I haven’t gotten one yet – I’m too young! – but I know a lot of people who have. I hang out with older friends, alway have. I’m an old soul. Hee! Well, whatever the reason, a lot of my friends are over 65, over 70, over 75, and a lot of them have gotten their shot or shots. I signed up on the county waiting list yesterday. The group I’m assigned by age is supposed to start getting shots in the next week or two. I’m not chomping at the bit for it, but I’ll be glad to get it. It will be the first adult vaccination I remember taking. I’m not anti-vax, I got them all when I was young, and I turned out okay. Despite having the measles, Rubella, scarlet fever, and some other stuff. I was exposed to TB quite young, resulting in a permanent positive test and more chest x-rays than were good for me, until I put my foot down and said, No more! It’s just the way it is!
That might have been an early case of my accepting things the way they are: While I still fought most things I couldn’t control, I did accept that I would always test positive for TB, that I couldn’t donate blood because of that, that I couldn’t pursue a Hospice career, that my lungs would always be a little bit more vulnerable than most. Anyway, I’ve gotten my fair share of vaccinations: I remember eating sugar cubes for polio, and how we used to compare smallpox scars on our upper arms, for years, decades, after we got our smallpox inoculations, so much more than a simple stick in the arm! I don’t think I can see mine anymore, can you? But I have never gotten a flu shot, or yet a shingles vaccine. However, I’m getting in line for a Covid vaccination.
It won’t ameliorate my vigilance overnight, or likely ever, but it will give me a sense of some shielding when I have to go out in public. Hopefully I won’t get so stressed about going to the Crawford post office, or the idea of setting foot in Hotchkiss City Market, both notorious for maskless customers. Having the vaccine in me will allow me to relax more when someone comes over for some reason, and maybe let me host a cookout or two this summer, or even some retreats. A majority where I live don’t take it seriously. I do. And I’m grateful that most of my friends have gotten one or both of their shots and are safer, and that I’m next in line, and that science prevailed in last year’s battle of world views, so that finally vaccines are pouring into circulation, and most people I care about have the good sense to get them. I can only pray that our good choices on our own behalf are sufficient to stem the spread of Covid19 and save at least ourselves.
Many of us would not be here if not for vaccines. Whenever I am eligible for a vaccine I get it. As a nurse and a person who reads, it is obvious to me that we are all better off because of them even when they don’t work perfectly. I’m the person who usually has an unpleasant reaction to a vaccine. Aching, low energy, low grade fever, sore arm are expected afterwards. I don’t mind. I’ve seen people die of pneumonia, suffer the prolonged severe pain of shingles and live with chronic illness from hepatitis. I don’t want any of it! I’m so fortunate to have been born at a time when toddlers don’t die from hemophalous influenza b, infants aren’t born with defects because of German measles (rubella), and no one (in USA) dies of small pox. I am positively giddy about receiving the Covid vaccine. I don’t plan to let down my guard but what a relief it is that I have some protection and more importantly that I am not likely to unknowingly give Covid to others. My dad (98) got his second shot yesterday and he feels fine. The release from worrying about him is exhilarating. I long for the day when all my friends and family are protected. We’ve been very lucky so far.
Thank you for this healthcare provider’s perspective! I’m so glad you have relief about your dad now, that was a real worry. I’m relieved for both of you!