Four devices. My iPad, my phone, my kid’s iPad, and then my laptop. Every morning at 5:00:01 AM I hit them all for the daily drops. Tap, tap, tap, click. Done.
Then we wait.
They say it’s a lottery and random for anyone that submits between 5AM and 5:30AM each day but I beg to differ. First, I don’t think they have a strategy to defeat scalping bots and after years of ruining video game console releases, Hamilton ticket sales, and limited edition Nikes, bots have gotten extremely sophisticated and those eBay auctions that follow lead me to believe at least a few people have figured out how to regularly win. Plus, I have a friend that coded up a quick ruby script that loads the drop page every 5 seconds and the moment he doesn’t get a redirect/waiting page, it auto-submits his information and he and his whole family got vaccinated two weeks ago and are free to wander around Austin, Texas now that they’re safe.
Hitting the drop early also makes me feel like I’m doing all I can. I mean, literally I am since we’re only allowed one entry per member of the household and I’m properly maxing that out. And even if it is a lottery, at least I put my information in first as fast as possible, and that feels good even if it doesn’t count for anything.
I don’t know why the powers that be didn’t see this coming but then the past year has shown even when everyone knows what’s coming few people in charge properly plan for it. It seems pretty obvious though—there are 330 million Americans and we are barely promised 100 million vaccines from the companies, and even as they’re doing all they can hitting even that 100 million number might not be possible.
So, we ration.
Right now is the worst possible time of the entire pandemic. It has raged through America like 1980s divorce, with about 40% of the population infected at one time or another. And now we have the cure, the actual antidote, and you can finally stop worrying and running, but we just don’t have enough of it, hence the daily morning lotteries.
Then there’s the haves vs. the have-nots. I hate seeing instagram photos of lucky friends at the movie theaters, late season skiing on a nearly empty mountain, and seeing great bands in small venues. That could be me too! That should be me too. But you have to win first.
The injection locations kept secret up until 30min before they administer the vaccine makes every day feel like jury duty. There’s a remote chance you might have to come in today to do a thing, however small, and if you actually do get a spot from the lottery you sure as shit better be at home and ready to go in an instant. So you’re always on edge, waiting. And even with the secrecy, the word gets out and security is extremely tight at the locations. I’m surprised we haven’t seen more brawls or gunfights break out at these participating hospitals, but I guess it’s only a matter of time before people get desperate enough to do it.
After two months of this, I hope I don’t have to do it forever. Heck, I’m already getting up naturally around 4:45AM every day to prep for each day’s submission. I guess in a few weeks I’ll start to see the first hints of sunrise at this time each morning, which will be a nice little relief from feeling desperate in the dark.