Ever since COVID-19 first threatened our doorstep, I have been profoundly worried about passing a potentially deadly virus on to the vulnerable people in my life.
I worried about giving it to my mom, my sister Kathy, my older friends and neighbors, and the relatives of the young people in my house.
“If my grandma gets this, she will die,” one of my young friends told me early on. Knowing his grandma’s health history, I shared his concern and I promised him we would do everything we could to make sure we didn’t spread anything to her.
We started with the Don’t Touch Your Face Game, and quickly moved on to masks and a restrictive lifestyle designed to stop the spread. We were not perfect in this house. We had some disagreements at times and came to some compromises that felt both reasonable and concerning at the same time. The stress of potentially infecting people who already had significant health challenges was pretty oppressive.
So, when I got a letter from the county telling me I qualified and suggesting I get vaccinated, I did. Exactly as soon as I could.
Last week, I received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Hometown Pharmacy in Neenah and I can not even describe the relief I felt as that small but mighty needle slid expertly into my grateful arm. I am thrilled to know that I am unlikely to get the virus, and even more excited to reduce the risk of anyone else getting it.
If I am vaccinated, and you are vaccinated, then we can’t spread the virus to each other. That tiny circle grows and grows and that’s how we make our way out of this pandemic. Additionally, the fewer active cases of COVID-19, the less fertile ground for any variances to develop. That makes the vaccine doubly important in getting us back to the lives we enjoy.
Much like my mother and my sister Kathy, I experienced no discernible side effects from either shot, other than a slightly sore arm.
I am a pretty cautious person when it comes to medication. I raised my kids on the notion that fresh air, healthy food and a good sweat can cure almost anything. I believe that too.
But, I’m also a proponent of vaccines to prevent diseases that kill.
And this virus, this global pandemic, has killed nearly 3 million people worldwide and more than 542,000 here in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins interactive Covid-19 dashboard.
If you haven’t yet, I hope you get the chance to feel the sense of relief I did when I received that vaccine.