On March 9th, I arrived at the Community Center to receive my COVID-19 vaccine. I was full of emotions. Nervousness, relief and excitement were filling my body. As I stood in line, going thru the process, it hit me all at once. I was about to finally receive my second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. A vaccine that, this time last year was only a hope we all had for the near future. And here I was standing in line, waiting for my turn, fighting back all the nerves. Excitement and relief were rushing through me and filling me with a sense of pride. Twenty-one days ago I started this process and now, in just a few short minutes, it would be completed.
Initially, I was a bit apprehensive about the vaccine as I’m sure a lot of the world has been and still may be. I read news articles. I read research papers. I had discussions with healthcare peers, and I was interested in hearing the stories of those that had been vaccinated before me. I asked a lot of questions and I got a lot of different answers. None of them gave me a clear decision.
I weighed the risks and the benefits and I continued to watch as our numbers would rise and more people would get sick. I couldn’t visit my mom for over a year. My daughter struggled with social isolation every time she got quarantined from a school exposure. Our seniors were locked away for safe keeping in facilities. I watched as one of our very own caregivers on staff become ill from COVID-19. My decision became obvious to me. I needed to do my part. It may have been a small part in comparison to the world, but I needed to do it. I needed to do it for my own health, for my mom and my daughter, for our clients and for my coworkers.
I needed a small victory in what has been an incredibly hard year for all of us. So as I stood in line, going through the process; it hit me…… the warm feeling entering my arm as I received the vaccination and just like that it was over. I had done my part for now. I received the vaccination. A vaccination for a personal victory.
I thought back on how hard this year has been for most of us. The way we lived our lives changed overnight; in a blink of an eye. We spent the last year sailing uncharted territories of life. We learned, we feared, we cried and we experienced loss. However, the biggest thing we did as nurses and caregivers was spend the last year caring for our clients when families couldn’t be with their loved ones. We found ourselves being almost the only social interaction that most of our clients experienced in the last year. I am now part of a new direction for our community.
I encourage everyone to research and discuss the vaccine. Be excited. Be nervous and find a small victory in your own personal decision.
– Liz Carico, LPN, Holiday Nursing Supervisor