Halfway home

The event felt almost anticlimactic: First came the text message, then came the email inviting me to make an appointment for my first COVID-19 vaccination. I’d signed up online earlier in March, when I found out my hypertension made me eligible in Virginia for early vaccination — but the last I’d checked, my county was still vaccinating people who signed up in January and I assumed I’d wait quite a few more weeks.

I followed the instructions and was shocked to find I could get an appointment four days later and three miles away. And when I pushed that button and made that appointment, I seeped around the eyes a little.

That’s happened a lot in the last year, as I (and everyone else) tried to cheat death or at least stay a couple of steps ahead of it. Some of us failed and some of us got bit but recovered. I’ve been in hiding, mostly, which brought on its own guilt as others were forced to venture out, but I just kept trying to duck this invisible killer any way I could.

I’m only halfway home on my two-shot regimen. My wife, who is a chunk younger than me and has no chronic health issues, is still waiting. There are signs of a new virus surge. But there also are signs that even a single shot brings strong short-term protection. I’m still a couple of weeks away from that second dose, and then a couple of more weeks have to pass before I’m fully protected, but I can see the road ahead — a road that has real human interaction again.


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