Playing Hooky

Long draw: ye gods. I understand the theory and what should be happening, but I need better fibre to practice with, because the mill ends and seconds I’ve got are making a yarn that’s, well, tweedy, to say the least. I’m not expecting to make a perfect woollen yarn right off the bat, but the fibre’s jamming against the neps in it, no matter how I try to card them out. And a cat got into the lovely basket of rolags I carded while I was out last night; I came home to a shredded, tangled mess of fibre on the carpet. I don’t know who’s to blame, Nixie or Gryffindor, as they’re both fibre fiends, but the two of them are on my Naughty List at the moment.

One week ago we talked to the boy about the flu shot, what it was and why it was important to be vaccinated. He got upset ( “I don’t want a needle to take out my blood!” he cried, because the last time he saw needles being used was when HRH and I had our prises de sang done), but he agreed to go with us on the 10th because at that time children under five years plus their families were scheduled to be vaccinated as of Nov 9. The plan as we all worked it out was: HRH would book the day off and the boy would stay home from school. HRH would get his shot first so that the boy could watch, then the boy, then the boy could hold my hand so I wouldn’t be afraid. After our shots, we said that as a treat we could all go see Astro Boy in the theatre. And then, the very next day, Montreal changed the damn schedule again, and families of kids five and under were no longer eligible to be vaccinated at the same time. This meant that we effectively lied to him about doing it all together, which really didn’t sit well with us.

The revised schedule said that people with chronic conditions like asthma were eligible as of Nov 23, and everyone else as of Dec 7. So we told Liam that he could choose what to do: Either he could have his shot on Tuesday while we held his hand, then we’d go see Astro Boy and have popcorn like we were going to; or he could wait until the 23rd when I could get it at the same time. At first he said the 23rd, but then he asked again what exactly the flu was. We explained that it was a bad sickness that made little kids very very ill, sicker than adults, and the doctors and nurses decided that they would give all the kids their shots first to make sure they’d be okay, and then the mummies and daddies could have what was left over. He thought about it some more and said that he would go on Nov 10 after all, as long we held his hand, and then we could go see the movie together as we’d already agreed. We were so proud of him. The crying and protesting when we originally told him about the shot were dramatic, but I guess he’d worked all the scared stuff out then, and so the thinking about when to get his shot when we gave him the choice was more level-headed.

And then at the end of last week, Montreal changed the schedule yet again and said that kids under five and adults with chronic conditions (hello, asthma!) were eligible to get the shot a few days earlier than their respective revised dates. So the plan changed a third time to the boy and I getting the shot together on Nov 10. And so today we went out at eight o’clock and waited about half an hour in line to get into the clinic, at which point an incredibly streamlined process had us register, move to sit with a nurse to fill out the health questionnaire, then go right to be vaccinated. And we were so proud of the boy who only cried a bit, and who is very proud of his Band-Aid with a Lightning McQueen sticker on it. I have nothing but the highest praise for the volunteers and medical staff who are manning the Angrignon clinic. They’re cheerful, supportive, efficient, responsive, and good with adults but especially good with the children I saw being vaccinated. (The nurse who gave me my shot even offered me a Disney princesses sticker when he saw me watching the boy choose his own Cars sticker, but I declined.)

While the amazing ever-changing flu vaccination schedules in Montreal have annoyed the heck out of me, there’s one thing that has stayed constant, and I’m thankful for it: kids under five have been moved up, but never delayed as some other groups have been. But the quickly-changing information was making it a real pain to try to schedule anything. I understand that the schedule is being constantly revised according to the availability of the vaccine and the need to get the higher-risk groups inoculated as soon as possible. I wasn’t panicking about getting the shot – I’m not worried about getting the flu and the health complications from it, or there being a vaccine shortage; I’m more concerned about slowing the transmission of it through the population – but I was getting increasingly irritated at the inconstant schedule and contradictory information on official municipal versus provincial websites.

Anyway, it’s done, and we’re at home. The boy is watching cartoons, a huge treat on a weekday. We’ll do an early lunch, then a nap, and then we’re all off to the Colisee to see Astro Boy together.

ETA: Astroboy was lots of fun, and a decent little story without the usual tangents and dumb vaudeville stuff they put in kids’ films (there was a teeny bit, but it wasn’t toxic). The boy was literally on the edge of his seat for the last half. As for the flu vaccination, I have become increasingly achy and exhausted throughout the day, which is pretty much what I expected.

2 thoughts on “Playing Hooky

  1. jan

    Very glad to hear it was smooth and efficient in the end! We’re going next week, as our local clinics are on Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, and t! didn’t want to take the risk of getting knocked down for a couple of days by a reaction to the vaccine this week.

    Just as a point of information, the very highest risk groups in Quebec got vaccinated with the first available batches of vaccine weeks ago (and I’m guessing they didn’t publicize that to stop the idiots in the population demanding they given access to the first batches). My father along with all the nursing home residents and medical workers, and other staff members were vaccinated over three weeks ago.

  2. Autumn Post author

    Yes, they were; the hospitalized along with hospital staff were considered absolutely highest risk, and were vaccinated well before the public things began. That was never an issue, and it was never rescheduled. It was public knowledge, too, and it was right that they should have been handled first. It’s the disinformation about availability and contradictory info regarding who gets what and when once it was the public’s turn that became frustrating.

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