Today (written January 16, 2021) i got the first dose of the Pfizer covid vaccine, because i am listed as an essential visitor for my love.
I was a bit apprehensive especially since it is likely the second booster shot will be delayed. But the company claims (uh huh) 90% effectiveness after 14 days. Too soon to tell, way too early. As far as i am concerned, i am approaching it as a miracle of scientific advance AND a population-wide experiment.
My mother took DES when waiting for me to burst on the scene, and i did develop cervical cancer 30 years later. I don’t think they were related but she did, so i am no stranger to the perils of drugs and drug company cures. The victims of the opiod epidemic can witness that much better than i can.
But anyway i trucked up to.the Campbell River hospital and got the shot. Better to try then not, has always been my motto.
Came home, took a nap, got up feeling absolutely great.
Realised a weight was lifting, slowly, but inevitably. Whether this particular vaccine works for the long term or not, there is life at the end of this terrible tunnel.of fear we olders have been living in.
My generation remembers polio well with many survivors marked by it; my friend Jim walked with a limp forever because of polio, and he was one of the lucky ones.
My mom’s wartime generation rememered smallpox and yellow fever and so much more, besides living through years of deprivation and endless fear and grief.
I went to measles parties as a girl, because if a woman got german measles (so we called it) when pregnant, the baby could be borne blind. So at puberty we girls went to.the sick.child’s house and were encouraged to.hug and kiss and share cake, and especially chewing gum, in the hopes that we would get the measles now, rather than a few years later.
I remember the yellow quarantine sign on my friend Beverley’s house because she had what we called rheumatic fever. She lived, pale and wan, and her heart was damaged forever at age 8 or 9.
I remember the kid a block.or so away…. and the endless whooping cough on a summer night.
So after the nap, when i got up, i began to weep from relief and appreciation. Science will sooner or later save us, especially we elders, from this scourge too. Then we can get down to the real.survival issues, like clearcut logging the old growth, like the embrace of globalization so that our country could not make its own masks, or vaccines, or cars, or plastic doodads, like over-consumption on the spaceship.
Like the survival.of the spaceship as a viable place for human life, and what kind of life that will be.
My darling gets his vaccine Monday.