When you grow up in the 1990s in the south of Moravia, your national sport is not football or hockey, but catching up with Austria. In some statistics, it already looked promising: we reached two-thirds of the average Austrian salary, and those who do not look at the map on the train will not recognize the border crossing from the facades.
But now you are still as humble on that train as when you envied the little Austrians Milka and Fanta. The outgoing Czech Prime Minister and the incoming Czech Prime Minister are asking you in a touching joint gesture to go to the third dose of the covid vaccination. So they don’t have to tease you, you have five months from the second, the protection weakens, before the holidays the booster is suitable for record numbers.
But you won’t get a paper claim for it until January. The same booster is suitable for more than a million other people vaccinated in front of you. It would also be better to inject the same vaccines into more than two million of those who have not yet received a single dose. Unfortunately, we only manage to vaccinate these three million by sixty thousand arms a day. Large centers are closed, the governors have no reason to exhibit after the election.
And that’s why you’re sitting on the train to Austria. More precisely to Vienna. Last night, your friend on Facebook boasted that he had gone there for the third dose. No one there solved that the acquaintance had nothing to do with Vienna, no one even wanted money for him. This is suspicious, because we carefully select foreigners for free vaccinations, and it was only in June that we allowed them to be vaccinated at least for a fee, as if the coronavirus had not climbed on people with a foreign passport.
So try to fill in the registration form on the Vienna website. Available dates are from the morning. This is even more suspicious: you would get a booster at least five weeks earlier than in the Czech Republic.
Viennese even vaccinate children from the age of five. And that’s super suspicious: we’re going to start distributing vaccines to pediatricians a few days before Christmas so that we can look forward to the children going to the first dose in January and protecting them around the carnival.
The next day, you laugh at your paranoia at the Vienna Vaccination Center. From the entrance to the injection twelve minutes filled with interviews with caring staff.
So far, your wife is trying to paper a PCR test from her saliva for her son before leaving the border on Friday. The volunteers at the test booth do not know why they actually need the paper for the chewing variant, when they do not need it according to their own website. The pediatrician does not know what to write about him. Everything is solved by several messages with an acquaintance who works in the center and arranges a saliva test.
As you already understand: in the Czech Republic, it is good for you to have acquaintances. In fact, it’s a good idea to trust them more than the state and some doctors. (However, the precondition for survival is for those acquaintances to believe in the existence of the virus and the importance of vaccinations and tests.) In Austria, they know that a pandemic is not a competition to extract social capital, but a problem that makes sense to solve together. Maybe by stabbing neighbors. When the lockdown ends in Vienna, the Czechs and Slovaks will go shopping and perch there again. So let them infect as little infectious aerosol as possible.
Austria has made a lot of mistakes in the pandemic. They bet on area antigen testing. He tried lockdown only for the unvaccinated. She didn’t want to force anyone into anything. The fundamental difference is that she recognized every mistake and corrected it in time. Without an agony waiting to see if the virus alone scares the madness of the leaders.
He thinks ahead. It was revealed to someone in Vienna in Excel in October that large-capacity centers would soon be full again, so they should not be closed. And even though it was the correct calculation, modest Austria does not speak of itself as a country for the future. Calculating what will happen in two months is not a job for futurologists, but for grocers.
The futurological task awaits back on the train. You look out the window and wonder if the border will not be known again by the naked eye in the next thirty years.
Vienna vaccinates not only Austrians for free in its centers. You need an insurance card, proof of identity and, for the booster, proof of first benefits.
Registration is easy. Although the site only ran in German this week, you can translate it through Google Translate, for example. You will receive a form that you can but do not have to fill out in advance.
You only need 4 months from the second dose for the booster (in the Czech Republic it is 6 months so far for non-risk groups). The city of Vienna is already vaccinating children from the age of 5 (of course, only accompanied by a parent and after an interview with a doctor – the ones I spoke to spoke English).
After vaccination, you will receive a card with information that your GP will nostrify. The information about the vaccination is written in Dot. If this does not work for some reason, the QR code can also be printed in Austrian pharmacies, but not on the day of vaccination.