Flu Shots, the Senate, and Sikhs

Flu Shots

We got flu shots, yes we did. And what a chore it was. I could have signed up for them at the end of October at our retirement home, but I still trapped in a lengthy siege of vertigo. I just didn’t want to risk another reaction to another shot. But once I started feeling better, I discovered that it’s no easy trick to get flu shots this year.

Our medical center that is across the street is not offering them. I suspect the reason is the labor shortage. They usually bring in people just to give shots to everyone who shows up for an appointment. Others can just drop in and get a shot. This year, they refer everyone to “their local drugstore.” 

I started calling our local drug store before we went to Canada for a short trip. I never got to speak to an actual human, nor did I get to a phone tree to choose “how to schedule a flu shot.” Last Monday, we were at a different pharmacy, so I walked up to the counter and asked about flu shots. Not on weekdays, the man said; I’m the only one working. 

Then we hit the jackpot. We’d gone to COSTCO for some things, and hubby saw a sign that said “Flu Shots Today!” Great. We went to the pharmacy, filled out some forms, and were told to come back at 2:00. We did some shopping and returned at 2:00. We were directed to some chairs. We sat. We waited. Others showed up. They sat. They waited. A person in a pharmacy uniform came and asked our names. She left. We waited. She returned, and asked about our insurance cards; she photocopied them; she left. We waited. At some point, she emerged from a different door and called someone’s name. Progress!

Eventually, we got our shots, but we were glad we hadn’t put frozen food in our cart before we returned to the pharmacy. 

The Senate

Hooray for Raphael Warnock, and thanks to Hershel Walker for a gracious concession. (Yo Kari Lake, that’s how it’s done.) But not so fast, Dems, your 51-49 Senate is no more. Krysten Sinema is now an Independent. Seems right, somehow, because she never aligned clearly with the Ds. 

I Want to be a Sikh

We learned this week that our favorite doctor, whose parents immigrated from India, is a Sikh. He took some time to give us a lot of background on the role of Sikhs in Indian history and culture and talk about Sikhs in the West. He came alive when he was talking about all of this. He’s always upbeat, but this was special. 

He doesn’t wear a turban and explained that in the West, many Sikhs felt they weren’t needed, both in order to blend in a bit, but also because the turban held military significance in India that was irrelevant here. We learned that Sikhs were from Punjab, a rich agricultural region, hence the many farmers in his family history. We saw pictures of his children attending a recent wedding with their grandmother in India. Weddings are a vey big deal, but, he said, Sikhs will celebrate almost anything. 

We really enjoyed seeing this doctor, who we’ve seen for many years, light up as he took the opportunity to share what he loves about his Sikh heritage. He no longer observes the details of the religion, though he shared positive aspects of it (women are equal? – though they don’t show up online in descriptions of Sikhism). 

I wish we had to time to delve into the cultural history of all of our doctors. We’ve had docs and other providers from Lebanon, Iran, India, Seattle(!), Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Nigeria, Russia, and all over the US.