Here is some exciting news: my mom, her longtime partner, and my aunt are all now fully vaccinated (Pfizer) — and so am I. Later this month I’ll be staying at the coast with my mom and aunt for our first visit since we briefly (and riskily, in retrospect) got together late last spring. I can’t remember exactly when it was, but I do recall there was something particularly awful going on politically so THAT ought to narrow it down, ha ha haaargghh.

Between the four of us, it doesn’t sound like anyone got whammied with the more severe-sounding side effects, although my aunt reports of a friend whose freshly-vaccinated husband had brain fog to the point where he couldn’t identify his dinner that night. (“What IS that??” “…A potato.”)

My vaccine opportunity came about through hospice, as a volunteer I was offered access to the leftovers from an all-day clinic for healthcare workers. When I first got the notification I went through a bunch of ethical hand-wringing, but ultimately decided that as long as I wasn’t actively stepping in front of someone else’s place in line, I should go ahead.

Both clinics I went to (the initial, plus the follow-up, which was made by appointment) were held in the hospital, they were very well managed and not remotely crowded. The shot itself was given from a worker at one of several tables set up in a conference room, then each of us was sent to an observation room to hang out for 15 minutes.

The vibe at both clinics was a DELIGHT. Everyone was in a good mood, and that alone was enormously bolstering. All of us in the observation room seemed to have the same air of gratitude and awe and hope: despite the distancing and masks there was somehow the feeling of a group high five.

I had a sore arm both times but that was it. After my second shot I walked out of that hospital teary-eyed with a great swelling of emotion I couldn’t even really unpack. A tangled-up mix of admiration and frustration for us humans: look at how so many of us try to take care of each other, look how many choose not to.

Comments

7 Responses to “Vaccinated”

  1. ErinInCA on March 11th, 2021 9:18 pm

    I was in a very similar situation this week — apparently our school district ended up with extra doses, and so they opened their clinics up to long-time school volunteers. Our kids have been virtual since last March, so it’s not like I’ve been out there with the kids every day, but I went ahead and signed up and got my first Moderna on Wednesday! Completely unexpected and truly a lucky gift. My mom has Alzheimer’s, is rapidly declining, and lives a four-hour plane ride away. I’m planning a trip for late April now. What a joyous relief!

  2. Shelagh on March 12th, 2021 3:54 am

    Just: WOOOHOOOO! I’m so happy for every single person who has been vaccinated and I’m awaiting my turn with flat-out glee.

  3. Mary on March 12th, 2021 8:22 am

    Regarding the hand-wringing and such, my feeling is this – when you are offered a vaccine, take the vaccine. I know a lot of people offered one due to a “technicality” who felt the same way, but the guidelines are the guidelines…someone with a higher level of responsibility made that decision, not you. I felt guilty in January getting vaccinated because, while I am an RN, I work in the NICU. It’s like the safest place in the hospital. My therapist told me to get over it. It was my turn. I took my turn. I realized she was right. We all are struggling enough…why make it worse?

  4. Swistle on March 12th, 2021 9:21 am

    Oh I am SO GLAD. I am 100% on the side of “TAKE IT IF YOU ARE OFFERED IT.” VACCINES! INTO! ARMS!

    Your last sentence made me choke up.

  5. Melissa on March 12th, 2021 10:26 am

    That last sentence…whoo boy, thats the best label to put on what Ive grappled with for the last year. Living in TX its almost a badge of courage to go out without a mask and post about the horribleness of the vaccine. It blows the mind. Im so glad so many others are willing to do what they can to keep everyone safe. I eagerly await my turn in line but I hope it comes soon!

  6. Linda on March 12th, 2021 11:44 am

    Mary: I will say that it does not feel right that I am now vaccinated when my friend here in town, who manages a restaurant, isn’t yet eligible. I didn’t have the ability to let someone else to take my slot or I definitely would have, but yes, totally feel like I can at least contribute to the overall good by being vaccinated! ErinInCA: I feel the SAME way, like it’s such a lucky gift. I plan to pay it forward with hospice as much as possible, since they were the ones who extended this gift to me.

  7. itsjustme on March 12th, 2021 11:55 am

    My husband works for the school district and after a week of trying to get an appointment, I was finally able to get one at Walgreens at 8pm. Yay! After getting the kids to bed (okay, in their rooms but ready for bed), I went down there with him and we arrived right on time. There were two elderly women sitting in the observation area and another older lady at the counter talking with the pharmacist. My husband started filling out the paperwork and the woman was very upset that he’d arrived. He was the last dose of the night and she was hoping to get it if he didn’t show. I felt so guilty! I wasn’t even the one getting the shot. It was such a weird feeling…I was so excited he was getting it and just sick that this woman probably had the same issues trying to get an appointment and couldn’t. I’m hoping that all got resolved!

    I’m so, so happy people are getting it and just thrilled you’ll get to spend some time with loved ones soon!

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