Vaccine Voyage

Typewriter with paper reading "Letters to the Editor"

COVID-19 has dominated our conversation and our thoughts for over a year. The virus brought with it some tough challenges. 2020 was a year of difficult transitions; however, you might say that is true of any year. That is the nature of our existence. We grow older, we change, the world changes and it requires that we change with it. 

Through these months of trials and upheaval, I have dutifully worn my mask. I wore it voluntarily. I thought that  it was only going to be for a couple of weeks and this virus would be over; life would return to “normal.” 

Oh well . . .

As a child, I remember receiving the polio vaccination. The second dose of the polio vaccine involved eating a sugar cube with the medicine on it; much better than a shot. Nobody questioned getting the medicine, at least nobody in my small world at that time. 

Recently, at the age of 68, I received the first of a two-shot vaccination for COVID-19. Because I am also a veteran I received my shot at the VA Hospital in Spokane. In the past, I had heard many disparaging comments about the management of care at the VA facility. My experience, however, was very much the product of good change. It was busy but well organized. I had been given an appointment time the day before. It was evident that there were many helpers causing the process to go smoothly. At the time I was struggling with vision issues; my daughter was my driver and a guiding arm as we made our way through the maze of a very large hospital campus.

I received my shot and then was directed to a seat in the hallway. I was asked to wait for 20 minutes before leaving; this was a preventative measure in case I experienced some adverse reactions. For me, it was a chance to continue my conversation with my daughter. The waiting period of 20 minutes went by quickly. Time going by fast is one of the many changes I live with more and more these days. I have learned this past year that I need to live one day at a time. Accepting this simple shot may seem like a small step, but is the product a vast process to come to this point.  I got the first half of my COVID-19 vaccination, and I am fine today.

Michael S.

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