My First Round of Vaccination

I’ve written before about my experience with the COVID-19 virus. After having the virus, I decided not to be in a big rush to get the vaccine, being that I had already been exposed to the virus, and some people hadn’t been exposed and needed it before myself. I drive past one of those mass vaccination sites daily. It’s just up the road from my house. Sunday morning, I was in my local Wal-Mart, and they announced if anyone wanted the vaccine, they were giving them out free at the pharmacy, So I eased on over there and got my first round of the Moderna vaccine.

The Convenience of Getting Vaccinated
Giving it in Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens, or any place like that is so much more convenient. I’m there, and a lot of the time, I wind up just mindlessly walking around and looking at stuff I’m not going to buy. Another thing is that it’s not quite as intimidating either as the mass vaccination site I ride by every day. Honestly, that place looks like something you’d see in a movie like Contagion with Matt Damon or Outbreak. The Dustin Hoffman movie back in the 90s where the little monkey brought Ebola to the U.S.

Nothing Spreads Like Fear. They got that right years ahead of time
Photo by Artem Podrez on
I loved this movie as a kid

Vaccine Hesitancy
I live in deep-red Trump country. I mean deep-red, like the crimson fires of hell, deep-red Trump country. As you can imagine, there is a lot of vaccine hesitancy here. Many of my friends swear they will not get it. I told a couple of them yesterday that I got it, and they looked at me as if I had just said to them that I had just shot up a boatload of heroin. The FDA unapproved nature of the vaccine doesn’t bother me. I was in the Army in the late 90s when the government was shooting all the soldiers up with an unapproved anthrax vaccination that didn’t even keep you from getting anthrax. It just slowed the effects of it down so you could stay on the battlefield longer. My two friends were quick to spout off the lines they pick up on certain news shows they tend to watch that may try to discredit the science of it all. But to myself, I wonder this, while they spout them off as slight, faint, echoing voices in my head. Both believed the science when they hurt their backs. Both trusted the doctors who did their back surgeries. Both trusted the pain killers they took that their doctors prescribed to them, that every evening I see advertised while watching the evening news. Have you ever listened to the side effects they rattle off real fast at the end of those commercials? That’s just my observation of the whole thing.

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)
Photo by Danya Gutan on

Taking It for The Team
I don’t care who takes the vaccine or who doesn’t. That’s your choice. You get that because you live in this country. I feel I have to make sure other people can be safe around me. I’m wired that way. I joined the Army to do real Army shit, as I wrote in a previous piece. As a young kid, I thought that was to tear ass around and blow shit up. As an adult and no longer in the Army, I realize a soldier’s job is to serve and protect the Constitution of this country. The Constitution was written to protect the people. I’m wired to serve. That’s why I joined the Army. That’s why I take a vacation from work on election days and go work for my county’s election board and make sure that everybody who comes gets their chance to vote. And I guess that’s why I felt the need to get the COVID vaccination.

My COVID Experience

I was watching the news this morning when a story aired talking about the COVID wave currently sweeping through India. Such a sad story and a terrible situation, so many people sick, so many people are dying. No words can comfort those people in their time of loss.

My COVID Experience

In September of 2020, my grandmother passed due to COVID. She was in her 90’s. She lived a long life and saw many things. On November 14th, 2020, I had just gotten home from a trip to the store. I was standing at my kitchen counter eating a cinnamon roll and drinking a cup of coffee. I noticed I had no sense of taste. I was alarmed. I then noticed; my sense of smell was gone. My nose was a little itchy and runny that day, but that was common. I have severe fall allergies. Anyway, I scheduled a COVID test for that afternoon and self-isolated.  A couple of days later, the test came back positive. I never ran a fever, but there were times I felt terrible. I would get tired, and there was no other choice but to take a nap. I’d nap for a couple of hours, then get up and feel fine. Then I’d feel bad and have to go nap again. That went on for five days or so. It was around the fifth day I felt it move into my chest and developed a cough. This was the worst cough I had ever had. It was a persistent cough that stayed with me well after being cleared of COVID. I kept that cough till the middle of January.

Coronavirus COVID-19 diagnostics. Doctor wearing full antiviral protective gear  making nasal swab test for patient. Flat vector illustration.

Post-COVID Experience

So, by the end of November, I had been cleared of COVID, but I still had these lingering effects going on. One was the cough that I was continually taking cough syrup for; the other was this rash that developed in the crooks on the back of my legs behind my knees. It was weird; the skin was raw. I stayed so tired until the middle of January. It was everything I could do to make it through the day without having to take a nap. Even now, after getting my sense of smell back, I’ll still be sitting there and smell this weird smell. It’s hard to explain. It’s like a detergent-flowery smell. I hope one day that will stop.

My COVID Opinion

My opinion on the COVID pandemic is that it’s no one’s fault. It’s just the course of nature. I don’t think it was developed in a lab. I don’t think the Chinese government is responsible for it. I think it’s more along the lines of the movie The Happening. The fault lays, in so many governments not acting on science quickly and exactly to maintain control over the spread of the virus. China, The United States, Brazil, and so many other countries were more worried about protecting their economies rather than performing the main function of government, assuring the safety of its people. That’s the cost of Greed, 3.17 million lives and rising. We, as a society, must do better. We must be better.

Where Do We Go from Here?

People of the world will take this happening and learn from it. It will cost politicians their jobs. Look at the election in the United States. Areas there voted blue that had been considered deep red for a long time. This was all due to the Trump Administration’s handling of COVID. This will happen in other democratic countries as well. We must believe in science. COVID is very contagious. I took all precautions. I wore masks and washed my hands regularly and still contracted it. The thing is, as humans, we’re resilient. We’re going to make it through it. And on the other side, we will be stronger. We will keep our lost loved ones with us in our hearts and share the memories of them with our friends and family. I feel we are in the waning days of this pandemic. Soon enough, it will be over. Until then, we all must maintain our vigilance and stay safe.