Tag Archive | covid-19

Hot Shots! Part Deux

Despite a slight delay because Pennsylvania either can’t count or couldn’t figure out distribution, I finally received the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. I am grateful and feel a certain liberation in knowing that I will not die or be on a ventilator if I were to contract this disease. As I see more and more people getting vaccinated in my little corner of the world, I am hopeful that a move closer to normal is in sight. I am glad to live in a community where vaccines are desired and I am not really aware of many people refusing to get them. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Unfortunately, the supply is still not up to demand, but I am hopeful we will get there now, with funding allocated to resources to expedite vaccine distribution. It’s still enormously frustrating to try to get an appointment. I have been trying for four weeks to get an appointment for my husband. I got him on multiple wait lists. I got him registered with a local hospital chain. And I was on multiple sites, every day, multiple times a day, hoping a cancelled appointment would pop up. Perseverance paid off and I was able to secure an appointment for this Friday afternoon, 20 miles away. But it shouldn’t have to be this hard. If you work for a living, or aren’t computer savvy, or don’t even have a computer, you’re probably out of luck in the short term. And you have to be super fast, or you miss it. I feel everyone’s frustration and am hopeful this will get better soon.

In terms of my reaction to the second shot, I am doing pretty well. I have a low grade temperature and feel like I was hit by a truck, with achy muscles, joints, and lymph areas, but it’s tolerable. I know many of who have had severe chills, higher temps, and more pain, so I am not complaining at all. I’ll take this temporary inconvenience.

It was suggested that I hydrate before and after the shot, and I did that. So, at least anecdotally, it seemed to work. (It did not work for my dental hygienist who I saw on Friday afternoon, but it certainly never hurts to hydrate.) When you go for your second shot, my advice is to plan nothing the rest of day, and for the next day as well. I plan on spending most of my day with my butt on the couch. I fully expect to be back to normal, such that it is, tomorrow.

I know I am blessed that my perseverance paid off, along with a bit of timing dumb luck (thank you, Karen F. for sending me the link to Hometown when you did!). Good luck to all of you still struggling to get appointments for yourself or your loved ones. I hope you are successful soon.

IMDb: Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993)

The Sanitizer

Wow. I’m so glad I was diligent about writing in January, because in February, I really dropped the ball! It wasn’t that I didn’t have things to write about; I certainly did. But life got busy(-ier?) somehow and the constant snowing meant lots of shoveling… You know how it goes!

Anyway, back on February 9th, I had scheduled appointments in Philadelphia. Two ultrasounds and two doctors’ appointments. Unfortunately, it was supposed to snow (again!) on February 9th. As David and I debated our departure time the night before, considering getting in an accident or stuck behind an accident on the turnpike, we decided that maybe we should drive down right then and there. Over dinner, we made the decision to leave “soon” and just spend the night.

I don’t know about you, but in this pandemic world, the thought of staying in a hotel freaked me out just a bit. I quickly searched for a hotel room, noting that the search websites had a new option to filter on: “properties taking safety measures”. Cool. I definitely clicked on that and found a list of hotels that were committed to sanitizing, masking, and not assigning rooms back-to-back. Meaning, if I stay in a room tonight, it will not be given to anyone tomorrow. This all made me feel a bit better, but I still packed my Lysol spray and wipes!

We threw together a suitcase for the overnight and a cooler with our lunch for the next day, and off we went.

We arrived at the hotel about 9:30 and we felt pretty comfortable that the hotel was, indeed, taking precautions. The person at the front desk had her mask under her nose (really, people?) but she was behind Plexiglas, so I opted not to say anything. (I did include it in my “how was your stay?” feedback.) Once in the room, before we unpacked a thing or sat down, I wiped down every single surface we might touch and sprayed everything (especially the bedding) with Lysol. It was only then that I felt a bit more relaxed.

Staying in a hotel was something we once took for granted and never really thought about. I look forward to a time when we can be more comfortable traveling, although, admittedly, I might always be packing the Lysol from now on! For those who might think I went overboard or shouldn’t be so freaked out, we’ve been so careful for so long, I just would hate to drop my guard at this point. With one vaccine under my belt, I see the light at the end of the tunnel and want us all to make it there.

Stay tuned for details from the appointments… and stay safe, everyone!

IMDb: The Sanitizer (2020)

Hot Shots!

I am completely grateful and relieved to have received my first COVID vaccine shot today. I’m not normally one to rush to a vaccine; I rarely get the flu shot, I haven’t received the shingles vaccine, etc. But this one is different, and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to get my shot.

As a three time cancer survivor, the latest in 2020, I worried a great deal about “what if” I got COVID-19. My body has had a lot of wear and tear over the years from treatment and surgeries. What would my outcome be? The thought terrified me.

But I wasn’t necessarily positive I qualified, so I reached out to my oncologist at University of Pennsylvania and she absolutely encouraged me to get the vaccine as soon as I could. Breast cancer IS an underlying condition.

I initially signed up with the Geisinger Health System. It took me 4 days to get set up on their system and to get an appointment. I did this by sitting in front of my computer for hours on end, refreshing the system until an appointment popped up. Then the trick was to be fast enough to confirm it before someone else did. It felt like some sort of weird competition, knowing that there were others who were equally qualified vying for the coveted remaining appointments. With persistence, I managed to nab an appointment for February 10th.

In the interim, I had also put my name on a waiting list with a new community health center only 2 miles away from my home. They called me Thursday to set me up with an appointment today. (I have, obviously, canceled my other appointment.)

Our local high school was the setting for the vaccination clinic, and they were planning to do 1000 shots, although there were 4000+ on the waiting list. I was pleased to see that there is so much interest locally in obtaining the vaccine. I see on the news that there are people who are skeptical and some places are struggling to get people to show up. In some ways I get that, but these are extraordinary times, requiring extraordinary actions. I believe we all need to get vaccinated. It’s our only way out of this pandemic and back to “normal” (whatever that may look like).

What surprised me the past few weeks was the anger / shaming that was sent in my direction when I posted that I had a vaccine appointment. Yes, I understand the frustration, and we could argue for days about who is most qualified (have you ever taken a medical ethics class?) to receive the vaccine.

The system is broken at the moment, with many smart and qualified people now trying to remedy the situation. We should be directing our anger at that broken system, not at people who qualify and rightfully receive the vaccine. Shaming others is never the answer. We need to push our representatives (Call or email them; I do.) to fix what is broken. To help the elderly with other options for scheduling and distribution. To get more vaccine sent out. To provide process, structure, personnel, logistics… But we should definitely stop shaming people.

I realize I am fortunate to have received a vaccine. I am grateful. I wish all of you much success in securing appointments and vaccines. They are the light at the end of our pandemic tunnel.

IMDb: Hot Shots! (1991)