I got my COVID-19 vaccine today! A tiny amount of mRNA is now swimming around in my bloodstream, training my cells to mount an attack. My injection was from Pfizer, which means not only was it mRNA, but it’s 95% effective against COVID-19 after four weeks, compared to Moderna’s six. In 2021, the only name brands that matter are pharmaceutical companies.
In just four weeks, I’ll be fully immunized. One month until I can let out the sigh of relief that’s been building up for, by that time, almost exactly a year. And then more sighs of more relief to come as my loved ones get their shots, too. How much longer? We’d all love to know, but we’ve gotten somewhat accustomed to this not-knowing. Soon - not yet, but soon.
It felt like such a celebration in the high school gym. Unity Reed High School was known as Stonewall Jackson High School until just last summer. The twin pandemics of white supremacy and coronavirus, both beaten back by small steps of hope. We were strangers, co-workers, and friends, not just allowed but finally encouraged to gather in the same room. Moving forward together thanks to science, to protect ourselves so we can get back to serving our community. This gift comes with an obligation. The reason I was given this spot in line, ahead of so many others desperate for safety, is to enable me to serve. With this internal armor, I can go back into the classroom, which means my students will have a safe space to learn.
It’s been snowing all morning, the kind of big, puffy flakes that force everyone to stop and stare at their beauty. They’re a reminder that winter can be beautiful, and waiting can be infused with joy. They’re falling quickly and plentifully, but not sticking too much, so the roads were safe as I drove to get my vaccine. Now back inside, I don’t want to go out again. This afternoon I’ll indulge in a cozy nap, some hot tea, and the warmth of dog cuddles. I’ll relax into the knowledge that brighter days are on the way.