Geoff Kirsch

Geoff Kirsch

Slack Tide’s Guide for Vaccinated Alaskans

There are still some things even vaccinated Alaskans should avoid.

  • By Geoff Kirsch For the Juneau Empire
  • Sunday, May 23, 2021 6:30am
  • Neighbors

I have a secret to confess: I vaccinate. Indeed, I am a chronic vaccinator. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. They may not publicly admit it, but everybody vaccinates — and so far, no documented cases of anyone growing hair on their palms.

In fact, earlier this week, public health officials reported that nearly half of Alaskans 16 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Way to go, us! Finally, a state project coming in ahead of schedule!

Of course, as municipalities ease restrictions and people begin resuming a wider range of activities — alas, still no apple bobbing — there are a number of things vaccinated Alaskans should continue to avoid.

Turtling in and out of driveways, parking spots and stop signs. Inoculation doesn’t prevent other motorists’ annoyance with your refusal to just go or not go, already—make a choice and stick with it. And while we’re on the subject, pedestrians… Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson—even AstraZeneca: these will keep you safe ONLY if you cross streets at appointed crosswalks, as opposed to, say, the middle of a dark, slippery four-lane highway… dressed in black and futzing with your Juul.

Letting your unleashed dog run directly at other people’s car tires. Similarly, getting the vaccine does not absolve you from picking up its leavings, even if you’re outside and it’s raining. You know what’s really sick? Dog turds on every ball field in town.

Answering texts with LOL. Come on. Vaccination notwithstanding, you’re not “L’ing,” and certainly not “OL.” At best, you’re half-smiling to yourself.

Losing your patience while hiking, cycling, kayaking and/or skiing with your significant other, who blatantly isn’t as good as you. We’re trying our best. Not everyone’s a former college athlete.

Running gas-powered yard machinery before 10 a.m. or after 10 p.m. This is not so much a matter of public health, as common courtesy.

Buying the five-pound bag of chocolate chips. Despite immunity to COVID-19, you still remain susceptible to the “Covid 15.” [Full disclosure: for me, it’s more like “Covid 50,” if that makes you feel any better.]

Ignoring that growing junk pile on the side of your house. Inoculated individuals should also refrain from simply moving said pile to the curb and slapping a “free” sign on it.

Refusing to admit you: can’t drive stick; don’t particularly care for whiskey; paid for the meat and fish in your chest freezer; finished off the coffee without making more; voted Democrat. Or, in Juneau, Republican.

Expecting Snoop Dogg to deliver on his promise to play a concert up here if Alaska legalized cannabis. Shot or no shot, it’s been more than five years, now. Where’s Snoop?

Staring at the open-carry sidearm strapped to the leg of the guy in line at the supermarket. In fact, let him in front of you.

Leave out your trashcans during bear season. Your immunization will not protect against getting mauled in your own neighborhood. Also, assume the bear isn’t vaccinated, so mask up!

This list will be updated based on evolving risk levels. Of course, no restrictions would be necessary if the other half of eligible residents got the vaccine. Do it in secret if you have to. But please, for everyone’s sake, handle your pricks and vaccinate.

Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist. “Slack Tide” appears twice monthly in Neighbors.

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