By the time you read this, I’ll have received my second shot of the COVID vaccine; I’m Team Moderna, and I love that people are so especially invested in which brand of vaccine everyone is getting, as if it’s a fandom or a sport. It’s been something that’s loomed large in my life for the last week or so, not for the obvious reasons — you know, that whole “actually being vaccinated against the virus at the heart of a terrifying global pandemic that has changed life across the globe for the last fifteen months” thing — but because I’ve been all too aware of the after effects that the second shot is meant to produce.
It’s not that I’m surprised by the idea that I’ll get a small case of COVID; I get how vaccines work, after all. No, what’s got me all anxious is the question of how small that case will be. I’ve heard enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that it’s basically a 24-hour return for your previous actual COVID experience, as mild or as strong as that was — and that’s not a particularly exciting prospect for someone who’s sure they had it pretty bad for a few days back when this all started.
The odd thing, though, is how this has weighed on me all week, the foreknowledge that I’ll probably be sick on Saturday. I’ve been consciously and subconsciously preparing for it, or at least trying to, the best I can — clearing my schedule, ensuring there are things to read and/or watch in case I’m bedbound, that kind of thing — and, all the time, thinking to myself about how strange it is to know you’re not going to be healthy for once. Short of surgery and it’s subsequent recovery, when do you get to do that, otherwise…?
I have, unintentionally, found myself unable to think past Saturday at this point, as if I’ll get sick and that’s it. I know there’s a next week that follows, and then another and another and another and so on, but right now, my internal timeline stretches as far as being in bed tomorrow and hoping I get better. See you on the other side.