Austin, TX

In Austin, Texas, We're Over 65, Fully Vaccinated and Ready to Rumble

Carol Lennox

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Whoever Katie is, she might want to barricade anyplace in Austin, Texas, she doesn’t want seniors to congregate. What is a gathering of seniors called? A congregation of elders? A bundle of Boomers? A suite of Seniors? Whatever you call us, we're ready to party.

According to Joe Walsh in Forbes, The CDC, Center for Disease Control, says over 73% of seniors in the U.S. are now vaccinated. "The United States has put coronavirus vaccine shots into 75% of seniors’ arms..., a massive vaccination rate for one of the pandemic’s hardest-hit groups — but several states have charged even further ahead and immunized more than eight in 10 seniors."

In Texas, seniors have been prioritized until recently. Currently, now that Texas is making vaccines available to all adults, If seniors or other adults haven't been vaccinated yet, they can call 211 to find the closest vaccination locations. Also recently, enough vaccines are available in Texas, that they've opened large drive-throughs in major cities. Austin, Texas, through Austin Public Health, has one located at the Toney Burger Activity Center in South Austin, and operates every Saturday and Sunday. Perfect weekend days to start rumbling.

What does rumbling at our age look like? It can look like anything.

For one, we can dance again. In public, and not just in our living rooms to music from Alexa. That’s particularly important in Austin, TX where live music has always been the heartbeat of the cities. Austin is known as the "Music Capitol of the World," Our musicians have greatly suffered during the pandemic. It's up to those of us who are vaccinated to go out now and support them whenever they play in public again.

Here in Austin, we’d trained music venues and bands to play starting at 6:00 or 8:00 instead of 10:00 or 11:00. Now we have to start the training again. Although, at this point, we’re willing to stay up until at least midnight. I’d probably even be willing to shut the place down at 2:00 a.m. again. Anything for live music. And a chance to dance.

A year without live music has been like wandering in purgatory where only canned elevator music plays 24/7. Worse, we wandered alone. I’d sell my soul for a few evenings of live music by real musicians in real bands with real instruments. And a dance floor.

Places in Austin that seniors can go to now for music are growing. Central Market, north and south, have live music now on Saturdays. Gueros Taco Bar Oak Garden on South Congress in Austin has live music again on Saturdays and Sundays. No dance floor yet, but maybe soon. You can go to Baker Street Pub on South Lamar. My friends who've gone back stay on the patio, but the music from inside is loud enough to hear out there, they say.

Parties? Oh, yes. We might have to work up to it, after a year of being terrified to let anyone into our homes we aren’t related to. Even family had to wear a mask and stay six feet away.

So a house party for seniors might take a little maneuvering at first. A sidestep here, a runaround there. Until we realize, WE’RE VACCINATED. Brace yourself for hugs. No, seriously, brace yourself. No bumping knees or hips.

Bars? Maybe not so much yet. Except those with patios. Here in Austin, Texas. I propose we take over the bars on Rainey Street. They all have great patios. It’s much nicer than Dirty Sixth Street, and the kids have had it long enough. We might share, and let the kids who aren’t vaccinated yet take the patios and we’ll take the indoors. We aren’t monsters, we’re just old and ready to rumble. In a safe way. Katie better beat a beeline to Rainey Street, just sayin’.

So, if you’re over 65 and fully vaccinated, let’s rumble. Right after we get back from the gym. And a nap.

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My purpose is to inspire and inform. You can read more by me on Medium.com/@carollennox, and on the Good Men Project. I've had a lifetime of valuable experiences, and I want to share the lessons I've learned readily, or been forced to learn. I'm a psychotherapist, a hypnotherapist, a mother to my amazing son, Blake Scott, whom I write about often. I also write about race, equality, social justice, sex, government, and Mindfulness, not in that order.

Austin, TX
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