March 8, 2021
My second dose went in just fine. I didn’t feel anxious about being in a crowd at the clinic, like the first time. Best of all, I dodged the onerous side effects that sometimes come with round 2: no chills, fatigue, fever, or muscle aches. My arm itches a little but isn’t sore. I feel very blessed to belong to what’s still an exclusive club.
What does this mean for my everyday life? Not much. The new CDC guidance says certain small indoor gatherings are okay for vaccinated people, which means I could visit my grandchildren if I had any. Long-distance travel, however, is still dicey, so my wife and I will have to scrub our Florida trip again.
Even after I reach full immunity in two weeks, my calendar won’t include restaurant dinners, movies at reopened theaters, haircuts, gym memberships, massage therapy, or live music. The highest protection level the drugs offer is 95% – not 100% – and they may be less effective against variants of the virus, which are everywhere. Cases have plateaued at what the doctors call a very high level. Our Republican governor, who opened the floodgates for last summer’s surge, hasn’t gone full Texas yet but it may be just a matter of time.
Most important, it’s not clear whether vaccinated people can spread the virus to others. I’m not about to risk the life of someone I love – or a stranger – for a cheeseburger. If I meet you on the street, I’ll be behind my N95 and will keep a distance, but for reading my ramblings you already have a raincheck for a handshake and a hug. Take care and be safe.