Taking a Jab

Everyone I know has complained about how badly their arm hurt after the shot. Mine felt fine. But before you go thinking I’m being smug, let me point out that I get FOUR allergy shots EVERY MONTH, quite often from nursing students who have never seen human arms before, and so I think I was due for a fairly painless needle stick.

One down, and one to go.

In a month, it should be OK. 

Although, I am pretty sure this will be the longest month ever, maybe even longer than that final month of my third pregnancy. And that was super freaking long. Then, and now, I didn’t think I could hold out. I’m gearing up for an entire month of imaginary symptoms, freaking out over every little cough and constant sniffing of the Target version of Vick’s Vaporub to make sure my sense of smell is intact. I figure this will be my daily routine until I know we’re all in the clear for COVID. (At least this time, unlike my last pregnancy, I’m not peeing every 2.5 minutes.)

My entire house bubble — or family, which you may remember is the term we used before 2020 — got the first dose of the vaccine! We’re a Pfizer pfamily. Honestly, any of the vaccines — except an injection of disinfectant — would have been just fine with us. 

It’s awesome and exciting and scary and … weird.

I couldn’t believe it when my brother-in-law texted with the news flash that some retail pharmacies were already opening up shots for everyone. He’d landed an appointment, so I hopped on the computer and went to work. I spent an entire day trying to crash the Walgreens website with constant page refreshing. The site flashed a red “no appointments available for five days” message except for the occasional teasing green “appointments available” message, which completely filled by the time I clicked it. 

But, I am nothing if not stubborn and when I got up the next morning with time to kill before the dog walk, I went back at it. This time, I got in. We all got in. 

Cue the heavenly light and angels singing. Hallelujab.

You’d think that I would have been on Cloud 9. Nope. I immediately doubted that I’d actually succeeded and that it was for real. How could anything good be real after the incredibly long, soul-sucking year we’ve all had? 

I dropped into bed at the end of that day only to wake up in the middle of the night in a panic. What if it was Russian hackers who got into the Walgreens site and faked us out with nonexistent appointments? 

“Ha, ha, ha! How does it feel to be on the corner of ‘We got you’ and ‘Stupid Americans’?! This is even better than that time we let them think ‘La La Land’ won the Oscars! HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”

Or, what if one of us contracted COVID in the interminably long 48 hours before our first vaccinations? 

We’re so very close to the finish line and yet that sneaky line seems to keep moving farther and farther back. I imagine* this is what it feels like to run a marathon — you’re able to truck along steadily for miles and miles and then, in the last 75 feet with the end actually in sight, you just feel like you can’t take another step. 

And how weird will it be when enough of us are vaccinated that we can just go inside people’s houses again? Is it going to feel like our personal space is being violated? Do we actually have to dust again?

Will we remember how to hug or will we end up doing the awkward, dude bro side hug?

How strange is it going to feel when we can once again see the bottom half of each other’s faces? And actual smiles? I guess then we get to go back to worrying constantly about whether there’s spinach stuck in our front teeth or an errant booger swinging from a nostril.

I can’t wait.  

*I say “imagine” because I’d never do anything as insane as running. EVER.

2 thoughts on “Taking a Jab

  1. Mine (J and J) hurt like hell and I felt a little woozy for about an hour, then nothing. BTW, how can you still look like that kid that started at the Star all those years ago? Love your musings. Hi to Joe.


    1. So sorry your vax packed such a punch (although that’s probably good), and I’m really jelly you get to be one and done. Waiting is soooo hard. xoxoxoxo to you!!!!


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