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Our better angels 

This week I was fortunate to have been blessed in receiving my first COVID-19 vaccination. But with it came an additional blessing, heartwarming enough that it still has me smiling, and one that I need to share. My appointment was scheduled at the Paso Robles Events Center at the fairgrounds, on what what turned out to be by far the most intensely heavy, storming day of our recent record-breaking wet weather. Already nervous about the impending injection, the fact that our drive over the grade from SLO to Paso seemed to be straight out of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland did little to calm my nerves.

As soon as we arrived, though, the angels came into play. In the nonstop, pouring rain, a young man, umbrella in hand, immediately met us at our car, asked if we needed assistance or a wheel chair, and gave us clear, precise directions as to parking, warmly smiling and welcoming as he did so. Upon parking, additional young men, team members mostly in uniform of either local law enforcement or fire prevention service, stepped up to assist me in joining a smoothly moving line that was was so small as to be nearly nonexistent. Brief stops in the line for an ID check and a couple of signatures, again directed by friendly, genuinely helpful team members, possibly from local hospitals or medical offices, or perhaps college-age students, or just some of our incredibly kind neighbors.

I arrived 15 minutes early for my 12:30 p.m. appointment, having no idea what the wait time might be. Each and every team member I encountered was not only remarkably warm, friendly, kind, and encouraging, but also clearly genuine and sincere while being more helpful than I'd ever have imagined. By 12:25 p.m. I had received the totally painless injection, administered by yet another smiling, very professional team member, at which point I was directed to a seat in the waiting area for 15 minutes designated to make certain that no allergic reactions happened. Every single person with whom I interacted that day was without fail not only a true hero, protecting and saving the lives of their SLO County neighbors, but also demonstrating, in their actions and demeanor, how really, really good and decent people can be. Better angels indeed. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Gloria M. Williams

San Luis Obispo

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