Not quite two weeks ago, I threw on my coat and braved the rain for a very special appointment. Less than an hour later, I was sitting in an auditorium with my second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in my arm.
Bing, bang, boom, see you later COVID.
Before I cracked open my book, I glanced around to see others casually scrolling on their phones while they waited. A sense of calm lingered in the air. The only sounds were the national guard quietly directing people and supplies being shuffled about. It was strangely anticlimactic. Even though I’d teared up at the thought of finally getting my last shot on the way there, this felt like any old doctor’s appointment.
I wondered what unspoken things lingered beneath the peaceful exterior. The pandemic has thinned us out, washed through us and exposed the roots gnarled and pale from the lack of sunlight. What does that mean for the people gleefully walking down the street to their favorite restaurant? What lasting effects will this have on us as a people?
After I was fully vaccinated, I gladly met up with a small group of friends and felt more normal and lively than I had in months. But I still feel a twinge of worry seeing the amount of people walking doing the street without masks.
Of course, there will now always be the risk of getting COVID-19. No matter how many of us get vaccinated, it is here to stay. Before COVID-19, there were many other terrible diseases that we were and still are vulnerable to.
Maybe the difference for me now is that I’m much more wary of them. As an otherwise average, healthy individual, my veil of ignorance has been lifted, I’ll be evermore aware of exactly how fragile everything is. If nothing else, now a fresh breath of spring air smells that much sweeter, sitting down with friends is all the more precious, and now priorities have shifted into a sharper focus.
And looming overhead is the larger question: in a life where anything could happen, where anything could be granted or taken away instantly, what’s most important?