Meet Maggie Keenan, 90, the English woman who became the first patient to receive the COVID vaccine. Image: Getty Images

Meet Margaret Keenan, 90, of Coventry, England. Today the whole world did, because she became the first patient on the planet to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

And we are all better off having met her. Just listen to this unassuming wisdom:

“I say go for it. Go for it, because it’s free and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened.”

Take your pick, but those are both REALLY compelling arguments from an obvious oracle who we do not deserve in 2020. I am 100 percent not being cheeky. I devoured every story and article about her in the span of 30 minutes this morning. It was actually inspiring.

This is a woman who woke up today and said to herself (she did not really say this), “All the news outlets from the telly will be here today to take my picture … what shall I wear?” and answered herself by donning a penguin-in-a-Santa-suit “Merry Christmas” shirt.” That is JR Smith-level IDGAF. We should all strive to achieve such lofty heights of keeping it real when we find our 15 minutes of fame in this world.

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According to The Sun, which shines for all, but is sometimes a bit dodgy on the whole credibility thing (though surely not here), Maggie is a retired jewelry shop assistant with two kids and four grandkids. She met the requirements for the first round of jabs and off she rolled to get the poke seen ’round the world. When they rolled her back down the hall, she carefully futzed (yes, that’s a scientific term) with her mask to make sure she was being a good patient.

THAT’S why it had to be Maggie. Not some star athlete or smarmy politician. A real person who actually self-isolated this year in the hopes that this day would come. Now we all hope our day comes when that needle pierces our entirely-fleshier-than-2019 upper arms and fills us with the serum-y goodness of a future safe from that which is a modern-day, kissin’ cousin of the Black Death.

In a Rocky IV-esque moment of perspicacity, she nailed her farewell message to the world before disappearing back into the mists of the West Midlands, but cementing her legacy and onus of being “first” forever with these nine words: THAT’S why it had to be Maggie. Not some star athlete or smarmy politician. A real person who actually self-isolated this year in the hopes that this day would come.

“If I can do it, well, so can you.”

Damn skippy, Maggie. Damn skippy, we can do it.

It’s people like Maggie stepping up like she did, and how she did, that gets us steps closer to having what we missed, sporting events packed with fans and sports bars packed with more. And you know, return to life as we knew it.

Bring it on.

Rich O’Malley – deadspin.com

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