I got my Covid-19 vaccine, and I have never been so excited to be stabbed in the arm
Ladies and Gentlemen, we interrupt the relentless doom and gloom that these Lockdown Diaries of mine have become, with a little bit of good news: er, for me, I mean. It’s actually pretty much irrelevant news for the rest of you, so sorry about that, but let the record show that last Friday, at 5pm, I got my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination, and I guess it’s a real sign of the times we’re living in right now that it was the absolute highlight of my year so far. And last year, too, actually.
(This is the only photo I got, because, as much as I wanted a selfie of some kind to mark the occasion, I also didn’t want to be THAT person asking to take a selfie in a vaccination centre, so…)
I actually hesitated a bit to write about this, purely because I know there’s been a lot of controversy about who gets vaccinated when, and I’m aware that I was very fortunate to get my vaccination a little earlier than most of my age group, purely because of Terry’s status as a clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) person. This was totally unexpected to me, but it seems a decision was made by the Scottish Government early last week to offer the vaccine to the households of people on the CEV list, as an added layer of protection for them: as I mentioned in my last diary post, Terry has already had the jab himself, but as he’s immunosuppressed, we just don’t know for sure yet how effective it will be for him, which is why I was offered it too.
This is something that happens routinely with other vaccines (For instance, I get the flu vaccine every year to increase Terry’s protection from it, and Max was vaccinated against chicken pox, which isn’t normally offered on the NHS in this country…), but we didn’t know if it would happen with this one, so when I walked downstairs last Tuesday afternoon and spotted a bright blue envelope lying on the doormat (In Scotland, vaccination appointment letters are being sent out in blue envelopes, for added drama..), I was so surprised I actually assumed it couldn’t possibly be for me, and that it must be an appointment for Terry’s second dose, or, I don’t know, just a cruel trick of the light or something.
Then I picked it up, saw my name on the front, and immediately ran upstairs to the office, screaming, “OH MY GOD!” so loudly that Terry assumed the house was on fire.
(Then I realised I’d been so excited that I’d neglected to implement my strict ‘Mail Handling in a Pandemic’ protocol, and had touched my own stupid face shortly after picking up the envelope, which meant I get to spend the next week or so worrying that I’LL be the person to catch Covid from the letter containing my vaccination appointment – because, let’s face it, that’s totally the kind of thing that would happen to me, isn’t it?)
(Yes, I know it’s very unlikely, but, you know, tell that to my health anxiety and let me know how you get on, please…)
(THEN I remembered I was also waiting for a smear test appointment, and that I was going to feel pretty stupid, really, if I’d carried out a Ceremonial Un-Opening of the Envelope just for THAT. Yes.)
My appointment was last Friday, and, because I am me, I felt quite emotional as the needle went into my arm, but because I am British, I obviously did my best to be all stiff-upper-lip-under-my-mask about it: which was actually more challenging than you might think, because everyone was just so NICE … Both the nurse/volunteer who gave me my jab and the man who showed me the way out of the building thanked me for coming in, and even in the short time I was there, I just got the sense that everyone involved was really happy to be doing their bit. So, yeah, it was quite moving, really, to see the massive effort that’s being made to bring some normality back to the world, and, as I exited the building, I felt a very uncharacteristic urge to give everyone I saw a giant, “We’re all in it together!” kind of hug – an urge I obviously suppressed because, a) PANDEMIC and, b) OBVIOUSLY.
I was given the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, the progress of which I’ve followed closely throughout its development, so to finally get to the stage of actually receiving it felt like a Great Big Deal to me, and while, as I said in my last post, it hasn’t made any real difference to my life so far (We’re still in lockdown, and still following all of Da Roolz, vaccinated or not…), the knowledge that every person who’s vaccinated takes us one step closer to normality is a big comfort to me in these dark times.
And that concludes this rare, positive update from me: I’m sure regular programming will re-commence soon…[Top photo by Melnychuk Nataliya on Unsplash]