Biff America: Acronym afflictions
Pete has a bad case of FOMO. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
FOMO is an acronym for “fear of missing out.” It is the condition of being bothered, saddened or jealous when observing, second hand, the lives of others.
Pete will see photos on Instagram, Facebook or myriad other electronic platforms featuring friends or strangers enjoying a particular activity, and he wishes he had done that activity rather than whatever he had done on that particular day.
To be clear, Pete has little to complain about. He is healthy, comfortable and leads a good life, but as Voltaire said, “Best is the enemy of the good,” so Pete can’t stop comparing his life to others.
By all reports with this current pandemic, and the fact that we all are spending more time online, the scourge of FOMO is spreading.
And though I know tooting your own trumpet is both self-aggrandizing and can lead to lip injuries, I will say I don’t get FOMO. My buddy Pete attributes that to the fact that — despite my low ambition, intellect and lack of character — my pathological conceit makes it impossible for me to want to be anyone but myself.
(FOMO causes Pete to be mean.)
My mate is much kinder in her diagnosis. Ellie thinks I don’t get FOMO because I usually skip past posts of folks doing fun stuff to get to the videos of people slipping on ice, trying to dance while drunk, falling off bikes or getting hit in the groin while playing pickleball.
And though I seem to be immune to FOMO for whatever reason, I have a condition that is worse, with far-reaching emotional and physical implications.
I am a chronic sufferer of UVD, which of course means “unmet vaccination desire.”
I am one of the many who find it easier to get an audience with the Pope than to get vaccinated. Though the vaccine side effects range from absolutely none for some, to nausea, body aches and inner thigh rash for others, the sense of relief seems universal.
Granted, no one would call me an essential worker — though if it weren’t for me, our carpet would be unvacuumed and our refrigerator would look like a science project. Nor do I fall in the “most vulnerable” or “at-risk” populations. I’m healthy, mostly retired, and the only person I have close contact with is my mate — when she says it’s OK.
I was totally fine waiting for the elderly, health care employees, pharmacists, cops, firefighters, teachers, child care workers, grocery store employees, jerky wagon workers to get theirs first.
But when I got a text alert that vaccine appointments had opened to left-handed dyslexics between the ages of 60 and death, I jumped on my computer. When I was told the reservations were full 10 seconds later, I was happy for those who were first in line and assumed I’d be able to sneak in the next round or the one after that
After the scenario repeated itself several times, I became a little frustrated. I found myself staring at the computer, night and day, like a lonely guy staring at his Tinder page.
And to make matter worse, I’d go on Facebook to see posts of my “friends” bragging about receiving their shot and the nausea, body aches and groin rashes that came with it. Then the UVD in me kicks in. But not wanting to be like Pete, I fight it and celebrate my friends’ good fortune and rashes.
But for the love of Jesus, Mary and their donkey, why don’t they wait until they have more than three doses of vaccine to send out those text alerts reading, “ATTENTION: TO ALL OF YOU WHO ARE AFRAID OF COVID MORE THAN YOU ARE OF GROIN RASHES, AND ARE 60 OR OVER, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING, SPRINT TO YOUR COMPUTER, AND LOG IN JUST TO BE TOLD THAT YOU ARE 30 SECONDS TOO LATE!”
But UVD aside, I’m happy for those who have gotten the vaccine, and I’ll just wait my turn. And to be fair, I might have been overlooked due to the fact that when I was filling out the form, and they asked my preferred location for receiving the injection, I wrote, “My butt.” That might not be covered in the Hippocratic oath.
Author’s note: This column is an attempt to entertain. I have total respect and appreciation for the public health providers who are doing a wonderful job under difficult conditions.
Jeffrey Bergeron’s column “Biff America” publishes Mondays in the Summit Daily News. Bergeron has worked in TV and radio for more than 30 years, and his column can be read in several newspapers and magazines. He is the author of “Mind, Body, Soul.” Bergeron arrived in Breckenridge when there was plenty of parking and no stop lights. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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