So, it's been a pandemic, ain't it?
I guess the last time I wrote was back in October, right after my Grandma had died. Just re-read that entry. There was so much I didn't want to say at the time, and probably a million things I could say now. I thought then that maybe by now things there would be a little easier and maybe they are but not exactly, since things here at home have been even harder, with the very recent passing of my father-in-law, who myself and my husband were daily, 24/7 caretakers for, after two months of very difficult decline and hospitals and blizzards and just...uncertainty. There was October, when I last wrote, then I guess my birthday, though I don't remember it well or feeling that attached to it like normal, then Christmas, then...more terrible stuff that Covid only aggravated.
I guess the reason that I'm coming here to write more things is really that I got an appointment for the vaccine today. For posterity's sake, that's like saying you happened to be on to get tickets to Rage at Lollapalooza in the Chicago area. It's getting better and by the end of April theoretically everyone should have easy access, but right now it's literally a "you have this spot for 15 minutes" scenario.
I am extremely excited because holy hell, the vaccine! That it exists this quickly is a miracle, that it's working at such a high rate of effectiveness is so great, and that many of my friends and some of my family already have it is even better. I feel grateful to have gotten an appointment and I feel even more grateful that my appointment is somewhere I'm familiar with close to home, as a lot of folks I know who needed it more than I did ended up travelling three or four, even five hours away to get one.
I don't love shots and doctor's visits, but I can do it. It's definitely not as bad as a biopsy, which I also did during the pandemic.
It's really, really been a pandemic, for reals.
I kept seeing people post about getting scheduled for their first shots or showing pictures of them getting their first and second and they'd talk about how it brought up a lot of feelings. I was like "other than YAY?" what is there?
Turns out there's a lot.
Life CHANGED. I mean, changed. In so many profound ways. People keep talking about hugs and I guess that's sorta where I get all the feels.
Because, there were some BIG hugs I missed out on.
I'm very glad to be able to hug my family again, my aunts and uncles and nephews and of course, my mom, but it also reminds me of the hugs I didn't get to give. I think most notably, my grandma. Right after that, I think of my mom and being able to hug her or even just share a room six feet apart at the hotel instead of being in strange little pods. After that, my husband, who I was very fortunate to get to hug throughout but who I couldn't hug or even have with me when I got my very first biopsy when i had a skin cancer scare this past summer.
I think of the panic attacks.
I think of ALL the people that died.
I think of all the ways it messed up all the hospital things with her and my FIL even more, and made things even harder. The no visitors, the two visitors, the one visitor. All the scary calls.
I'm anxious about shot things and side effects. I'm anxious about people refusing to get the vaccine. I'm anxious about how anxious I'll feel getting into social situations that haven't been even legally allowed--large groups. I attended a press event at the beginning of March but those are already underpopulated and it was in a HUGE building.
What WILL it be like to be in a room with friends again, or at a convention, or inside a restaurant? Obviously, this isn't something that'll happen right away, and at least around here, COVID numbers are going up again because people aren't taking it as seriously anymore because for some reason the existence of the vaccine make some people think it's over.
Then again it's easy to slide once you're safe isn't it?
I want to be vigilant as ever, because I don't want to contribute to the reason someone else loses a family member and I've seen the things COVID does to a person--live on Facebook, even, even if it doesn't kill them.
Things have changed about me and how outspoken I am. I've gone way past the point of trying to hide in a sort of neutral nest. It started with Trump getting elected and it's been even more clear how dangerous that is with the pandemic. There's a lot of resentment and anger that are less under the surface than they were, and a lot of tough realizations.
But here we are at the beginning of another side, right? A new day? Trying to get out on the other side. It's not going to be unscathed, but...there's hope. And maybe that's the feeling I'll choose to have when I go get my first shot in six days.