This past Thursday, I got my vaccine shot. I felt incredibly lucky-- to get on the schedule at all (many folks are still waiting) and then to get the J&J vaccine, which is only one dose. My arm was a little sore and I felt a little drowsy later in the day, but otherwise, no problems. As I said, I felt incredibly lucky.
Gradually, I see real progress being made, as more and more people I know are getting vaccinated. I can imagine a time in the not-too-distant future when I'll be able to go out to eat with my husband, or get together with my friend Meg for ice cream and good conversation, or see a live concert. I can envision being able to hang with some of my students, or bringing cookies to an actual (not a virtual) meeting.
And with so many positive signs, that's why I was puzzled by the governors who immediately got rid of their state's mask mandates, or totally opened their beaches, bars, and restaurants to large crowds. Okay fine, I understand. We're all frustrated by the kind of year it has been. But we are SO close. People are finally getting vaccinated in large numbers. Why not let those numbers increase some more before removing all the precautions? What harm could waiting a few more weeks do?
And another thing that puzzles me-- I was reading that sizable numbers of self-identified Trump supporters are opposed to getting the vaccine. In a recent PBS/NPR/Marist poll, 47 percent of people who supported the former president in the 2020 election told pollsters they plan to refuse to be vaccinated. This mystifies me. I mean, vote for whomever you want, but getting the COVID vaccine should not be a political issue. It's about public health. It's about taking another step towards herd immunity and a normal life for us all.
But politics aside, the good news is that spring is on the way. I'm not a big fan of Daylight Saving Time, but each year, when we move our clocks ahead, it's a reminder that the weather will soon be warmer. It feels good to be able to go outside to enjoy the sun, or watch the trees and flowers as they bloom. This year, the changing of the seasons feels like another positive sign: perhaps we are finally coming to the end of what began a year ago... an end to lockdowns, an end to large numbers of people being hospitalized, an end to spending much of our time isolated from those we care about.
I haven't felt very optimistic till recently, but I really do believe we are turning the corner. I hope the positive trend continues. There are people I haven't seen since last March that I'd love to see again. For now, it's more waiting and more Zoom meetings. But soon, perhaps, it will be visiting friends, enjoying ice cream, and giving out lots of hugs. I don't know about you, but I can hardly wait.
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