Just shoot me now, please

Everybody wants to get shot, and nobody wants to wait.

Everybody wants to get shot, and nobody wants to wait.

A kind of mass hysteria appears to have gripped Canadians the final week of October.

With the recent, and earlier than normal, release of the H1N1 vaccine, the long line-ups for vaccination are a nightmare.

Not only for those who choose to stand in line, but also for others where traffic jams, and parking spaces are interfering with normal business. I think everybody agrees it could have been handled better.

Both the health authorities and the public have learned some lessons. It may well be poor judgement to have the clinics rolled out in the manner chosen, but it is equally mismanagement of my time to stand in line for half a day just to get the shot a week or two earlier than normal.

We have been conditioned to jump on the immunization bandwagon for our own protection and the herd of humanity has moved in a predictable direction.

I am sure the various Health Authority bodies now realize, in hindsight, the weakness in their pandemic planning and execution.

Thousands are griping at it, but that does not get us nearer to a solution. Maybe it is time to have a calm second look.

Who among us could have anticipated the incredible early demand for the vaccine?

Who among us, except the most fearful, would be willing to stand in line for four to six hours? It doesn’t have to be this way, and soon won’t.

Yet, the government has known and has been planning for this pandemic for months and the media has broadcast every flu-related death since early in the year.

In hindsight, the preparedness plans and the media coverage have created great expectations and a great fear.

With this kind of pent up demand and expectation, it is little wonder the public is living in fear and anxiety.

Fear is nothing more than an emotional response to a threat — a basic survival mechanism in response to some stimulus or threat of danger. We have been told for months to brace for this, how to protect ourselves, how deadly it might be to consumer and commerce.

Business and individuals have done their part in preparation.

Still, it is well to remember, that nobody could have planned to meet the demand and expectation of everybody getting the vaccine on the first day or two of availability.

It would be just as wrong-headed to have several hundred clinics and try to do everybody in two days.

Rightfully, the high-risk individuals, hospital staff and other key personnel should be getting priority. But I understand that the queue lines are populated by lots of low-risk folks.

Over the coming few weeks, the number of clinics is set to increase and the line-ups should get shortened to an acceptable hour or less.

Meanwhile, rather than living in fear, with the remote chance of death sucking life from my life, I will take the appropriate precautions and get the shot soon enough . . . I hope.

Paul Hemingson is a freelance writer living in the Spruce View area. He is a frequent columnist for The Advocate’s Central Alberta LIFE publication.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Officials tour Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange

Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman and local MLAs visit construction site

Bike thefts becoming ‘significant problem’ in Red Deer

Residents are sounding the alarm on the growing problem of bike theft… Continue reading

Red Deer approves 10 cannabis retail stores

Locations approved around the city

One trillion litres of sewage leaked into lakes and rivers over last five years

OTTAWA — Last Wednesday, a team of people from the Lake Ontario… Continue reading

Woman bitten at Red Deer dog park

Dog owners reminded to control their pets

WATCH: A horse was neglected by its owner. Now the horse is suing

ESTACADA, Ore. - Justice is an 8-year-old American quarter horse who used… Continue reading

Red Sox old-timer’s memorabilia going up for sale

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Some items belonging to one of the Boston Red… Continue reading

Rival Korea leaders to meet in Pyongyang in September

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — The rival Koreas announced Monday that North… Continue reading

Charlottesville anniversary: Peaceful protests, few arrests

WASHINGTON — Thousands of people wanting to send a message that racism… Continue reading

‘I believe music heals people’: 12-year-old records tribute for shooting victims

YARMOUTH, N.S. — Twelve-year-old Josh Cochrane of Yarmouth, N.S., watched the news… Continue reading

Fallen officers’ families gather with Justin Trudeau after tragedy

The prime minister laid flowers at the growing memorial to the four victims of Friday’s violence

Fallen officers’ families gather with prime minister after tragedy

FREDERICTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with families of fallen Fredericton… Continue reading

Liberals showcase benefits of billions spent on infrastructure projects

OTTAWA — Little more than a year before the next federal election,… Continue reading

Fredericton parade ‘a way to celebrate even in the midst of this grief’: mayor

FREDERICTON — Two days after four people were gunned down in a… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month