First stadium visit in over a year, and sadly it wasn’t for a sporting event. But, it was the first long sought harbinger of the end of the pandemic. I was fortunate enough to be able to schedule a round 1 vaccine appointment at one of the commonwealth’s “super-sites”. So early this morning I made the 45 minute drive to Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution. It is my second NFL stadium and my second MLS stadium (though, I still have yet to see an MLS game).
I do want to take a second and just encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as you are able. The process here, while it was difficult and frustrating to get an appointment scheduled, once I was on site, it was amazingly smooth. It’s a pretty genius process. It’s a series of several small steps rather than one or two big step processes. I queued up at the Club entrance side, and we were let in in small groups, but the line moved very quickly. Once in, we again queued to get checked in. That line also moved quickly and was very easy. I just had to affirm that I am not ill and still eligible under state guidelines. We went up to the Club level and queued in another line where I showed my state-issued ID. Then I got my first look at the seating bowl of the stadium. There was no grass down, just the field level substructure. The video board had a running total of the number of vaccines the stadium site has administered, and it was a huge number, and you could watch it increment up.
Once past the photo ID check, I queued in another line to get matched to a nurse, I didn’t even have to stop in this line, I just kept right on moving. Sat with the nurse, and we chatted for a minute as she administered the shot, then I was sent to a waiting area for 15 minutes of “observation”. It was self administered observation with two environmental staff people sanitizing chairs as people left, and another one or two staff people making the rounds engaging everyone to ensure that we knew what our next steps were.
After about 15 minutes, I got up, and made my way out.
The funny thing though, there’s a message that’s broadcast on a continuous loop giving initial instructions and “welcoming” you to the “COVID-19 Super Site”. But the read was done in the same way that a game day “Welcome to Gillette Stadium, home of your New England Patriots” type gate announcement might be read. Way too chipper of a mood for what we’re doing there.
But regardless, the entire process gets high marks, and seriously, as soon as you can, make your way to a vaccination site and let’s get this shit over with so we can go watch some games together.