Get it done

“Your appointment has been cancelled,” read the first email received after returning back to the office.

Ordinarily getting cancelled doesn’t feel so good but this was for my second jab appointment in September. News that walk-in clients were being accepted this past Tuesday for the Pfizer vaccine had me take a break at work and get it done.

For the first dose, many recipients found it an emotional experience ranging from trepidation to euphoria. Sensing that wellness and a return to normal was underway, many people were simply relieved.

The second dose was anti-climactic, just another step in the return to normal, but gave me pause for reflection as the 15-minute waiting period evaporated.

The setup at the Fergus arena was orderly, calming each step of the way, and professional. That rests on competent staff and organizers who will have deployed this mission knowing very little about mass vaccinations when it all started. This for many will be a once-in-a-lifetime event – we hope.

For both jabs a courteous nurse told a “little story” to offset my hatred of needles, which dates back to kindergarten where two exasperated nurses and a principal waited for my dad to show up before I’d accept a needle. Take it from perhaps the worst needle taker in the world: the shots administered were very easy and not a bit painful. Don’t let fear stop you from getting the shot.

As minutes passed I was also thinking about the warden, members of council, county staff and township personnel.

Staring down at the arena floor I noticed it was set up for this season’s lacrosse. Way back in March 2020 a thick layer of ice occupied the space when the lights were abruptly shut off. Hockey, figure skating and ringette were no more, practically overnight. The place was rendered silent.

There always seems to be at least one tax-fighter looking to save a buck. Someone mused at the time about the waste of keeping ice when no one was using it, not recognizing the morbid purpose should COVID-19 have been as devastating as first thought. I started thinking about staff and their team on council, knowing of things which needed to remain unspoken in order to be a source of calm in adversity.

As we take another run at opening up, the arena too will come back to life. Aspiring athletes and friends will get to play sports. Parents will get the chance to compare life notes and enjoy adult conversations. All of these things will multiply and life will be good again.

Getting to this point has required a great deal of sacrifice. It has taken people working together to achieve common ends, buoying spirits and encouraging better.

There have been moments during the past 16 months where the poorest instincts in people (including politicians) have emerged and sown discord. Luckily the bright lights outshone those callous actors who thought more of themselves than others.

This difficult time would have been far less manageable if it weren’t for the leadership of Warden Kelly Linton. Steady, capable, hard to get excited – he managed to keep the political realm focused and on task, which was promoting public safety during a pandemic.

A vast percentage of citizens here have accepted the call for the jab, helping make it possible to get back to normal sooner. It is time to finish the job.

Get it done.