Choose Which Arm Wisely

Yesterday I got my first round COVID-19 (Moderna) at a Rite-Aid near my house. I arrived pretty much on time and checked in with the pharmacist. She took my driver’s license and medical insurance card and then told me to wait until they called me. About 10 minutes later, a nurse called my name and asked me to go to the vaccination area. Even though it was late April in southern California, it was still cold so I had to take off a jacket and partially take off my hoodie. Now, you have a choice: left arm or right. I chose my left arm.

By the way, that’s not a selfie. I don’t take selfies often.

Any way, why my left arm? Two reasons: 1) I am right hand dominant and thus I don’t want my arm to be sore while doing everything you use your right hand for, and 2) I have been vaccinated enough times that my left bicep is used to it. I have enough vaccination scars to prove it if you look closely enough.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how much I actually use my left hand. I’m not Indian or Arabic so I’m not using my left hand for cultural/sanitary purposes. Rather, there are so many small, mundane things I use my left hand for.

  1. My alarm clock is to my left so this morning I have to roll over on my left arm while my right hand silences the alarm. Didn’t expect that…
  2. Did you know I trained my left hand to handle my wallet while wearing dress pants? I started doing that since junior high and thus for the last 27 years, my left hand places my wallet in my left back pocket. To this day, if I put it in the back right pocket, it feels weird.
  3. Same goes for my phone. My phone is on my left side and when I use it, I use my left hand to hold and operate it.

I am not a true ambidextrous person. In fact, I can do #2 and #3 through years of training and forcing my non-dominant to do things until the operation is smooth and flawless. It’s like MLB baseball players who can bat with either arm as the leading arm; they are called switch hitters. There is some natural inclination then years of practice. I also heard that US President Thomas Jefferson was also a trained ambidextrous man so I guess I’m in good company.

Fast forward to 2021. If you haven’t gotten your COVID-19 vaccination, go do it soon. By now, it’s a more seamless process and there are hopefully more appointments available.

And yes, decide which arm you want to be sore and stiff for the next 3 days. My advice, don’t use your dominant side unless you are ambidextrous. Then it doesn’t matter.

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