When I received my first dose of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine, I appeared to be the only person under the age of 70 waiting in line to get shot up at my local Walgreens. But that wasn't necessarily surprising given that I was among the first people to register within the first week after all adults became eligible.
When I received my second dose of the vaccine last week, however, I was literally the only person there waiting for a shot.
I considered that to be an anecdote that may not necessarily be representative of a larger trend, but in hindsight it appears that wasn't a coincidence. According to state records, only 16,500 people lined up for a shot in all of Ohio last week.
It's a pathetic number and, to that end, Governor Mike DeWine has announced the creation of a lottery program that could reward vaccine recipients with a million dollars or a college scholarship.
Beginning May 26, adults who have received at least one vaccine dose may enter a lottery that will provide a $1 million prize each Wednesday for five weeks. In random drawings, the state will also provide five full four-year scholarships to an Ohio public university — including tuition, room-and-board, and books — to vaccinated Ohioans under 18.
The money will come from existing federal pandemic relief dollars, DeWine said, and the Ohio Lottery will conduct the drawings.
You know, in other parts of the world, people desperately want to get vaccinated but they can't because supplies are scarce. They are literally burning bodies in parking lots in India, but here in America have we secured enough doses to cover literally everyone and we can't get people to take it.
I don't necessarily have a problem with offering incentives as a reward for getting vaccinated -- give people free donuts and French fries all day if that's it takes -- but I can lament that it's necessary in the first place.
I was allowed to remove my mask at my hair salon this week because I'm fully vaccinated, but a lot people are going to be doing that soon without ever getting a shot. Governor DeWine also announced that all public health orders including the mask mandate will end in the first week of June.
But what can do you? I've worn a mask for over a year, I've stayed home as much as possible, and I've protected myself by getting fully vaccinated. I'm ready to move on. If other people choose not to protect themselves, that's on them. Maybe I shouldn't spend any emotional energy at all on our collective stupidity. Once you've done your part, it's out of your hands and no longer your concern.