In the end, you have to trust the government when it comes to the vaccine, don’t you?

I intend to get vaccinated because it’s the right thing to do. As an old codger, I owe it to the younger generation to set a good example.

SHARE In the end, you have to trust the government when it comes to the vaccine, don’t you?
A second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered at Norwegian American Hospital on the West Side in January.

“I’m ready to roll up my sleeve and say ‘I still believe’ in this country,” writes Phil Kadner. “Just tell me where and when to show up.”

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times file

Do you trust the government with your life? That’s what this comes down to.

I am trying very hard to answer “Yes” to that question, although everything in my life’s experience says, “Are you crazy?”

I am speaking about the COVID-19 vaccine.

I have decided I will get the vaccinations — two shots — when they become available to me. I think. Ask me again tomorrow and I may not be so sure.

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But right now, I intend to get vaccinated because it is the right thing to do. As an old codger, I owe it to the younger generation to set a good example and I have always wanted to be the fellow in the disaster movie who says, “Leave me behind. You get to safety youngsters. I’ll hold them off.”

Okay. That might not be the right quote here. But I think you understand my intent.

Just tell me where to show up for the big moment.

That’s the thing that’s bugging me. No one seems to know how this is going to work. Once the medical people get their shots and the people in nursing homes get theirs, and the first responders, and the teachers, what’s the plan exactly?

As an old guy with some medical conditions that put me at high risk, I should be pretty high up on the list to get vaccinated. But is someone going to call me on the phone and say, “Get your sleeve rolled up, stand away from the door, we’re coming in,” or what?

Will I get an email saying, “Congratulations, you have won a free COVID-19 shot, all you have to do is agree to the five pages of terms and conditions and your vaccine will arrive in the mail?”

Just tell me what’s next.

Are we all going to get in our cars and form a line at the vehicle emissions testing site? I’m willing to do that, but there must be many toilet facilities nearby because old codgers need to make frequent pit stops, if you know what I mean? In fact, watching those miles-long car lines for vaccinations in Florida, I could think of little else.

I keep hearing that COVID vaccine shipments are getting lost and vials are being taken out of the freezer and forgotten, which I find worrisome. I don’t want to get a dose of the vaccine that has lost its potency.

Speaking of potency, I heard on the TV news that someone is thinking of diluting the doses, splitting them in half, so more people can be vaccinated. Did anyone actually test this stuff or are people at the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control just playing games with us?

I can’t help thinking that rich people, public figures, celebrities and other folks of influence are going to end up getting the vaccine before the rest of us.

Hearing that NFL and NBA players are getting tested repeatedly for COVID-19 before games while millions of other Americans are told testing is unavailable may have something to do with that.

I mean, there’s always somebody happy to use the road shoulder to cut around the rest of the traffic in a construction zone. Special rules for special people.

We have to trust the government here. But the incompetence, the finger-pointing between state and national governments, the lack of accountability, are troubling.

It’s not easy, even for someone who has been an advocate of national health care for many years, to say this will all work out in the end. I mean, the end has arrived for hundreds of thousands of people. Many of them trusted the government. Many of them died because they did not.

I’m ready to roll up my sleeve and say “I still believe” in this country. Just tell me where and when to show up. As for you youngsters out there who are afraid, just stand behind me. It’s going to be all right.

See. I got my disaster movie moment after all.

Contact Phil Kadner at

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