Sunday, January 31, 2021

Why I Decided To Get The Covid Vaccine


The view as I waited 6 feet apart from the person in front of me. I texted my husband this picture and informed him I was given a boring aisle to shop in while I waited.

EVERYONE has an opinion about everything these days. I feel really old saying that too. It's why I have taken a step back from Facebook and other forms of social media. I'm selective about what I post on my personal accounts and I'm even more selective about the time I spend on those platforms. If I do post, on either my personal and business accounts, I simply do that. I rarely scroll through my FB feeds, nor do I do much other than post what I want and then get out.

It's not that I don't have opinions on what's happening in the world. I just haven't wanted to deal with posting them on social media because there aren't enough civil conversations via social media. I have remained fairly quiet about my thoughts on the pandemic and handlings of it. I firmly believe that, especially right now, everyone has different comfort levels with things. I wouldn't say we're being fearful, but fairly cautious about how we live our life at the moment. This has been a struggle of me because I tend to live pretty carefree. Finding a steady line to walk in between carefree and cautious is tedious. 

I distinctly remember last March. March 8th to be exact, as it was the last time I sat around a table with my extended family and we weren't worried about giving each other a virus that could potentially kill one of us. I remember telling my family that we weren't worried about Covid. I had just returned from a trip to Utah, the first of many trips planned for the year, and hadn't kept up on the news of Covid; just that it was in Washington state and spreading. I *think* maybe Iowa had had its first case, but possibly not. Naive me had no idea how much life would change in a matter of days.

Life turned into a whirlwind, with us making decisions we never imagined we'd be faced with. We had a few scares with Covid (exposures), but we stayed healthy throughout the summer (and we've managed to stay healthy, knock on wood). When news broke of possible Covid vaccines, I remember telling my husband, "um, no. I am NOT doing that. Especially something so rushed." I did not think an emergency vaccine was a good idea. 

Luckily, I have an open mind. I am content in saying when I was wrong and I'm content in changing my opinions and thoughts on any subject matter. Including a Covid19 vaccination. Maybe it was spending the holidays in quarantine or perhaps it's the neverending winter with no friends, events, or traveling or spending time reading medical journals and hearing opinions of well respected doctors. Regardless of how my mind was changed, my mind was changed.

Sunday morning, I woke up early, skipped my usual Face The Nation splurge and went to a pharmacy for my Covid vaccine. I had to sign my life away that I knew the risks of getting this vaccination, that is technically not FDA approved yet. As the needle went into my arm, I was given hope.

Not hope that our life would return to normal. I've made peace with the fact that our lives likely won't look normal for a very long time and when normal does come, it still won't be normal. It was hope that I won't add to the crowded hospital counts. It was hope that if my children or husband gets sick, I will be able to take care of them without getting sick myself. It was hope that it's a step in a new direction. I chose to get the vaccine because, so far, I'm the only person in our family who can receive it at this time. My husband, despite being in contact with thousands of people each week through his job, doesn't qualify yet under our state guidelines (we're hopeful he's in the next round). Kids under 18 can't receive the vaccine yet and we're unsure if our oldest will be able to receive one at all (he has severe food and seasonal allergies).

Even if my husband is able to receieve the Covid vaccine sooner rather than later, it will not change our way of life any time soon. We will still need to protect our children and others in our lives. No matter what happens with the vaccine; if it's revealed to not even help or have life-altering effects in the future, I decided I wouldn't regret receiving the vaccine. With every fiber of my being, I would regret getting someone else sick or missing out on life anymore than we already are. I really had to do some soul searching in order to change my own mind. 

The vaccine roll out here in Iowa has been hectic (and that's putting it nicely). I received my first dose after sitting online for an hour, refreshing a page until a slot opened up. All appoint slots were filled within an hour and a half. I will have to go through the same thing to schedule my second dose, the required booster to make this vaccine effective. I was told if I don't get the second dose within 24 - 28 days of receiving the first dose, it is basically ineffective. I will have to fight for a slot again and hope I can get in within a short time frame. I am hopeful that our supply issues will be eased in the coming weeks and people aren't desperate for their turn. I truly believe the vaccine (and other precautions such as mask wearing, social distancing, and making conscience choices that are best for ourselves and our families) is a needed step to get to a new normal. I'm anxious to visit friends, hold their babies, spend time with family, have a cousin's night, feel safe dining with friends, and not be worried I may unintentionally give them a virus they may not fight off as well as I could.