I received my second COVID-19 vaccine the other day. In some respects it was a nerve wracking experience. The countless litanies of side effects from various sources and friends had me a bit on edge.
Some of those effects were, fever, chills, headache, nausea and of course, a sore arm came through on my Facebook newsfeed. Friends emailed me about their own experience to let me know what I might expect. I tried to remain calm and prayed to every saint linked to vaccines that I could think of.
After receiving my shot, I went home, popped some pain reliever/fever reducer and waited, trying not to turn into an over active hypochondriac. Before I went to bed, I took more pain reliever.
Morning arrived and my arm was definitely sore. I decided not to take more meds and just wait it out. More Hail Marys were whispered and a plea for the intercession of all the saints. And then …
Nothing. I felt fine. I went to therapy for my wrist. Everyone at the facility was excited for me that I felt well. It was a group feeling of relief. This is our world now. We celebrate being vaccinated and not having symptoms afterward.
Now what? A mask burning party for all my vaccinated friends and family? Well, not quite. The CDC has guidelines for those of us who are now fully vaccinated. It’s not yet a free for all. It’s a cautious approach.
During this pandemic, I followed the guidelines and prayed for an end to this madness. At times I was angry. The trip to Europe was put on hold as well as the trip to New York. The gathering of friends and family seems like something we all did in another lifetime. A short bus/L trip downtown to a museum, store or restaurant is a vague memory.
I am reminded of the deaths of so many loved ones, where no gatherings were allowed. Those lives remain embedded in my memory.
The return of Mass helped me to focus on what is important. Seeing the faces of our faith community and priests was the light in the darkness. I reminded myself that my family is healthy and we are together.
As the light returns, I tentatively look forward to the life I used to enjoy. I feel blessed that my family and I are coming out of this pandemic a bit bruised, but strong in faith and hopeful for the future.
I pray that all of you are renewed in faith after this ordeal. I pray that you are healthy, happy and moving forward with plans for the future.
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