I did the drive up flu shot thing today. I went to my Kaiser office and drove up to a station of nurses, who asked me if I were allergic to eggs or flu shots. I said no, they stuck me with the needle, bandaged me up, and sent me on my way.
I didn't even have to take off my seat belt. I did anyway, just because it seemed, well, strange to be strapped in while some one was giving you a shot of something. It seemed very A Clockwork Orange to me.
There was a continuous line of cars, all packed with families. I was one of the few people who came alone. I had never done the drive up clinic before, so I was unprepared for the feeling it gave me. My heart was full to be part of a huge public health initiative (put on, of course, by an HMO, but hey, keeping costs down this way prevents people from getting sick). I felt like I was a part of the community, doing my part to make sure that the fewest number of people possible become sick from influenza this winter. It was such a contrast from the times I go in to get my shot in the doctor's office. There, I'm in a little room. It seems almost trivial to be getting a shot that way -- almost paranoid, almost selfish.
Getting the flu shot at the drive up clinic today make me feel like I feel when I'm voting. When I'm voting, I'm there with all my neighbors, making important decisions. It was the same exact feeling today.