When I shop at Trader Joe’s there is usually a line of people snaking up the front. I walked past them into the shop.
There’s an even more important path I want to take: the path to getting the Covid-19 vaccination. This time, I plan to wait my turn.
I’m not a line cutter. Trader’s Joe prioritizes people over 60 and disabled people for an hour twice a week due to the pandemic. So, at 64, I was entitled to cross the line, and I did. In fact, the only time I go to the store again is during her senior hours.
I feel a little guilty about getting special treatment. One time I took my veil off my head before entering the shop so that people waiting outside could see my gray hair. They don’t look impressed.
I’m not weak. I’m still fast walking and can walk around the shop quite well. But I crossed the line.
Just because I have the right to do it, is it the right thing to do?
We spend our lives navigating between two opposing poles: self-interest and altruism.
People who only think about themselves are difficult to be around, sometimes even dangerous.
But people who never think about themselves can create problems too. It’s a balancing act.
Until a year and a half ago, I commuted every day to New York. If I see a pregnant woman or an elderly person having difficulty standing up, I will offer my seat on the train or subway. If I travel again, I will do the same.
Why do I feel okay dodging lines at Trader Joe’s even if I can afford to stand in them? For one, even seniors in good health are more susceptible to viruses. It’s convenient to quickly enter a store masked, shopping, and a skedaddle.
But there’s another factor: I hate waiting in line.
I have thought a lot about lines and cuts when the coronavirus vaccination campaign was launched. I am a strong believer in vaccination, and want to get needles in my arm as quickly as possible.
However, because I am under 65 years of age and not an essential worker, I may not be vaccinated for a while.
I find this frustrating and completely appropriate. Those who are most susceptible and / or exposed to the virus through their work should be vaccinated first.
Indeed, our household has benefited from this policy. My wife and son are both in a high-risk group which makes them eligible for early vaccination. They got their first shot a few weeks ago. That’s a relief.
I have been releasing articles from home lately. I am in a better position to wait for this than millions of other Americans.
So I’ll be waiting for my turn on the vaccination route.
But I’ll keep avoiding the queues at Trader Joe’s when I’m away. However, I will probably go less often. Now that my wife has been vaccinated, she says she has to go shopping. I can live with that. .
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