Dystopialand: The strangest places you can get the coronavirus vaccine
If 2020 was a nightmare of a year, then 2021 is shaping up to be more on the bizarre side of things. Think about how the super dark The Empire Strikes Back was followed up by the weird Return of the Jedi. Or, for a more timely reference, how the MCU’s Phase 4 seems to be extra quirky & off-the-wall when compared to everything that came before. That’s it: 2021 is WandaVision.
Exhibit A: the odd places serving as vaccination sites these days. Getting the coronavirus vaccine is more complicated than simply walking up to your local pharmacy. There are tiers, priority lists, requirements to meet. The machinery behind it all is creaky & massive. We’re all still figuring it out as we go. But you can’t say governments around the world aren’t trying.
The goal is to give the coronavirus vaccine to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. With that in mind – and considering how global lockdowns have changed the landscape – unlikely locales are being used as vaccination centers. Let’s look at some of them!
New York City, center of the universe! Times are shi**y, but we’re pretty sure they can’t get worse. At least that’s what Mayor Bill de Blasio & Governor Andrew Coumo are hoping for, as they get Yankee Stadium ready to serve as a vaccination site. Starting this Friday, Bronx residents will be able to get the coronavirus vaccine at the home of the Bronx Bombers.
Yankee Stadium joins another huge New York vaccination site: the Fort Washington Armory in Washington Heights. The indoor track & field complex sprawls over 65,000 square feet – the kind of space you want for a massive vaccination effort. The New York-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center (say that five times fast) is in charge of operations here.
Citi Field, the Mets’ stadium in Queens, was also originally planned to be used as a vaccination site. Unfortunately, that initiative has been postponed due to vaccine shortages.
Give Boris Johnson this: almost one in every five adults in the UK have already been vaccinated, according to vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi. You can’t accomplish that by relying only on traditional vaccination approaches.
Last month, the Manchester City Football Club set up a vaccination site on its Etihad Campus. Back in April, 2020, Etihad housed a drive-thru virus testing center, so the move is a logical upgrade: instead of getting tested for coronavirus, now you can get a vaccine against the coronavirus. Talk about scoring a goal against the deadly disease!
But it’s not just soccer stadiums lending a hand across the pond. Epsom Downs, a horse racetrack south of London, has joined the vaccination . . . race. Epsom Downs is open twelve hours a day to administer the coronavirus vaccine to anyone with an appointment. The vaccine works the same, whether you arrive in first place or not.
Fun ‘n’ games
Enough about sports. Let’s travel to Berlin, Germany to take a look at the Erika Hess Ice Rink (wait, ice skating is a sport, isn’t it? Gah!). Qualifying citizens have been able to slide all the way to their coronavirus vaccine at the open-air ice rink since November.
Scotland saw Germany’s ice rink vaccination strategy and said “hold my beer.” Or, more accurately, “open my water park.” The Time Capsule water park in Coatbridge is closed due to coronavirus quarantines, but open for coronavirus vaccine business. Scotland has found a way to make a splash in the battle against COVID-19.
Send the virus flying
Putting it mildly, interest in jumping on a plane and flying anywhere has plummeted over the past year. Singapore had a singular response to the global airline crisis and turned Terminal 4 in the Changi Airport into one of its vaccination centers.
The other place in Singapore where you can get a coronavirus vaccine is the Raffles City Convention Center – a slightly more “conventional” location (See what we did there? Please say you did.) However, there are plans to expand to eight total vaccination sites in the island by the end of February, in addition to taking care of vaccinations in clinics.
Let’s close with the big one, because it’s such a “no duh” move. Disneyland became Orange County’s first “super vaccination site” in early January. Can you get your coronavirus vaccine and also bother Mickey or Goofy for a picture? 2021 is such an oddball year already, we wouldn’t say it’s out of the question.