Home Travel Got A Vaccine And A $50 Flight to Miami…Can’t Tell Me Nothin!

Got A Vaccine And A $50 Flight to Miami…Can’t Tell Me Nothin!

by Dewan Gibson
Author posing in front of fancy orange car in Wynwood Miami

I said months ago “Give me all the vaccines!” Either God reads this blog (very few humans do), or I spoke it into existence, but I’ve since received two Moderna shots.

I felt fine after the first injection of freedom. My only worry was that a return to normalcy would mean a return to shaking hands. I’m not grossed out by shaking hands. It’s just that I never know what handshake to give. In my repertoire, there’s the Black man grip and half hug combo, the So Cal slap hands and bump fists, the corporate standard with strong eye contact and forced smile, the secret society, the full on bear hug, and the Cleveland grip and snap your fingers, among others. Like, if I see another Black man at work, does he get the corporate standard or the grip and half hug? The pandemic made these decisions really easy. 

My second Moderna shot did not go as well as the first. Flu-like symptoms struck within hours. I was sure to communicate this to friends who were apprehensive about getting vaccinated. “Got my second shot. Whole body aching. Dick still strong.” Thanks to Nyquil and a glass of wine, I was fine the following morning.

Anyhow, with our risk of covid hospitalization and death now minuscule, Amber (who was Pfizer’d shortly after my vaccination) and I traveled to the belly of the covid super-spreader beast: Miami, Florida. We stayed in Miami Beach, whose main strip was put under an 8 p.m. spring break curfew. Still, the boardwalk was packed. Nearly-naked women of various heft, very few masks, semi-professional twerk teams exhibiting their skills, more weed air than fresh air, and emotionally stunted men angry after having their propositions rejected. None of which is pictured below. I’m not tryin’ to take a pic of the wrong person and get my ass shot on vacation. 

Loud music arrestable sign in Miami Beach
Street art showing blue woman in Little Havana Miami.
Author and wife taking a sweaty selfie in South Beach Miami.

After two nights in Miami, we returned to Ohio to get the kids and take them to Tampa for their spring break. It was a little over $100 total for the five of us to fly from Columbus to Tampa. But here’s the thing: Spirit Airlines wanted to charge around $1,500 to fly us back. I definitely wasn’t paying that much for a work trip, which is really what it is when taking complaining chirren out of town. 

So I found that Spirit could at least get us from Tampa to Atlanta for the same $100. The final itinerary? Fly from Columbus to Tampa, stay three nights, fly from Tampa to Atlanta, get a one-way car rental and immediately make the three-hour drive from Atlanta to Knoxville, Tennessee, stay one night in Knoxville, drive five hours to home, and save more than $1,000.  But guess what? After all that effort to get to the beach, they had more fun in the hotel pool. The same hotel pool (Hyatt House) that we have in Ohio.

sand flying off kids hand at tampa beach
The Gibson family having a crab legs and wine party
street art alley in Knoxville,Tennessee

Life feels mostly normal now that our cells have been taught to create a coronavirus-fighting protein. (Shout-out to MRNA.) We can still catch the virus, but our likelihood of being hospitalized is along the lines of my Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA championship this year, and they’re not even making the playoffs!

As for kids, we now have months of data to gauge their ability to fight covid without serious illness. So far, so good. And with most older adults vaccinated, they’re unlikely to put someone else in the hospital. I look forward to sending them back to school to be raised by the underpaid teachers of my local school district.

We know the vaccines are working. U.S. covid deaths have gone from a high of 4,000 a day to around 750. Still, the virus ain’t going anywhere. There’s vaccine inequity in the developing word and vaccine ignorance in rich countries. The latter will continue until those hesitant are like, “Uhhh…the people dying are almost all unvaccinated. Maybe I should do something?”

And you should! I mean…can you imagine flying down to Miami on Spirit Air just to get covid?

-Dewan Gibson

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