Walk-in Covid-19 Vaccination — My Experience
Failure to book a slot on the public Cowin website. Few slots that too with high fees (900+) in private hospitals. Walk-in vaccination was the way to go!
PS: Please excuse unstructured content. I plan to edit it soon.
It started on the 31st of May, by the time we came to know, the 200 slot coupons were already distributed and the rest of the people had to leave. We reached 6:45 am the next day, so we wouldn’t miss out on the limited slots. we observed a lot of misinformation, it was funny to observe that people felt as if there was some conspiracy going on and were not ready to leave. So we also decided not to leave until there was an official notice. Unfortunately, we had to leave after waiting for almost 3 hrs.
One week passed, yet there was no notice from the officials until the previous night. We didn’t want to miss out :( This time we got up at 4:30 and reached the site at 5:45. At that point, barely 10 people were in line. This time, slots were reduced to 120, we thought we were good to go, we had to wait till 9:30 for the slot coupon distribution.
We heard someone saying, only 100 slots, hmm sus, so somebody might have interfered with the slot distribution process, I wished it weren’t true but I have an instance to back this up. As time passed by the line was growing, soon we could see a single person standing in the line increase to 2–3 people. I believe it was fine if someone took a break and asked for the person behind them, to care for their place. But wait, I had seen those people for the first time since the morning. I felt injustice as my family left the house today so early, just had a banana as breakfast. Only I could have come and reserved the seats for my family, also my father stood in the line for my mother who recently had an operation, 3 slots, 3 persons in the line which was ethical and confirmed with the officials working there.
At least this had somewhat of an order, what you would read next would make you go insane. Calling them a mob would not be right, but that’s what we could see. They were randomly standing beside the line of people sitting in shade; the officials now asked everyone to get up and stand in a line, only to notice that these people standing outside the line, now pushed everyone and created chaos just to place themselves inside the line.
Wow, we sacrificed however small, waited since morning, only to witness these people getting up late 8:30, breaking the order causing injustice to the people who came early :/ We were agitated as we were nearly at the 14th position in the line, now displaced to nearly 40. Angry as we were, we didn’t hesitate to call out on the officials who knew we were ahead in the line. They told us there was nothing they could do. When we put the point, that we were 14th in the line, he said,” Go and get your position. Why are you telling me?” Had it been not my dad fighting for our place, we could’ve missed easily today. Luckily, we got it. Though we could not get to our original place, we got to 27, thankful to those who were ahead of us, who remembered we had been there since early morning.
The people behind in the line were agitated as they were the ones who got displaced a lot. With the scorching heat, the line started to curve a little so they could get the shade. But this caused the people who were way behind in the line to seize the opportunity to push their way forward. The people who were unaware of this happening got displaced, even more now as some actually got pushed out of the line now. The officials shouted at them as they had unintentionally formed a crowd. The crowd’s agitation was just but they were unintentionally breaking the distancing norm, though hardly followed since the beginning, the distancing had vanished in a blink of an eye.
The officials had to take the step to call it off from there which then agitated the mob more to crowd around the entrance of the vaccination room. Ironically, they had come for getting protection from the virus and now they might have actually contracted from someone, who cares whether the masks slipped down to the chin.
Behind the scenes, I could see some people still getting the slot numbers, man, these aunties were so behind in the line, almost outside of the vaccination site, but now contesting for the slots with those innocent folks who were in the line. The day was called off, I could see only sad faces leaving the site. Now the vaccination was about to begin slot number-wise.
The missing 28: I and my family got the slot numbers 27, 29, 30. Where’s 28!? That’s sus for sure as the slot numbers had to be continuous. I was waiting for that person to show up in the line later, but apparently, he didn’t. Later I came to know that the person was probably an acquaintance of the staff, as he was inside the vaccination reception already, never seen in the line outside, and got vaccinated with comfort while others had to face such chaos.
Got vaccinated finally!
But still, I can’t get rid of the fact that some people were injusticed and the mismanagement allowed the non-deserving ones.
Thank you volunteers as not everyone was honest, they favored their acquaintances by unethically keeping some slots for them.
I, in no way, wish to blame anyone for this or point out anyone, everything I said here is what I could observe. To conclude, I would like to say that getting vaccinated was nothing less than a game, first the race to book slots on the public web portal and now this. Hey, this wasn’t a survival of the fittest thing, I could see people exerting their power either by force or their influence being acquaintances of those in charge, to get vaccinated. I strongly believe that everyone should have the right to get vaccinated ethically but couldn’t observe this sadly.