Right before the syringe broke my skin as I received my first vaccine dose, the intake volunteer (they were ALL volunteers) told me that I was lucky to be part of only 15% of our country’s population – vaccinated from Covid-19.
That number jarred me. Wow. How did I end up here?
When availability of the vaccine was first announced, I was skeptical about its safety. It seemed to be very quickly developed under an administration whose greatest successes seemed to be causing the country sickness, be it mental, emotional or physical. I didn’t trust it – or the President.
But, when Dr. Fauci said it was safe, I reconsidered. Call me naive, but I trust him. An additional factor in my willingness to get the vaccine was my stage in life. Honestly, if I were of an age when having babies was part of my future plan, I don’t know that I would have been quite so open to getting jabbed. There are no long term studies and I have childhood memories of the horrendous effects of thalidomide. I think I would taken a hard pass.
But, my baby making days are done. When a friend shared a link to schedule an appointment early in January, I jumped on it. My sense of appreciative relief to have that on my calendar was greater than I would have anticipated. I looked forward to starting the process and considered it a large step in the direction of being able to once again traveling.
As my appointment drew closer, I began to worry about vaccine shortages. Would getting my second shot become an issue?
The week before my appointment, scheduled for a health facility in Schenectady, I received an email saying my appointment had been cancelled because of lack of supply. I was disappointed, to say the least.
I began trolling for another local visit, but eventually decided to book an appointment in Plattsburgh, one of two locations in the state consistently showing availability. If all worked out, I’d still have just enough time to sneak in my shots before my April break from school. Perhaps I would finally make it to California to be with my mother-sister-aunt friend who I had missed seeing for our annual Christmas visit.
But, on Wednesday, administration in my school district sent out an email about a clinic being conducted right in Albany the very next day. I jumped on it. Within three minutes of receiving the email I was scheduled for 6:00 Thursday evening.
Last night I went down to the TU Center, parked my car, and took a place in a fast moving and organized line. There were a few screening questions, a temperature scan and then I was in. Within 40 minutes I was sitting in the “observation area” post injection with my next visit scheduled in four weeks.
Without exception, every single person working last night’s event was kind, warm and friendly. These good people who generously gave their time to this enormous endeavor are the antithesis of those who stormed the Capitol. They made me feel a sense of pride in this country which I’ve been missing.
A couple of hours after my shot, my arm felt a little sore. As the night progressed, the discomfort increased. I can’t raise my elbow to anywhere close to shoulder height, but some Tylenol and time should do the trick.
One is done and I couldn’t be more appreciative. Sending healthy vibes and vaccine access to all. Let’s find our way together out of this dreadful time.
Note for childhood O.C. friends: how many of you pictured The Shot in the Dark from days of yore?! You’re welcome.