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The Ides of March

The ides of March were pretty epic for this Julius yesterday as I got my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. After one year of worry and stress and fear, one year of not hugging anyone outside of my little bubble, one year of avoiding Target and Michaels and HomeGoods, I am on my way to developing immunity to this disease.

I’ll be honest and say that it’s taking me some time to let that settle.

The process was simple enough, although securing the appointment was a mixed bag of frustration and disappointment. Finally, after no success with the state website or various pharmacy websites, a coworker gave me a phone number to call. Fifteen minutes on hold last Tuesday and my appointment was made, a word of mouth situation that I am thankful to have heard about but dismayed to realize that this is how the process works. My trip to Boston was a breeze, and the entire process lasted about 20 minutes, from checking in to getting the shot (from a very kind National Guardsman) to waiting for 15 minutes afterwards. The staff was friendly, and as I sat down and let out a breath I felt my eyes fill with tears. I held back for the sake of those around me but I was thisclose to the ugly cry. I felt like the immense weight I’ve been carrying since last year lightened some, that I could breath a bit more easily. But even more than that feeling of relief was the gratitude I felt. Gratitude that I had been lucky enough to avoid the virus, gratitude for science and health care and opportunity, gratitude for the kindness of all of the people at this vaccination site and particularly for the two nurses who saw my tears and smiled at me and said they truly understood, gratitude for knowing that my protection has begun.

The emotional fall out of this year is still to be determined. How much of myself did I lose from fear and worry, how much of my life slipped by without travel or restaurants, theater or concerts, parties or celebrations? Can I accept that the year was not wasted but was rather an opportunity to learn what truly matters? Can I resume a level of activity that feels safe without causing anxiety and panic? This all remains to be seen.

What I know for sure is that I’ve taken a step towards whole living again. I’ve subjected myself to a jab in the arm, potential side effects, and a 3 week wait for shot 2, in order to feel safe in the world at large in about 5 weeks.

The irony of being a Julius and receiving the vaccine on the Ides of March is not lost on me. I sure hope it turns out better for me than it did for that other Julius.

Just saying.

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Extra points for that last section. LOL

    I think a lot of us are thinking and feeling similar things. No shot for me yet. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to soon. And that the selfish human behavior we’ve seen this last year will extend to getting vaccinated ‘just in case’ so we get enough people vaccinated.

  2. I think you win the day for the circumstances! I have a feeling I’m going to be doing an ugly cry when it’s my turn. It’s been such a relief as my parents and other family members have gotten their shots, and knowing that soon it will be safe to get together with immediate family is such a rush of happiness.

  3. For me it felt a bit surreal when we got our first shot. But when our daughter, an educator, had her first shot, that sense of relief really kicked in. We are getting there. And we are cautiously anticipating second shots and next steps – with a big emphasis on cautiously. So happy for your Carole and the timing feels just right.

  4. HURRAY!!!! XO
    (And I’ll be thinking of you today . . . as I drive past the Pfizer plant where they’re manufacturing the vaccine . . . to go get my Moderna shot.) (That just cracks me up.)

  5. I thought of you yesterday when I was getting my Jab! And I cried too! I am most grateful for the Steelers who donated their stadium for a mass vaccination – and it was massive – so many people and so many teachers!! And to a local grocery chain who administered the jabs! The pharmacist who gave me my shot said I was not the first to cry tears of relief/joy yesterday. I am one step closer to being able to go and see my kids and that just might be the greatest thing a little jab could ever do!

  6. Congratulations! I welled up with tears of relief for you just reading that.

    Florida opened for 60 and up yesterday and my husband and I have two different appointments tomorrow, he in the morning, me in the afternoon, at two different places but we, also, will be finally on our way to immunity.

    I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold back the tears.

  7. I’m so happy for you!!! But yes, the process leaves a bit to be desired (my route to vaccination is similar to yours).

  8. This is wonderful! I got my first shot last Wednesday, also through a word of mouth situation, and I did cry. Not a huge ugly cry, but I had tears running down my cheeks. When the nurse asked if I was okay, I just told her how relieved and grateful I was to receive the shot, that I wish everyone could be vaccinated, and I was also angered and saddened at losing 16 months of not seeing my oldest son. But I’ll get my second shot April 7th, and two weeks after that I’m getting hair cut (and maybe planning a trip to visit Ryan). Hooray for your shot, hooray for antibodies, and I love that mask!

  9. I got my 2nd dose of Pfizer yesterday at Emory. Both visits were super organized, quick, and friendly. During the 15 minute monitoring-period, people were giddy, chatting, laughing!! I suddenly felt euphoric and hopeful for the world.

    I’m filing the last 12 months away as a test of faith, a year of getting my spiritual house in order; inspecting every motive, deed, and word! “Quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” James 1:19

    It has been a trial without question. (Notice past tense ?)

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring stories!!

  10. It is the best feeling! I was beeping the horn when we left our facility. Congratulations Carole!

  11. Yes, this exactly. I like to remind myself that the last year has been real life, not an evil incursion, but just life. I just got through reading The Four Winds, and it was a great reminder that life is full of sorrow, hardship, and hope. All we control is how we respond to it. Congratulations! I love that mask!

  12. Ditto to every single thing you said. Got my 2nd shot Friday, and have been feeling punk since. But soon, all will be well.

  13. I wept after receiving my first shot during that 15 minute wait period, I was so excited and it didn’t feel real. Our area hospital teamed up with our county health department and the day I got my vaccine there were so many people there, the logistics were amazing, and everyone was so nice. They vaccinated 850 people that day! Hope you feel well!

  14. I thought I was going to cry when I got mine, too. Scheduling the appt was the worst part of the whole thing. Glad you were able to get your first shot.

  15. SO HAPPY FOR YOU! and I am totally smiling about the Julius on March 15th thing. perfect! I’m catching up on some news stories and learning that the US is doing better about vaccinations than some of the EU countries and that just makes me sad. I’m thinking vaccines are gonna be the norm from here on out and we’ve got to figure it out. At least being welcoming to GETTING one is a great first step 😉

  16. I felt so many of the same things after getting my vaccines, especially the second one and very grateful to have not to succumbed to the virus. We are still waiting for Ken to be able to get his vaccine hopefully later this month. I pray that life this summer can return to some sort of normalcy if this is even possible. Just to gather my large family together in my arms and heart makes me cry just to think about it.

    I’m so glad you are on your way to seeing a light at the end of your tunnel as well. <3

  17. I’m way down on the list of being eligible, but am glad that so many in my bubble are able to get [many were in the first phase] it. I know you are feeling a huge sense of relief.

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