Today my husband is getting his COVID-19 vaccine. He has been waiting for this day for a LONG time. (Haven’t we all?) He fits the current age requirement (currently 55+ in NJ) and has underlying conditions that make him eligible (high blood pressure and diabetes.) He’s understandably nervous, anxious and excited all at the same time.
I know I will feel the same way when it is my turn. I am still under 55 (at least for another two months). Although I still take blood pressure medication, my dosage is extremely low and I only take it every other day. (This is with the doctor’s approval; and when I next go for a physical I may ask if it is still necessary. I was much heavier when I started this regime.) I do not know my BMI and it may or may not meet the current BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 requirement. (I’m not even sure what that means.) Although I am still overweight (I want to say slightly, but I don’t know if that’s fair), I am healthy and exercise daily.
When I started writing this post, I wrote: When I hit 55 (in June) or when the age is lowered, I will get in line. Although I am apprehensive about getting the vaccine (due to my allergies), it’s not going to stop me. This is too important not to do.
Just hours later the bar was lowered. As of April 19, I will be eligible and by August, my son will be too. (I’m wondering if he can get the vaccine a few days prior to his birthday so we can truly celebrate as a fully vaccinated family.) What joy there is sure to be when our family of three has all been vaccinated.
When my day comes I know I will be nervous. When I took my mother for her vaccination she was apprehensive. She has strange allergies (guess where I got them from) and wanted to get the J&J vaccine. Thanks to the help of a neighbor (and I’m counting on her within the next couple of weeks to help me out too), she was able to get just that. I was with her the whole time (I stood in line for her because standing can be hard for her) and I know she was nervous. I was nervous for her. She said she felt a little funny while we were waiting, but that she thought it was probably just nerves. (This happens to me all the time too. When you have severe food and ingredient allergies whenever you are about to undertake the unknown…it’s scary.) We waited the required 30 minutes and I watched her for several hours afterwards. Over a week has passed. All is good.
I know while I sit and wait for my 30 minutes, I will be anxious and a bit neurotic. (I was nervous when I got my flu shot in the fall.) The fear of what MIGHT happen is not strong enough to prevent me from doing what is right; not just for me and my family, but for my town, state, country and even the world.
It has been a battle. It has been ugly. And there have been more deaths than we could have imagined a year ago. Many may have been preventable, but we cannot undo the past.
We CAN make the future better. Today my husband will take that step forward. I will follow suit and so will my son, when we are eligible. Until then, I will still be washing my hands, keeping social distance and wearing that mask. If we as a nation and world want to move forward, we need to do the same. If we truly want to “love our neighbors as ourselves” we should. Will we?
UPDATE: I dropped my husband off at the West Essex Vo-Tech vaccination site at ten minutes to two. He was through the line and vaccinated before his scheduled 2 p.m. appointment. He was out the door and we were home in less than an hour. Three hours later he is still feeling jubilant with no side effects. (I know I am jinxing it.) It really is a freeing experience.