By Fred Naiden
Hey, Chapel Hill geezer, need a COVID shot? Here’s what to do! Just check some boxes first.
You don’t leave home for work? ✓ Good! Because if you leave home for work you won’t have time to wait by the phone after you dial the Orange County COVID hot line.
Don’t work at home, or take care of kids or other relatives? ✓ Good, because if you do you won’t have the 10 or 15 seconds you need to get to the phone and answer before the taped recording starts.
Don’t have computer trouble at home? ✓ Good, because if you do you won’t be able to reach the website that is the alternative to the hot line.
Didn’t forget to register at the website even though the site doesn’t tell you that you must? ✓ Good, because if you don’t register you won’t get an email about scheduling your shot.
Don’t care after you fail to get an email? ✓ Good, because if do care you’ll go back to making pointless phone calls.
Don’t mind doing the same thing over and over? ✓ Good, because then you won’t become discouraged and end up without a shot, the same as people who work, raise kids, need a computer fix and can’t decipher confusing webpages.
Don’t mind losing your temper and screaming at the computer screen? ✓ Good, because otherwise you won’t give up in despair afterwards, and if you don’t give up, you won’t start over and try to get a shot from UNC and not the county.
Don’t mind calling the UNC hotline and getting the same run-around as from the county? ✓ Good, that means you’re ready to be disappointed by the UNC website as well.
Don’t mind going to the same webpage a half a dozen times a day? ✓ Good, otherwise you won’t be at the page at one of the few times when it is accepting requests for shots.
Don’t mind if the only location where you can get a shot is Eden? ✓ Good, now you have a chance to visit Eden — Eden, North Carolina. It’s west of Pelham, which is mostly west of Hightowers, which is ditto Cedar Grove.
Don’t mind being half an hour early, as required, and probably having to wait longer and spend the morning in Eden? ✓ Good, bring your Bible. Stuff happened in Eden. There’s a Walmart, too.
Don’t mind getting lost on the way back? ✓ Good, head of east of Eden, but don’t forget you need to return.
So long as you’re jobless, childless, online, fond of make-work, patient with authority and afraid of death.
Fred Naiden is a resident of Chapel Hill and a professor of history at UNC.
It’s sad that this seems to be a fair description of the current “system”. We expect more from UNC Health Care and Orange County.