30 surprisingly stress-free minutes

My experience getting the first COVID-19 vaccine shot

Robert Mion
3 min readMar 22, 2021

I followed the signs that featured recognizable words, colors and iconography.

I parked among the hundreds of other cars.

I joined the line that was several people in length outside of the entrance.

A joyful, conversational man carrying a package full of face masks politely demanded I put one on over or under mine. The preference of placement was mine to make.

Within seconds, I was the next one in line about to enter the facility. A polite woman informed me to proceed.

Another gentleman calmly asked me a few COVID-19 qualifying questions. After honestly answering successfully, he directed me to the next checkpoint.

Another gentleman directed me to safely follow the person in line in front of me by moving progressively to the next clearly marked line on the floor.

After only a handful of moves, A peaceful woman a few yards from me directed me to a numbered station. When my eyes located it, they were greeted by those of another woman raising a clipboard as a way of confirming she was available and ready.

I handed her my photo ID and answered a few more questions. She wrote my email on a sheet of paper. She stood up, came close to my ear, and instructed me walk to a nearby area, find a seat, and fill in the top two sheets.

I took my photo ID and her clipboard and walked to that area. I confirmed with a woman standing in the area where I could sit. She said ‘anywhere’ because the seats were pre-arranged an appropriate distance from one another. She instructed me to raise my hand when I was finished.

I sat down. I used the small pencil clamped to the clipboard to complete the top two pages. I raised my hand. Another woman walked over. I handed her my clipboard. She confirmed whether I filled in one particular field on the second page. She instructed me towards a gentleman wearing a yellow construction vest.

I stood up and slowly approached the man. He directed me to the right, at the closest station.

Once there, I was greeted by a seated man and woman. I handed the woman my paperwork. The man asked if I was there for a first or second time. I said first. He scheduled my second appointment. The woman wrote my email and second appointment date and time on a card. She then handed back my paperwork. The man instructed me to turn around and speak with the women currently seated wearing a green construction vest, a foot away from the man in the yellow vest.

The woman politely told me to stand on a numbered floor marker, just behind the person in line ahead of me. Again, I was expected to move one square at a time in tune with the ever-moving line.

From one square to another, I gradually made a ‘J’ shape before reaching another chipper woman, the first with a clear name tag. Her name was Terri. We greeted one another. She then instructed me towards another clearly marked station.

Once at this station, I was greeted by one of two seated women. She told me to take a seat.

After a few more qualifying questions and clear description — while I removed my jacked and rolled up my sleeve — I was administered a shot.

The woman wrote the current time on my card. She said that I could leave right then. In order to checkout I must wait another 15 minutes, in case I felt odd. She directed me to an area full of other seated people, all checking their phones.

I walked over and found a seat. There was a large TV at the front of the area displaying the current time. Next to it was a white board with the same instructions I was just given: wait 15 minutes before checking out.

I quickly checked my phone. Then I put it away and started talking to one of the volunteers. She kindly answered a few of my trivial questions in between spraying sanitizer on recently vacated seats.

After 15 minutes I got up and walked over to the checkout station. A woman asked how I felt. I said ‘good’. She reviewed my card and paperwork, then told me I was free to leave.

I walked to the entrance, exiting a different door than I entered.