Arm Impatient: Zero Jab Brigade

If you are over 55 years, working in the health sector or you are Chinese you have four leaf clover luck. Your luck is at the level of being kissed by your crush at high school. The above demography has already have been jabbed with the vaccine in an attempt to thwart the unrelenting fury of corona. In fact — prepare to be jealous — they are going for the second jab.

They have been selected to onboard the first class carriage of the COVID-19 vaccine train. The selection was based on an exhaustive screening process consisting of being elderly or operating the artillery to fight COVID-19 or being Chinese.

As most of you might have realised I am legally a spring chicken. My contact with health involves queuing up at Princess Marina Hospital at 4am for consultation that usually happens at 3pm when the doctor is sufficiently worked up and is now suspiciously a Covid contact.

I am not Chinese either. So all these mean my version of ‘Arm Ready’ (which is the official anthem for the Covid vaccine campaign) is firmly still parked at ‘Arm Waiting’. 

The vaccinated have now gained celebrity status of sorts. When they go out to dinner, large celebrity-worshiping crowds gather to stare and point and whisper excitedly to each other, ‘Look! It’s Lucky B. Vax, vaccinated already!’

In Botswana we take our vaccines seriously and on arrival we call all eminent people in the country to gather at the airport. You could go to a wildlife office and be told ‘The signatory has gone to welcome the Covid vaccine at the airport’. This has now added to the official slack service excuses like ‘the system is down’, ‘we cannot find your file’ etc.

This type of reception where the who’s who and who’s not of civil service congest around the airport is reserved only for visiting Presidents and the Queen. So this vaccine is in illustrious company.

There would be a traditional dance troupe to welcome the vaccines too. Sadly, some of the vaccines will expire during the traditional dance troupe presentations. There could be a correlation between the two – traditional dancing and expiring vaccines. I am not sure though.

Right now the world is grappling with expiring vaccines. When the airplanes leave Europe with vaccines destined for Africa by the time they reach our shores the best before date and the expiry date have long passed.

 This has resulted in a clogged Consumer Watchdog Facebook page where arguing about ‘best before date’ and ‘expiry date’ has now become a national pastime.  

Meanwhile, some of us have to wait. The too-young-to-get-the-vaccine brigade must bring out their last nerve of patience. The powers that be seem to have more excuses than a pregnant nun for the delay in rolling out the vaccine to the unfortunate lot.

 Sigh! I guess for me it is a wait till that magical 55 years rolls along. In the meantime, I will have to counsel my arm to exercise patience. I am not even going to mention here that I am completely unhappy that 55 years is a good three years away. Alas.

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