My new superpower

Like so many of life’s varieties of experience, the novelty of living for a year under threat from a deadly pandemic had a tendency to wear off. Yet, while sitting in a chair in an English gymnasium Tuesday afternoon, from one minute to the next I gained a new superpower, and with it, a new novelty. I am now (relatively) immune to coronavirus. I have received the first of two vaccinations.

I still haven’t got my head entirely around it. This time last year my chances of contracting coronavirus were around 70%. Today they are, if not infinitesimal, dramatically reduced. But the most amazing part was the ease and the efficiency with which the “jab” (as the English call it) was administered. Everything from where to park my car, where to stand, where to sit, where to wait, was expertly orchestrated to minute perfection by a lovely staff of efficient volunteers. I was in and out in less than half an hour, including the time it took for me to wait to ensure I had no immediate side effects.

What exactly was I expecting instead? I was expecting a con, a ripoff, a runaround. I was expecting Lucy from “Peanuts” holding a football and inviting me to kick it. Such is the weary cynicism that invades the soul after (nearly) three years of reporting on Donald Trump and his pirate ship full of thugs. I was expecting Trump University and I got Oxford instead.

I hadn’t realized how thoroughly Trump had poisoned me. On some subconscious level I just assumed that since British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was something of a friend of Donald Trump that he would manage to screw up the coronavirus vaccination rollout in classic Trumpian fashion. I was pleasantly surprised.

All of this was part of a kind of general dread, and had nothing to do with what I really thought. But when you see evil triumph month in and month out for years it makes you cynical. You don’t expect things to go right when you’re in the habit watching things go wrong.

Tuesday afternoon in an English gym all that changed. I wasn’t just inoculated against SARS-CoV-2, I was metaphorically inoculated against Trump. I survived the pathogen that was Donald Trump and lived to tell the tale.

What’s more, I had no symptoms, soreness or reaction to the vaccination. I write this the following morning after a fine dinner and a good night’s sleep without a hint of side effects. Like with Trump the long national coronavirus nightmare is over. Of course I am part of humanity and it won’t be over for me until it is for everyone. But the good news is soon it will be over for all of you as well.

So it really is true: Donald Trump is gone, Joe Biden is President, and I have a new superpower. If you don’t have this new superpower also, brothers and sisters, then very soon you will. Very soon so will the world. And maybe, in the final analysis, the world isn’t such a bad place after all. And as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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