Department of Veterans Affairs nurse Dale Cotton administers a dose of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Department of Veterans Affairs nurse Dale Cotton administers a dose of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Gimme A Smile: Top 10 reasons to get the vaccine

Stickers, a conversation starter and preventing potentially deadly illness all crack the top 10.

By Peggy McKee Barnhill

For the Juneau Empire

The COVID-19 vaccine is on everyone’s minds these days. Should I get the vaccine? When will it be my turn? Will it give me superpowers like the bite of a radioactive spider?

Here are the top ten reasons to get the vaccine:

No. 10: FOMO. Everyone’s getting it. When you see all those social media posts of your friends posing with their vaccine cards, you will feel woefully left out if you don’t have a similar photo to share. Don’t give in to that fear of missing out. Take it to the next level and snap a picture of yourself skydiving over the Grand Canyon, vaccination card in hand. Who’s missing out now?

No. 9: The chance to take a cruise to Alaska. Rumor has it that cruise lines are contemplating vaccine-only cruises for those lucky folks who’ve gotten their vaccines. There’s no better time to take a cruise. After a season off, the ships are practically sterile. Expect fabulous port calls, as tourist-starved communities roll out the red-carpet treatment. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a celebrity, now is the time for a cruise!

No. 8: To have an excuse to avoid shoveling all the snow that we’ve gotten since the start of spring. No one could argue when you claim you can’t move your arm after the vaccination shot. You can barely lift that glass of celebratory champagne—there’s no way you can wield a snow shovel. Someone else will have to shovel that berm.

No. 7: The chance to finally take off that darned mask. Even if you’ve spent a fortune on a vast wardrobe of chic facemasks to coordinate with every outfit, I’m sure you’ll be happy to pack them all away to show your grandchildren when you tell them stories of the Great Pandemic.

No. 6: You can be part of the conversation. Anytime you gather with people, either virtually or in person, talk turns to the vaccine. “Have you got yours yet?” “I refreshed my screen a thousand times until I finally got an appointment.” “I drove a hundred miles to get mine.” People talk of taking a road trip to Ohio for a vaccine appointment as if they were headed to Vegas for a weekend at the roulette tables: “I’ll put my money on Pfizer, please.” No matter what, you want to have something to say when you join in the conversation.

[What does your perfect doughnut look like?]

No. 5: Free doughnuts. Oh, yes, oh, yes, Krispy Kreme is offering free doughnuts to customers with proof of vaccine. Alas, there is no steady Krispy Kreme doughnut source in Juneau, but presumably you could take your vaccination card on the road, stopping at every Krispy Kreme you find for another free doughnut. Now, there’s a road trip!

No. 4: To be part of the pack. A global pandemic is one of those circumstances (like labor disputes and “likes” on social media) where there is strength in numbers. We’re striving for “herd immunity,” that mysterious concept wherein your vaccination helps me avoid getting sick even if I’m unable to be vaccinated. Think of yourself as a superhero, able to project an aura of immunity around yourself. Any germs that enter that aura are vaporized, and any person coming under the influence of your aura receives protection. Join up with all the other vaccinated superheroes out there, and the resulting aura can protect the planet.

No. 3: For the sticker. If you’re lucky, you can get a big, flashy sticker saying, “I Got Vaccinated!” It’s almost as good as that “I Voted” sticker. You can return to work with an iron-clad excuse for your two-hour lunch. You can elicit sympathy from your co-workers, who might help you with the heavy lifting. Just remember, your “I Got Vaccinated” sticker should be worn as a one-off, not as a wardrobe staple.

No. 2: Six degrees of separation. Count the needle as one degree of separation, and you become that much closer to celebrities who have received the vaccine. Pick your favorite famous person. If they’ve been vaccinated, you can join them in their elite circle. Has Kevin Bacon been vaccinated, I wonder?

And the No. 1 reason to get the COVID-19 vaccine: To protect yourself from a dangerous and now preventable disease. Seriously, does anybody really need another reason?

Did I mention free doughnuts?

• Peggy McKee Barnhill is a wife, mother, and author who writes cozy mysteries under the pen name “Greta McKennan.” She likes to look at the bright side of life.

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