This is not a political post: My Experience with the COVID-19 vaccine

This year I made a New Year’s resolution to post at least once per week. Not an easy feat for a person who has also stated how uneasy he is with sharing. (Not things like candy and cookies, things about myself. I’ll share my cookies.)

So, I decided to break away and share my personal experience with the COVID-19 vaccine. As I work in healthcare, I am among the lucky ones who have already had both doses. For me, the worry about what it will be like is over. Also, much of the fretting over COVID has come to an end. It feels like a weight has been lifted from me personally, though I am eager for those I love to also receive the inoculation.

So, what was getting the COVID-19 vaccine like?

I received the Moderna vaccine. With the first shot I felt absolutely nothing. Not even a sore arm. I was warned at the time that the second dose was worth. So, I tried to mentally prepare. I had a cousin state that she went delirious from it and a friend say that he ran a fever and slept for 15 hours.

Yikes.

So, what about for me? I got it on a Thursday afternoon. I went through the rest of my day feeling that I had invited a ticking time bomb into my bloodstream. All sorts of theories are out there—it has microchips in it, etc. As a writer I love that stuff. In fact, in The Runes Trilogy, werewolves are using vaccines to grow their pack to take over the world. But, in the real world lives are at stake, and this virus is serious.

At any rate, I went to bed Thursday feeling fine. I woke up in the middle of the night with severe chills. Clearly, I had a fever but I was too tired to get up and check. I couldn’t sleep after that, because no amount of covers kept me warm.

I woke up to call off work and then went back to bed. Friday I ran a fever of 100.9 and I had chills and a headache. By Friday evening, it was over.

That’s it.

About 24 hours of a slight fever, chills, headache, and body aches. Three days later and my arm isn’t even sore from the shot.

I know that vaccines haven’t gotten politicized, but the reason I say this is not a political post, is because the fear of vaccines is from all walks of life. You can barely scroll through Google without a story about how Black Americans—largely Democrats—are scared of the vaccine. Likewise, rural whites—largely Republicans—are scared of the vaccine as well.  I know both groups have their reasons from conspiracy theories to a lack of understanding of how a vaccine could get created in such a short window of time.

What I know is this: 24 hours of not feeling great is a tremendous tradeoff for not catching a virus that can make you shoot fiery liquid from your ass for 11 days while coughing, having trouble breathing, feeling fatigued, and much worse, including long-term side effects, and death.

Finally, I think we need to confront head on people’s misperception that the vaccine happened too quickly. Yes, you bet, it was super-fast, which is a tremendous example of what humanity can accomplish when we allocate resources to tackle a problem.

Here’s an easy way to think about it: Two people building a house could take them four years. But if 10 people work together, it gets accomplished much faster. And that’s just what we did with this vaccine. We put the best minds to work on a problem to solve it, we made the resources available, and we got the thing built faster than ever before.

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