I Just Got the Covid-19 Vaccine — Now What Do I Do?
As excited as I am for things to finally go back to some version of normal, I’m also not quite ready for that yet
So, I got my first dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine today.
It was completely spontaneous, completely unplanned. My husband had been refreshing the nyc.gov website for the past few days, trying to find an appointment for me and lo and behold, he actually did.
I was sitting at my desk at my apartment, typing out a work e-mail when all of a sudden, he informed me that he just booked me an appointment and that it was in two hours. Naturally, I panicked at first, but the process was quite seamless.
Once my appointment had been confirmed via e-mail, we drove to the vaccination site, which was about thirty minutes from our apartment. The drive itself actually took longer than it did for me to be in and out of there to get vaccinated— I went inside, immediately got the vaccine, and scheduled my appointment for my second dose all in under twenty minutes. It happened so fast that it felt all too surreal.
At first, leaving the vaccination site was a really exciting moment. I just couldn’t believe that after a whole year of living through this pandemic, the long-awaited vaccine finally arrived and it actually reached my arm — it felt like I could finally breathe a breath of fresh air. However, that feeling was somewhat short-lived.
As the soreness in my arm started to set in, so did the recurring question, “so, what do I do now?”
All over Twitter and social media, I’ve seen people share lists of random things they would finally do once they got vaccinated — go to the nail salon, go to the movies, eat indoors, etc.
But, in reality, people had already been doing these things throughout the pandemic, without a vaccine and without any intention of ever getting the vaccine. So, it just leads me to wonder, what has actually changed?
Yes, there was this newfound joy and comfort in knowing that I’m more protected and now have an extremely low likelihood of contracting Covid-19 or experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, but the comfort in doing “normal things” again has not yet returned — I’m still wearing my mask, I’m still terrified for other people who aren’t vaccinated yet, and frankly, I’m still a little skeptical about returning back into the world without at least some slight hesitation.
Later that evening, I asked my husband, “does this mean that we can eat indoors now?” in which he replied “yes”, but that we should wait until after we’ve received our second dose (he already received his first dose before me). But, just the thought of eating indoors again seems like such a far-fetched notion.
We had not eaten indoors even once in the entire past year since the pandemic happened and although the act of getting vaccinated felt surreal, I can only imagine how surreal it will feel to eat inside at a restaurant again.
Yet, again, the fear is still there. The skepticism and the paranoia, which has sunken so deeply into my bones, is still there.
And as excited as I am for things to finally go back to some version of normal, I’m also not quite ready for that yet.
Yes, getting vaccinated is a giant step forward, but I worry that it will take many more giant steps for other people, including myself, to overcome the fear and anxiety that has tormented us over the course of this past year.
I can only hope that we overcome that fear sooner than later for the sake of our own sanity.