Last Spring, when we were at the height of COVID-19 uncertainty- with lockdowns, quarantines, and mass cancellations/closures- it didn’t seem like there was an end in sight. Everything looked and felt grim, and it was hard to see the bright side of pretty much anything given how much we’d lost and were continuing to lose- both individually and collectively as a society.
And now, just over a year later- there’s a glimmer of hope and a light at the end of the tunnel that is this pandemic. Vaccination rollouts have been confusing and frustrating, to say the least- with trying to schedule an appointment eerily resembling something out of “The Hunger Games”- but the vaccinations ARE happening in bulk and that’s what is truly important.
This past Friday afternoon, by pure luck and word of mouth- I was able to get my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine- provided by a very friendly pediatrician volunteering at the Northampton Senior Center who saw I was a little squeamish from the jump and made the process as quick and painless for me as possible (I honestly didn’t feel a thing- that’s how easy it was.) Of course, I was worried about side effects- the news frequently talks about the nightmare scenarios where something truly awful happens in the minutes/hours after being injected- but thankfully the only side effect I felt throughout Saturday was a sore arm where I’d been given the shot and a little grogginess that was done and gone by Sunday morning.
I receive my second dose in early May- and although I’ve heard the side effects of the second vaccination are a little more noticeable and not all that pleasant- I feel like I’m prepared to face it head on. Feeling a little clammy or fatigued for 24-48 hours is a small price to pay to know that my life can return to some level of normalcy and that I’m one step closer to being able to see my friends and family again.
Despite the arm discomfort and overall feeling of laziness on Saturday- I went out and enjoyed a calm and peaceful day in Woodstock, Connecticut- where I did a little antiquing at The Rusty Relic (don’t knock my New Englander hobbies) and grabbed a quick bite to eat with a much-needed latte at the Vanilla Bean Café in neighboring Pomfret, Connecticut- which is a hidden gem for great food in an adorable and cozy setting just down the road from the Pomfret Boarding Academy.
I have a feeling I’ll be spending the day after my second dose in a similar fashion- being gentle with myself and escaping to a calm and quiet place, not doing anything too strenuous or exhausting- and staying hydrated until my post-vaccination clearance is confirmed and I can slowly but surely start re-entering the world and get back to my life again.
I know everyone is different, and some people may experience differing degrees of side effects or aches/pains with the vaccinations- but please don’t let that dissuade you or frighten you away from getting your shot when you can. I’m not ashamed to admit I was scared at first, too- but knowing what it’s all for and feeling a sense of hope and relief again makes those few seconds and minutes leading up to actually getting the injection worth it.
And be sure to give yourself some time to rest and recuperate afterwards, too. Treat yourself to a “Lazy Day Off” if you can. You don’t have to necessarily go anywhere picturesque like I did- you can even stay in bed all day if you want!- but it’s important not to push yourself too hard while the vaccine gradually does what it’s supposed to.
And may the odds be ever in your favor when scheduling your appointment (sorry- I had to!)