When I received an SMS that I have to take the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine today, during the "strict lockdown", I was a bit apprehensive.
How am I going to go to the hospital? Will there be any problem? And most importantly, I need to get the "movement pass" -- these were the issues that kept bugging me.
So, I decided to take one step at a time. First, I planned to get the pass.
Now, being a journalist, I did not require one. But I was not stepping out of home for work purposes, so I decided to get one.
I visited movementpass.police.gov.bd on Friday night, and registered using my phone number.
I added all the info it asked for, such as where am I going, what time and for what purpose? I also had to add my photo, which I did not have on me. I took one and tried to upload it but by that time, the session had already expired.
Redid the steps all over again. This time, it went smoothly. I was issued a card with a three-hour time limit.
The next morning (today) around 8am, I took all the precautionary measures one should, and stepped out. I found an auto-rickshaw in front of Square Hospital.
Before I could even bargain, the driver, Ujjal Sheikh, asked, "Do you have a pass?"
Ujjal then inquired if I had valid reasons to go out and if police stopped me, would I be able to explain.
Impressed by his carefulness, I assured him that I got everything covered. By the time I got on the vehicle, I did not even realise, I agreed to pay him almost double the usual fare.
My destination was National Institute of Ophthalmology and Hospital at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.
We got stopped at Bijoy Sarani, but I was ready thanks to the grilling by driver Ujjal. I showed the cops my vaccine card and the pass and was allowed to go.
There weren't that many vehicles on the road.
Once I reached the hospital, there were signs everywhere pointing to the conference room on the third floor for vaccination.
I showed my vaccine card and a volunteer told me to go in. I had to submit the card to another volunteer, who asked me to wait in front of table 4.
So far so good.
Inside, it was a bit chaotic as many, especially the elderly, came with their family members, which made the room, though quite big, crowded.
There were at least 6 tables in a row with two nurses each. One filled up the card while another administered the vaccine.
Soon it was my turn. A nurse gave me the shot and it was over just like that. She told me to wait in a room outside and they would return my card there.
The room was crowded too. I had to stand in a corner and wait.
I remember for the first time around, we were told what to do if there was any problem. But nothing of that sort happened this time. We just waited.
After 15 minutes, volunteers returned our cards. I got mine back, which said I took both the shots, and got out of the hospital.
Outside, it was quite busy. There were mostly rickshaws available.
Rickshaw-pullers were offering a ride-sharing option, which meant you can share the ride with another and split the fare. Some agreed and got on.
Finally I found a rickshaw, agreed to pay extra and started my journey back home.
I got stopped at the intersection near the planning ministry. There was a bottleneck due to the checking. Eventually, my turn came and I was allowed to go.
Soon, I was home -- vaccinated and feeling better that everything went smoothly… well almost… but I am not complaining at all.