January 22nd was my mother’s birthday. Born in 1912, she would have been 109-years old. Also, at 9:00 AM it started to rain in Calaveras County on the western slope of the Sierra Mountains. It was a welcome event in what, so far, is turning out to be a pretty dry winter. At 9:05 AM Sharon and I received our first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The shots were administered by cheerful nurses in an open breezeway between buildings at the county’s hospital in San Andreas. After the injection we were given a red timer, set for fifteen minutes, a vaccination certificate, and a Dignity Heath pen. When the timer went off we were free to go. Before we left, we asked a nurse to take a picture of the two of us inside a cardboard frame that read: “Protect Against COVID-19.”  It reminded me of an old photograph I came across of myself, at age eight, inside a similar cheesy frame.

In my mind I tried to make a connection, a trifecta, of my mother’s birthday, the rain, and our vaccination. On our way home we stopped at our mailbox to find the January 25th issue of the New Yorker magazine waiting for us. The cartoon on its cover was an American eagle with our ex-president in its talons. The caption: “A Weight Lifted.”


I had, and still have, a feeling of experiencing history, a somber and blessed moment. Here’s wishing that a vaccination is offered to you soon. I know that for some it will be a long time.

A couple of days ago (after receiving the phone call giving us the vaccination appointment) I woke with what the French call an “idée fixe” – a thought that would not leave my mind. I imagined a white T-shirt with black letters: “VACCINATED.” I would wear it proudly and I would gladly offer one to you, dear reader, in your preferred size. No need. A quick Google search revealed that many others have also had this excellent idea. So I ordered “VACCINATED” comfy Ts for both of us.





Variations on the concept abound:

I’ve been Vaccinated

Educated, Motivated, Vaccinated

Vaccinated. Social Pass to Participate in Life Again

Science is Real, Earth in Not Flat, Vaccines Work, I Got Vaccinated. Are You?

Vaccines Cause Adults

The Anti-Vax Trail: You Have Died of a Preventable Disease

For Me, For You, For All, Vaccinated 2021

Remember the phenomenon of flash mobs? Imagine hundreds, thousands of people celebrating all showing up wearing T shirts and masks, respectfully socially distanced*.

Which T-shirt/slogan would you prefer and why? If you designed your own, what words would you use? Comments invited.

(*It is not yet known for sure, but vaccinated people could still be carriers, even if not symptomatic.)