“Where is Potsdam, NY?”

And why was my brother asking me that question?


A few days ago, I read someone on Twitter who announced with a sense of spirit and humor that she was going to Potsdam, New York for her vaccine shot.

I, too, was amused. I was sitting here with an appointment for next week at one of the major hospital centers in New York, New York. And I know where NY NY is.

I was, and have been throughout the pandemic, calm and unperturbed. I’ve done whatever I’ve been told to do to protect myself, my friends and my neighbors. I’ve agonized over deaths, worried incessantly about people who are less fortunate than I am. And I have voted.

What I have not been is smug. Smuggery is not within my emotional system. Schadenfreude, oh yes. I can be vengeful, but smug? No.

Unlike some of my friends (whom I will not name), I wasn’t bragging about my appointment or suggesting I was special to have obtained one. When friends asked whether I could move my appointment up, I said, “Why?” Getting shots in my arm will not change the way I’m living now or in the immediate future. It’ll still be masks whenever outside, washing my hands, remaining remote from other people.

What the vaccine appointment gave me was a glimpse of light; I could see outside the hibernation cave I, for one, have been living in since last March. It’s been promising, if not celebratory.

Today I got an email canceling my appointment.

Yes, I’ve been canceled. No reference here to “cancel culture,” whatever that is, unless it’s the culture in which the Pfizer vaccine has been nurtured. I don’t take this personally. I am irritated but fully aware there is no one, no entity to blame for my canceled appointment.

So I’ve been scrolling down the endless list of pharmacies, clinics and other hospitals which invite me to make an appointment…and then tell me there are no appointments available because they don’t know when they’ll be getting doses of the Moderna vaccine.

We are in a catastrophe and I am not special. Having written this, I’m not even irritated anymore. No one is to blame.

Which is why my bro, who has a car, asked me, “Where is Potsdam”?

                          ⇓ and down two inches

I am in the city south of the map. Around here  ⇒         



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