The Pfizer vaccine is my best friend right now.
“I don’t care if I die. I needed a haircut so I got one.” Sometime last year, in the thick of the pandemic lockdown, someone said this to me. And they were serious. Fortunately my mask and oversized sunglasses hid my shock.
But…they walk amongst us.
The anti-maskers, who prioritize their comfort over everyone else’s health. The anti-vaxxers, who don’t believe in science. With the caveat that there are legitimate health reasons why some people might be advised by a medical professional to not take the vaccine or wear a mask long-term, generally…I don’t get it.
If your wearing a mask could protect tens, hundreds, or thousands of other people from a potentially fatal disease, then why not do it? But one thing I’ve (re)discovered over this panorama that we’re in, is that the extent of some folks’ selfishness knows no bounds.
For me, as soon as the vaccines became available, I was ready to get mine. I do understand some Black people’s hesitation over getting the vaccine. Racial trauma is real. However, as an asthma sufferer, I thought it was in my best interests to get vaccinated and protected.
I had my first dose a few weeks ago, and tbh, I felt like it tried to end me, lol. It was ROUGH. I will never forget my trip back home after the first injection. I felt like some species of wildlife that had been shot, Discovery Channel like, with a tranquilization dart. By the time I got to the top of my street, I could barely walk a straight line. Over the next several days, I experienced arm pain, some loss of arm mobility, cold symptoms, headaches, and extreme fatigue. Although most people reported that they had similar symptoms for a couple of days after their initial dose, mine lasted for about 2 weeks.
The NJIT Vaccine center auto-scheduled my 2nd dose for three weeks after the first one. Because my experience with dose one was somewhat difficult, I scheduled some time off work so that I would not have to ride the struggle bus while working. I’m currently a few days post-vac, and all I can say is that I am glad that I decided to allow myself time to recuperate. The exhaustion is all too real.
A few pointers if you haven’t yet had your vaccine:
- Stock up on Tylenol/Panadol. They will be your new bff, and will help with cold symptoms as well as any arm pain.
- Hydrate. Drink lots of water/fluids, especially for the first 2-3 days.
- Apply a cold cloth to your arm if the injection site is painful
- Move your arm as soon as/as much as you’re abl
- For the love of all that is holy, please continue to:
- Wear a mask
- Maintain social distance, and
- Avoid large gatherings
Although restrictions are lifting in some places, I’m still planning to keep myself to myself. With what is happening in India right now, vaccine or no vaccine, we all need to exercise caution. So I will remain in my bubble, and avoid groups until we get the all-clear. If, in fact, that ever comes.
I did experience a side effect that I had not seen mentioned anywhere: euphoria! I feel relieved, to the point of being overjoyed, that I am on my way to being fully inoculated. I feel protected. Safe. Covered. Praises be.
I. Am. Grateful.
Unless otherwise stated, text and images ⒸLisa Hurley/@happyhappyphoenix