Vaccinated, Now What?


vaccinatedOn a random Tuesday six weeks ago a friend of mine called and excitedly informed me that a Meijer had gotten a random delivery of 1,000 COVID vaccines that were going to expire. (While I realize that this situation may be contentious for some I firmly believe that a vaccine belongs in an arm and not a trash can.) I hurriedly called the number and waited online, hoping, but doubting that it was, “our shot.” When the pharmacist answered to take my information I couldn’t believe it when she even let me register my husband. Vaccinated.

Since my husband and I are in our mid-30’s with no serious health concerns we had resigned ourselves to isolating at least through the summer. Which was depressing. In early October I gave birth to our precious rainbow baby five weeks early and we spent 23 days in the NICU, we spent the whole of the pregnancy and the last five months isolating. No playdates. No sports. No restaurants. No Mom’s Night Out. We have been in our house only doing the absolutely necessary since March 8, 2020. Like everyone, we are feeling frustrated and O-V-E-R this. We miss our “normal.” I will probably cry the first time I walk into our church.

After I received my second shot I wondered though, how much would this really change? We have these antibodies, we feel like the end is near, but it is definitely not time to start acting like business as usual. I wouldn’t go anywhere that wasn’t requiring a mask and social distancing. The CDC says that we can reasonably meet with friends that are fully vaccinated inside our home without masks but…what about our children? Am I supposed to poll my friends to find out if they have been vaccinated? Nothing about this has been easy, we all know; I sure wish someone had written a Pandemic Handbook to help us navigate all of these new situations.

If you’re like me, watching others continue to travel and behave like there isn’t still a pandemic going on has been…frustrating, to put it mildly. I have had close friends basically tell me that we are “silly” for continuing to socially isolate. Our decisions regarding our interactions with others are generally motivated by our desire to protect others around us, particularly those that are more vulnerable than we are. What does this mean? For us, I think it means that until we have reached herd immunity, which means a vaccination for children, we aren’t going to be busting out of our four walls anytime soon.

Maybe that’s not the right outlook for you, maybe you think we are way too cautious, maybe in a couple of months, some study will come out to negate every choice we’ve made. For now, if you’ve had your second shot and have reached optimum antibody production, I’ll see you on my back deck with a glass of wine. We will both talk over each other and trade-off feeling a bit like we want to go back inside our own homes because the idea of socializing with others seems quite intimidating. The end is near, but it’s not here yet. It’s so close I can taste it, spring feels like an actual FEELING this year and I’m so grateful to feel this way.