I first visited San Antonio in February of this year. Erroneously, I thought I would get acquainted with the city very quickly, but the pandemic was still strong during the winter. I was free to travel, but things weren’t always open.
As the year closes, I’ve traveled to San Antonio for a second time in 2021. There have been studio visits, museum trips, and grocery store runs. The city seems to be much more online this time around, or perhaps I’ve just spent more time on my feet.
I decided I should get this year’s flu vaccine, both because the vaccine gets updated every year, and because we are currently living through a historically mild run of flu seasons. While it sounds like the virus is on the threat of extinction, it could mean that flu antibodies are running low. Ultimately, I don’t feel like getting sick.
I easily made an appointment at a CVS in downtown San Antonio, close enough to walk. Of the many murals in the center of the city, there is one that looms large. A girl sits upon a quadrupedal, horned animal, with braided hair and a lantern holding a shining heart. It is such a tall painting that it welcomed a closer vantage point. The experience cost nothing.
I crossed the intersection of East Houston Street and Jefferson Street, approaching the eastern-facing wall of Texas de Brazil to see if I could find a signature for the artwork. A stenciled tag and QR code reading “*Art Everywhere Project” led me to an online mural directory. At the ground level of the mural, I found a separate, likely unrelated tag, which read “Give up your body = give up your freedom – 2021.”
My walk concluded at CVS, where I signed in and waited for my flu vaccine. Because my health provider isn’t contracted with drugstore chain, the shot would cost $25. While doing some idle shopping, a wall of signs for discounted vitamin supplements accosted my vision with a wall of “FREE” offers. There I was, upgrading my bodily awareness of pathogens, with potential free nutrients undulating down the wall of the makeshift waiting room.