Jab Jab Peter Altschul #memoir #HealthWorld #Author’sCorner

Jab Jab Peter Altschul #memoir #HealthWorld #Author’sCorner


Jab Jab

Peter Altschul, MS Copyright 2021
Email: creatingcommonground@outlook.com
Website: https://www.dldbooks.com/peteraltschul/

August 22, 2021

At 6:45 on a breezy mid-April morning, Rick and I stood at the back of a small line of people ready to pour into Faurot Field, the home of University of Missouri Tigers football. I was there to get my first shot to strengthen my immunity against the COVID-19 virus. Rick had picked me up from my apartment 15 minutes earlier and would guide me through the process.

“Does he have a mask?” an employee barked in harried tones.

“Yes!” I shot back, removing a cloth contraption from my shorts’ left front pocket and covering my face. I shuffled my flip-flop covered feet, shivering slightly.

“We’re moving,” Rick told me. I latched onto his left elbow and we hurried through the door and around a genteel obstacle course, stopping to answer a question here, handing in a form there, and offering my photo ID elsewhere. Then, we strode to the elevator where a staff member pushed the correct button for the passengers.

“Health precaution,” we were told.

“Nice service,” someone commented.

“Hello,” the jabber said after Rick and I completed another shorter obstacle course. “How are you this morning?”

“Fine,” I said as Rick guided me to a chair.

“Any questions about the vaccine?” she asked as I sat down.

“No, but I would appreciate it if you would alert me when you are ready to give me the shot.”

She bustled about. “No problem.” She rolled up the left sleeve of the T-shirt I was wearing and swabbed disinfectant around the area where the jab would take place while describing what she was doing.

“Ready?” she asked.


“OK. Three–two–one.”

Nothing happened.

Something crinkled nearby. “Good. I’m putting on a band-aid.”

“Wait! You gave me the shot?”

She slapped the band-aid in place. “Yes.”

Rick and I chatted with someone trying to decide whether to play a round of golf later that day while waiting 15 minutes to make sure something horrible didn’t happen to me. Then, to the elevator where a staff member pressed the correct button, out to the street, into Rick’s car, and back to my apartment.

As I was preparing to get on my treadmill an hour later, I became violently thirsty, but after guzzling several glasses of water, I experienced no other symptoms except a dull ache in my left shoulder as I ran on the treadmill, tutored student-athletes, and played drums as part of a jazz trio.

At 6:45 AM on a calm, mild morning two weeks later, Rick and I stood at the back of another line of people ready to pour into Faurot Field. I was there to get my second jab. The obstacle courses were similar, and the second jabber was as empathetically efficient as her colleague — but we had to push the correct buttons in the elevator.

Thirty minutes later, I was back in my apartment where I continued packing my belongings in preparation for a move to the bottom floor of a house two miles down the road scheduled to take place two days later after running on my treadmill and tutoring student athletes. At around 4 PM, I lay down for what I thought would be a two-hour nap, waking up six hours later to a jangling phone.

Somehow, I slept-walked my way through the move, thanks in large part to the patient efficiency of those who lugged possessions out of the apartment and into the house. I unpacked boxes, connected to the Internet, and recorded a podcast while yawning incessantly. I was fine and mostly moved in three days later.

Since then, I have continued my work with that jazz trio and fulfilled a PR contract while befriending a standard poodle and trying to find patterns within the political and social chaos around me.

Ten days ago, someone forced a swab into my left nostril to test for the COVID-19 virus. The results were negative; I feel fortunate.

I wish getting vaccinated was not so wrapped up with tribalism. I hope we in the United States can withdraw more gracefully from Afghanistan and find ways to influence things for the better from a distance.

Go, Tigers!


  1. Thanks for reading; feedback encouraged!

  2. Great comments – feeling, experiencing and wondering just like you!

    1. Hi Rob, thanks for reading and commenting to share your thoughts.

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