ending the plague

Today, I am infused with the first bit of hope that I have felt since March 10, 2020.  That was 3 days before school was shut down and a handful of days before everything in Newton was closed down.  That Tuesday before the schools shut down, I felt the snowball pick speed down the hill.  It didn’t take any great precognition to read the Times and hear what was happening in Italy and know what was going to happen here.  I felt chilled to the bone and, imagination running wild, I thought I knew how bad it was going to be. And in many ways, my imagination didn’t do 2020 justice.  I didn’t imagine how long and how wide the pandemic was going to be.  In the past, I’ve imagined myself catastrophizing when bad things happened.  About Covid 19, I was an optimistic minimalist. 

Anyway, yesterday I got an email from our healthcare provider yesterday right after I dropped Julia off.  I was told to log onto their website and there I was told to call the Covid hotline if I wanted to schedule a vaccine.  I did not hesitate to call although I doubted that I was eligible for the vaccine yet.  The state is still working on 75+ and there is a group of essential workers who also stood before me in line.  

I called and the nurse told me they were vaccinating anyone over 65 and would I like to schedule.  I asked when; she said tomorrow.  I mumbled an “excuse me, tomorrow?”  What I meant to say was, “tomorrow, tomorrow?”  Or something equally as foolish.  

I was . . . suspended.  Surprised.  Shocked by the immediacy.  It was a nanosecond before she asked what time and in the space of the time, I tumbled into such a hopefulness from a well of despair that I had no idea I was immersed in. 

“What time?”


“What about 10:45?”


“Okay then.  Do you want the address?”

And just like that it was done.  

Afterwards, I texted Cheshire and typing what had happened pulled it into reality.  This morning it all was easy—driving to the clinic location, checking in, waiting for 10 minutes (we were 10 minutes early), relocating to an examining room, getting the shot, relocating to the 15-minute room (to make sure there was no quick allergic reaction) and then driving home.  

I do have to go back next month for a second dose.  I asked the vaccine delivering nurse why I qualified today and she said that the practice, which is a big one, finished all of the patients ahead of me and so rather than send vaccine back, they moved into the next group.  

Hours later, my arm doesn’t even hurt.  We have had a very lazy day—Julia drawing, I’m taking care of some SEPAC business and writing a few emails.  I have singing to record, a zoom meeting at 5 and planned to talk to a friend later tonight.  I thought I was going to do some food shopping today but we are not getting to it.  We have leftovers for dinner and I will light a fire.  Every bit of that absolutely ordinary.  “There won’t be trumpets . . .”  And just like that, we are one more person’s worth closer to ending this plague.  

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