Vaccination Segregation - A Tale in Two Parts · 20 May 2021

Part 1: No Card

“We have a reservation for six at six.”

“Whose name is the reservation under?”


“I see it.” The maître d’ looked up from her book. “May I see your cards?”

The party of six reached for their wallets in pockets and purses. Joe grumbled, “I thought this was a restaurant, not a bar. Why do you need to see our IDs?”

Everybody stared at Joe. The maître d’ was also astounded. “Uh… Not your ID sir. I need to see your vaccination card.”

Pauline nodded agreement even as she showed her vaccination card. “I made the reservations for vaccinated.”

“Vaccinated? There are reservations for vaccinated and not vaccinated? Since when?”

The maître d’ seemed to ignore Joe. “If you do not all have your card I will need to seat you in the unvaccinated area. Sorry.”

Pauline looked at her friends, “I thought Joe would have his vaccination by now. Even though he still wears his mask around everywhere.”

Joe looked around the restaurant. The front of the restaurant was brightly lit and the people were packed in enjoying the company of their family and friends. The back of the place was also well lit, but there seemed to be a pall over the place. The tables were spread apart and the tables all had half the seating of the tables in front. The people there seemed to be having a good time too, but masks dangled from people’s ears or hung around their chin and neck areas. The people in front did not look like they were still in the middle of a pandemic, but the people in the back looked afraid of the people at the front tables.

Vince said, “You been living under a rock, Joe? You gotta have your vaccination card to just walk around without a mask now.”

Joe grumbled. “The next thing you know you’ll get a fine if you don’t have the latest vaccine. Then, random police stops, mask or no mask. Mask profiling.”

The maître d’ told Pauline, “If even one person in your group does not have a card, you will need to sit in the unvaccinated area.”

Pauline was about to speak, but Joe beat her to the punch, “You all go on without me. I don’t feel much like celebrating now.”

“Ah c’mon Joe. It’ll be okay.”

“Yeah. We can sit in the back.”

They all tried to convince him to stay, but Joe was not buying it. “Nah. I do not want to drag you all to the back of the bus with me. You all have fun. I’ll see you Monday.”

Joe walked out of the restaurant as his friends were taken to their vaccinated table. He took a look in the window, and saw his friends wave as they were walking with the maître d’ to their table. He waved back before he shoved his hands into his coat pockets and trudged down the sidewalk to his car.

It was a few blocks to the parking garage that the firm had for the office. He fretted and fumed.

What was the deal with vaccination cards to be seated at restaurants? Or even to be out and about in on the streets without a surgical mask? Or whatever kind of masks people wore to keep others from becoming infected. Show your face, show your card! It all seemed like such nonsense. It all seemed like such a terrible way to segregate people.

And that was what it was. Segregation. It was as if the country or maybe even the world could not live without some sort of separation. Race. Religion. Creed. Culture. Gender. Political party. Everybody needed to fit into nice neat categories. And when they don’t, we need to put them into some new category. Vaccinated and unvaccinated. It was the great new divider. The haves and have nots had changed, Joe thought. It was not about money, it was about having the vaccines and not having the vaccines.

The funny thing was that Joe had gotten all his vaccines. He was one of the first for the earliest vaccines in the first pandemic. And he had kept up with them all since the beginning. But he never carried the cards. Even though he got a new one with all the updates every time they came out with a new one. He just threw into the junk drawer.

Joe finally reached the parking garage. He was still brooding about the whole incident. And he brooded all the way on his drive home. He wondered if his neighbor, Garth, was right. Maybe it was all a conspiracy.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Ode to Yukiko · 10 March 2018

She was the dog who loved my children
She was the dog who loved my wife
She was the dog who loved us unconditionally
Every day of her life

They say all dogs go to heaven
I really hope it’s so
For I hope to see all of man’s best friends
Especially, Yukiko

January 1, 2002 to March 10, 2018

Without our little dog around
I do not know how life will be
Which is why I hope in heaven
To find our little Yuki

But whether dogs go to heaven
I really do not know
But I know that here on earth
God’s love they do show

For who of all our many friends
Can love us when we’re down
Who can always make us smile
When we have a frown

Who knows our every mood
Loves us even when we’re late
Who sees our faults and failures
Loves us in whatever state

Only God above and people’s dogs
Love unconditionally
They wait for us so patiently
To just come home and be

I hope dogs go to heaven
Yes, I really hope it’s so
Because I want to see God’s friends again
Especially, Yukiko

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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A Last Good-bye · 6 November 2016

words by Michael T. Miyoshi
music by Michael T. Miyoshi & Todd Namba

I tried to write a song to say
How much you meant to me
A song of love and happiness
That I’d sing joyfully.
It would be a song from all of us
From deep within our hearts
A song to say more than your memories
Will live within our hearts.

But when I think of all the family
And friends you left behind
I can’t hold back the flood of tears
And sadness fills my mind
The tears of grief are not for you
But for the rest of us
For now we have just memories
Instead of you to hug.

I tried to write a song today
To say how much you meant to us
But words alone can not convey
The way you’ve touched each one of us.

And as I tried to write a song today
All I could do was cry
So the last thing that we give to you
Is this last good-bye.

©2004 Michael T. Miyoshi & Todd Namba

© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi

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