[OP-ED] ‘Stayin’ Alive,’ or the COVID-19-shot hustle

Bert Stratton, when he’s not out hunting up a COVID-19 vaccination or visiting ancestral graves, is the leader of the band Funk a Deli, formerly Yiddishe Cup.

By Guest Columnist Bert Stratton | Cleveland.com

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — I sat in front of a shelf of red wines and got my COVID-19 shot. I got my shot last week at the Discount Drug Mart in Slavic Village. I’m still waiting for the Cleveland Clinic to call me.

I appreciate the “little guy” — Discount Drug Mart — and their maneuverability. Less red tape; their just-do-it approach. But it’s surreal. Just in back of my right arm is a $5.99 bottle of pinot noir.

I’m not knocking that. I’m grateful. And I also appreciate Discount Drug Mart’s low prices on Crazy Richard’s crunchy peanut butter. When I got my last mass vaccine — the Sabin oral vaccine — I was in a junior high building and there were no perks other than the sugar cube..

The guitarist in my klezmer band had an appointment for his COVID-19 shot at the Walgreen’s in Aurora, but that drugstore ran out of doses. Where did my friend go? Discount Drug Mart, East 71st Street, Slavic Village — the place to be.

A Heights bass player waved his vaccine paper at me as he left the store and I went in.


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February 2021