So I’m driving home past Dodger Stadium, perhaps the biggest Covid vaccination site in our country. And living in Echo Park, as I do, actually in the hills called Elysian Heights, I live only 4 stops signs away from the World Series Champs of 2020.
Seeing a very short line of cars on my way home from grocery shopping with the Fam about 4:30 on January 19, I slow down near the entrance gate at Stadium and Academy Ways, and using my gregarious New York cab driver persona, I shout out to the heroic, yellow vest-wearing CORE workers:
“Hey, got room for another over-65 year old?””Do you have an appointment, sir?”
“Are you an essential health care worker, sir?”
Of course, just what I thought. I was just throwing spaghetti against the wall.
“But, I heard that they’re taking appointments for over 65-year olds at the Inglewood Forum, starting this afternoon. I suggest you go home and try to make an appointment as soon as you can.”
“Thanks a lot. Will do. Do you know the website address?”
“VaccinateLA or something like that, sir. I’m sure you can find it online.”
I speed home like a bullet train with my wife and son fighting centrifugal force.
“You guys put away the grocercies, ok? I’m going online…”
They agree. I do, and…
It’s better than the CORE worker said. Just 40 minutes ago, LA Public Health went online, at 4 pm, with hundreds, if not thousands, of appointments, for over 65 year olds, for the first time. I absolutely….. lucked out!
There’s even an appointment for me — at Dodger Stadium — today — in 5 minutes — if I want it. I take one in half an hour. At 5:10 pm. It’s 4:40 now.
I get back in the car and with just 10 cars in front of me, I’m in the Stadium with a bar code on my phone, at 5 pm.
I snake my way through the orange cones until I’m bumper to bumper in a parked line of cars, just like you’ve seen online, or in the newspapers. I wait for about half an hour.
A CORE worker comes up to me: I roll down my window. I’m sure there’s going to be some mistake and I’m going to be pulled out of line and sent home. I’ve been trying to get a Covid shot for weeks. And struck out at every turn.
“What’s your first name, sir?”
It’s a young man in a mask and a CORE yellow vest. First name?
“I took your improv class at USC about 8 years ago, Mr. Trules. It was a great class. Life-changing.”
“Thank you very much.”
One never knows, do one?
“What’s your name?”
He tells me but I can’t quite put a face behind the mask to it. I think my brain’s memory bank OD-ed about 10 years ago.
“Oh, sure. How you doing?”
“Great. Good luck to you and your family, Mr. Trules. Great class.”
He moves on to do his job.
I get my shot. It doesn’t hurt at all.
Until the next day — when my arm aches so much I can’t pull up, or off, my pants. Or for the next 2 days either. Small price, I figure, to pay for immunity.
I can’t wait for the 2nd shot. I hope they call me when they said they will.
The next morning, we can’t drive in or out of the neighborhood via Stadium Way. There are hundreds of cars lined up in every direction, approaching the same gate that had only 10 cars last night. The word is OUT. And will be from now on. Probably for months. Around the clock. As I said, I synchronously lucked out.
Thanks, Moderna! Thanks LA Public Health. Thanks, CORE and Sean Penn. Thanks, USC and the job I had for 31 years. Thanks, dumb luck.
Maybe one day in this year (or next), we will actually come out of this surreal and frightening world of corona virus. What will “normal” ever look like again?
Be healthy and safe……………
More about Trules on his Website
Listen to his podcast, “e-travels with e. trules” HERE