AndyO Blog

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Swine Flu Saturday

No, the family did not get Swine Flu (H1N1) on Saturday. Instead, we set off to Stevens Hospital in the Edmonds area to get the kids vaccinated against it. We got there a little before 9:00, and the line already snaked into the back parking lot.

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Cameron asked me, "Why are all these people waiting in line?"

I explained that the Swine Flu vaccine was in short supply, and that this was one of the few places people could get it on Saturday. 

The first estimate we had was that we'd be waiting 2-1/2 hours.

The line moved ahead, and everyone was happy.

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Then a volunteer came by and told us we'd be waiting 6 hours. Some people left. We stayed.

I told myself that if I could wait for hours for rides at Disneyland, I could certainly wait for my kids to get vaccinated. Brenda and I talked about one of us taking the kids to a movie, but in the end we didn't exactly how long it was going to take.

The good people at Stevens Hospital (I found out later that most of them were volunteers) did everything they could to make our line experience as smooth and pleasant as possible. They passed out breakfast bars and cereal. Clowns came by and gave the kids stickers. Another clown performed a show for all the kids. (I thought several times that someone could have made a fortune selling good food, drinks, and coffee in line that day.)

After 1:00 p.m., it became clear that we were going to be in the line for a long time. Brenda and I took turns with the kids, using the car as a home base. Drew watched a movie or two. I read a book to Cam (Enders Game). I was surprised how well everyone did around us. There was no complaining. People saved places for other people in line. People shared food. And it didn't rain.

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At 2:00 p.m., I was starving so I walked down to McDonald's on 99 to get some food for me and the family. When I got back, Brenda was already in the covered area, which you can see in this picture:

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And then we reached the point in the line that was right next to the hospital. As you can see, Brenda's very happy.

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Then it was time for the kids to get their "nasal mist" injections of the vaccine. They both took it like men.

Here's Cameron questioning why the delivery device looks like a shot:

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Here's Drew -- I mean, The Skeleton -- getting his vaccine.

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As we left the hospital, an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment came over me. We had persevered 6 hours to get this vaccine. And now we were going to get ready for Halloween (it was 3:00 p.m.). I thought to myself, this will be a Halloween that these thousands of people never forget.

Thanks again to Stevens Hospital staff, all the volunteers, the Fire Department, the Police Department, and many others for making this day as easy as it could be.

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