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Sadly, There Is No Vaccine Against Entitlement

, , , , | Right | October 25, 2021

I work for mobile vaccination units on busses that travel to various parts of the city to offer vaccines to people right on the side of the street. My job is basically to help patients with everything except the vaccination itself: run the line outside of the vehicles, register people, point them in the direction of a vaccinator once they’re ready, help them set up appointments if they need another dose, etc.

We do set up tents, chairs, and tables to try to make things as comfortable as possible, but due to the mobile nature of our sites, sometimes people are stuck standing in line outside.

As I am coming back from lunch one day, I see an elderly woman seated in the shade under one of our tents, a spot that people normally aren’t allowed to be in when we’re on lunch, with a fellow employee nearby. It’s clear that the employee has seen that she was uncomfortable standing in line and has allowed her to enter the tent area and sit until we were able to get back from lunch and register her. She seems content and as comfortable as possible considering the situation.

A man who I assume is her husband is pacing back and forth near the line and is absolutely fuming as I approach the tent.

Patient’s Husband: “Finally! Someone is here! She has been forced to wait outside in a long line like a dog! It’s inhumane!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but due to our limited space and the fact that this is a medical site, the only place for the line is outside. And if waiting outside is uncomfortable or unhealthy for her, I encourage you to take her to a non-mobile site where she can wait inside. But our vaccinators are coming back from lunch right now; I’m sure we can get her registered and on her way as quickly as possible.”

Patient’s Husband: “This is unconstitutional! You can’t treat people like that! I’m a retired lawyer, and this is illegal!”

Me: “Sir, I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that having a line outside isn’t unconstitutional. Not to mention, our sites are run by the city and they regularly check to see that we meet their standards. There is no question that nothing we’re doing is illegal, and we are doing what we can to make her comfortable.”

Patient’s Husband: “What’s your name?”

I provide my name.

Patient’s Husband: “Get ready for a lawsuit! I’m suing this whole operation, and your name is going to be on the suit!”

I can’t wait for the lawsuit in which a low-level city employee is named for the unconstitutional act of having an elderly woman sit in a chair in the shade.

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