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Winning the lottery would be easier than getting a vaccine appointment
Mike Tasos

In case any of you are experiencing severe memory loss, short-term or otherwise, who’s up for a trip down memory lane?

Remember when we went to the movies? No, not the ones on your laptop or iPad. I’m talking going to a building, not a man cave, forking over $20, finding a seat and settling in for the flick.

Except the family decided they were hungry. Off you’d go, like the desperate man with the big spear in the Donner Party, foraging for drinks served in a 55-gallon drum, popcorn in a trash bag-sized container. 

When you stumbled back to the auditorium and the safety of your seat, probably $50 lighter, you were rewarded with what used to be called “Previews of Coming Attractions.” 

Why they’re now called “trailers” is beyond me. Maybe “beforers” just wouldn’t work for those Hollywood folks.

Going to the movies was date night back in the day, an event accompanied with great anticipation of Friday or Saturday night. Personally, I was challenged in this arena. My suspicions were on full alert.

Just how many times did Velma Sue need to wash her hair or go to her grandaddy Ray Bob’s wake?

My activity this week was like trying to procure a mythical Golden Ticket, otherwise known as COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

This fiasco of an activity is like going to IMAX. Big screen grandeur promised. Unfortunately, like any government program, it’s all hat, no cattle. File government medicine in your mind as you read on.

I’m eligible to get a vaccine should I choose to do so. 

I’m also eligible to buy a lottery ticket, which I did when the jackpot topped $970 million. Despite promising Gloria at the Buford Dam Road Marathon store that I’d be back to share my loot, those prayer fell on an Almighty deaf ear.

Turns out I had a better chance of cashing in my ticket than having anti-COVID juice fired into my arm.

On Tuesday, after days, and I mean days, of trying to find a spot to get the mysterious vaccine, I took matters into my own hands. 

I stormed the Forsyth County Health Department on Hwy. 20. Well, I didn’t actually “storm” the clinic, but had visions of doing so.

Walking in, I was greeted with a snarl and asked if I had an appointment. I responded no appointment. At least not yet. I told the menacing nurse I was hoping Papa Joe would forgive my grievous early November lapse in voting judgement and throw me a bone. 

I reasoned he was giving away lots of things and my hand was outstretched.

My humor, real or imagined, was awarded with an upside-down smile. A scowl. I think there might have been a few bared teeth. 

My inquiries about vaccines were met with surliness, rudeness and feeling like I was intruding. 

I really wanted to tell them I helped pay their salaries.

I should have said that. But I didn’t.


I was smacked by the realization that my adventure was akin to interacting with those Mother Teresa-like souls at the Motor Vehicle Department. I could have been blindfolded and experienced interchangeable surliness, not knowing which government agency was heaping on the abuse.

Dave Palmer, the Public Information Officer, was 180 degrees opposite Mean and Meaner. He was nice as could be. He explained that the reservation service was taxed to the max.

Just like we’re going to be here pretty soon. 

Palmer said it’s going to get better when it comes to vaccine distribution. He’s sincere and I hope his hopes become reality.

There was a couple in their 80s I spoke with, not the most computer savvy folks. They were scared and frustrated. They too were treated rudely by government employees who should be compassionate.

They experienced no spirit of unity, just a feeling they were a nuisance.

Like at the theater, my foray into public health sure felt like a preview, only instead of the next movie, I got an up-close-and personal look at what government health care would look like. 

Poor performance from public employees and the feeling that you just don’t matter. Ditto over promising (we have plenty of vaccine) and under-delivering (we can’t get it to you).

Look at the government’s master-minding this vaccine and consider it a trailer for future government productions. 

I haven’t even touched on the new affinity for censoring unpopular viewpoints. I promise if that keeps up, I’m going to go all Peter Finch on you: Mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

The first thing I want us all to do is … Editor’s note: This content is unfit for print in any form or fashion. Feel free to email Mike Tasos so he can complete this unruly sentence for you in person.


Mike Tasos’ column appears, for now, every other weekend. There’s a chance he might be canceled and getting his mail at an undisclosed re-education camp. He’s hoping for nightly Merle Haggard sing-alongs. He can be reached at miketasos@earthlink.net. He is also on Facebook.