Yesterday, during this festive season, my adult, autistic daughter went to a local Walgreens to get her Covid booster shot. She had an appointment and she had her vaccination card with her. Luckily she had a few other things stored on her phone.
For those of you who don’t know her, my daughter is Chinese by birth, adopted as a baby, and a naturalized U.S. citizen. The people behind the counter at Walgreens said she couldn’t get the shot because she was Chinese and China “caused Covid.” They said she couldn’t get the shot because she was an illegal immigrant (their phrase, not mine). She showed them a copy of her American passport on her phone–they claimed she had photoshopped it.
They said she wasn’t old enough to get the shot without parental permission, so she showed them her driver’s license. You guessed it–they said she had photoshopped it.
They said she didn’t have an appointment. She showed them the appointment code on her phone. They said they couldn’t give her the shot because she didn’t have health insurance (Covid shots don’t require health insurance). When she showed them her insurance card anyway, they claimed (I swear I am not making this up) that Aetna was not a real insurance company!
They said she needed to have a college degree to get the shot (??!!??). She showed them a picture of herself at her college graduation.
They said they didn’t have any shots left (even though other people were there waiting for shots). A minute later, they actually offered a shot to my daughter’s friend, who is white.
At this point my daughter and her friend began walking around the store, readings statistics about the Omicron variant off of their phones, and lamenting very loudly that she would be involuntarily spreading the variant because she hadn’t been allowed to get her shot.
Finally, the other people waiting for their shots began yelling at the staff. One man, bless his heart, threatened to call the police on them. When the nurse heard the noise, she came out of her little room and asked what was going on. Then she immediately called my daughter back and gave her the shot. The whole process had lasted about 3 hours.
I know other people have gone through racists shit like this, and much worse. But I am SO very proud of my daughter for sticking to her guns. She had a meltdown (understandably) afterwards, but by golly she got her shot!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go raise hell at the pharmacy myself.