Let’s do shots!
Doesn’t that sound fun? I’ve actually been kind of obsessed for over a year now, thinking about this. I would love a quality libation that’ll hit my bloodstream fast. Served by a seasoned professional, in a friendly setting. The desire is so strong, I’m willing to risk the unpleasantness that might greet me the morning after.
Hmm… Bacardi, Cuervo, or Absolut?
Nope, not craving any of those. I want Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J. Administered in a syringe, by a healthcare worker, at a designated medical facility.
It’s hard to believe it was about one year ago that we went into lockdown from COVID-19. What a strange trip around the sun it has been. I was watching the new Disney movie, “Raya & The Last Dragon” (superb graphics, BTW), and there were numerous scenes where a character wears a mask. Though the face covering had nothing to do with viral protection, I was struck by how normal the visual of a swatch of cloth over the mouth & nose seemed. I also realized being home 90% of the time doesn’t feel as foreign anymore, partly because it has become de rigueur, and partly because Leslie Jordan shared, with his infectiously sweet humor, that he was also hunkering down every day.
I’m lucky that I didn’t have to deal with what I’d consider the most difficult aspects of this pandemic. No pregnancy care procedures or medical treatments to have to go through alone (or accompanied by only a virtual connection). No major milestones (e.g., wedding, birth, graduation, retirement, or death) to be heralded from a distance. No little ones requiring I wear a teaching hat in addition to my others. No elderly or hospice family members I was forced to be cut off from. I had a source of income that easily transitioned to a home environment. A warm and safe abode with all the basic amenities, plus more than a few luxuries. A calm and caring husband, and geographically close children & dearest family. Most importantly, the lot of us didn’t mirror Disturbed’s anthem, and get down with the sickness.
My deepest sympathy and steadfast wishes for healing to anyone who suffered/suffers from the worst pain and grief of this global catastrophe. I also offer special recognition, along with my most sincere appreciation, for the essential workers who put themselves in real and present danger day after day for months on end to care for the most basic needs of the rest of us.
You might find it a little pathetic when I say the isolationist lifestyle wasn’t incredibly hard for me. Here’s the thing: I had been in a protracted funk, so not socializing was already my go to. Between mourning the loss of my mother (though she passed a few years ago, the ache is still there), anger over losing my double decades long job (which I enjoyed, excelled at, and expected to keep until retirement), and the sobering realization that I’m now living the latter half of my life (while unfortunately looking my age, feeling my age, and sometimes even forgetting my age), there was a pervading sense of “Why even bother?”.
If I can find a positive, it’s the great chunk of personal time allotted me to ponder, process, and plan for what comes next. Early on, I succumbed to the common denominator of extended screen time on social media, but that’s not always the feel good medicine you want it to be. So I did less scrolling and more reading. Some thought-provoking mysteries and suspense. Some sappy, predictable romances. All told, there were stories about courage; failure and success; making mistakes and making amends. Hurt and regret, buffered by strength and love. I got to a point where I realized I had to stop solely ingesting tales and move on to applying those lessons to my own life. Don’t get me wrong, I will continue to read for fun, but that can’t be as far as the action goes.
I set about merging my two libraries of fiction and reality. I bathed in pleasant memories, and steeped in decadent daydreams. I took stock of what I have – good and bad. I did a full Marie Kondo mind declutter and tossed what wasn’t sparking joy, while tidying up what was. I prioritized what I need versus what I want. I confirmed that my life is amazingly blessed, and my spirit is wonderfully resilient. I decided to take back my power, and stop settling for the course fate decides. While it is true that I can’t control what path life puts me on, it’s completely up to me what direction and gait I’ll take.
I’m not quite ‘there’ yet. I still have sadness, uncertainty and anxiety. But I’m honestly looking forward to everything going back to the way it was. I want freedom of movement to revert to pre ‘rona levels. I want people to feel safe, and know they can be in the company of others without masking up or implementing the dreaded six foot spread. I want the titans of travel to take flights of fancy. I want parties and receptions and gatherings to become the calendar-circled days we excitedly anticipate. I welcome the collective sigh of mass relief, and the restoration of hugs and hand holding.
Circling back to my opening statement… the biggest hurdle to jump on our path back to normalcy is getting the virus under control. We’ve taken necessary measures to contain it, but they were temporary. A band-aid, not a cure. That’s where the fab jab comes it. And why I’m fully behind it.
Maybe you are at greater peril of experiencing the worst symptoms of the virus, due to a pre-existing condition or other high risk factors. Possibly you want to honor a loved one (or ones), who didn’t have the option to try and defend themselves. Perhaps you’re convicted out of sheer gratitude for the science win. Maybe you’re convinced that the more recipients get the shot, the safer we are as a society.
There’s also a very slight chance you simply adore getting needles in your skin,
and aren’t down for any new tattoos at the moment.
I personally advocate all of the above. I believe in herd immunity, and trust that the more humans build antibodies to stave off the virus, the sooner it becomes a minimal threat. I also have loved ones that are in the greater risk category, and this past year drove a stake of fear through my heart over concern for their welfare. Lastly, I am thrilled to partake in the success of the white coats, who diligently labored to create a cocktail destined to go down in history. I salute them, and all the bold souls who will join me in toasting & dosing the new brew.
“Saying someone can’t be sad because someone else may have it worse, is like saying someone can’t be happy because someone else may have it better.”
~ L.R. Knost