, even for us pre-selected elite sheeple that somehow managed to get a first dose shot before the end of 2020. There were thousands of us being processed that day, and it was all done with staggering efficiency. We signed some papers, scanned a QR code, downloaded another app, entered some information and got a separate code from the green health code. Then we presented the green code to enter the building, all the while with the standard masks and temperature checks. About 30 minutes later we got to the front of the queue where there was a gigantic row of two-dozen desks and staff sitting behind to do the registration. They asked to see my passport, scanned the documents, then asked in Chinese if I had a cold or felt unwell. After saying no, they stamped it and sent me into the stadium.

Clearly, the vast majority there were locals and not expats thus debunking the theory that they were testing the vaccine on foreigners.

Inside the stadium were dozens upon dozens of medical stations set up with two nurses at each station. They all wore masks and hazmat suits. They were each equipped with computers, scanners, swabs, and hundreds of vaccine doses. I was asked a simple question in Chinese: "Are you afraid?" I said no, and the nurses asked me to take off my shirt. No problem with that, as I work out. The vaccine went in so quickly on my left deltoid I didn't even feel it. They put a swab on the needle point then said it was done. I said, "That was quick" and they said, "Yes, quick" and asked me to please wait in the observation area for 30 minutes afterwards to check for any adverse reactions.

Going for the jab
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We all chatted, as I knew many of the staff as well as bumped into teachers from other schools. This was mainly to take our minds off of what the hell we had just done, and anything strange that might happen in 30 minutes. Nothing did, and with our "quarantine" finished, that was that. We parted ways and I rode home on the bicycle.

Today's ride: 32 km (20 miles)
Total: 32 km (20 miles)

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Rachael AndersonWow! That sounds easy. I wish the US could be so efficient.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonA nice bit of reporting. We’re very envious, but also looking forward to hearing more tales from the road.
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2 months ago
Kathleen JonesGreat news. Really happy for you. On to 2021!
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2 months ago
Andrea BrownWas this the Sinopharm vaccine? https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/31/china-approves-sinopharm-covid-19-vaccine-for-general-use
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2 months ago
Steve RuelleYou are correct. We were supposedly 'key groups' or trials before they released it to the market
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2 months ago