I received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday.
While you may be reading this because of my elegant prose and ability to weave a tale, my actual job that pays the bills is as a director with a large healthcare system in the northeast, which boasts one of the busiest emergency rooms in America.
On March 6, 2020, we had a leadership meeting in which we were told “this virus is coming”; in reality, it was already here. The following weekend, I began working on our COVID data and reporting and have not had a complete day off since. Not even Christmas.
For nearly eleven months (or more), we have all been living under the black shadow of this virus, and many of us have had to still go into jobs and offices even as our family members, friends, and colleagues were getting leveled by it.
Fortunately, there is a light out of this deep, dark cave in the form of the vaccine.
Maybe it’s because I work in healthcare, or maybe it’s because I always wanted to believe in a cure, but I never considered not getting the vaccine. The moment I was eligible, I made an appointment. I’ve always believed in the science. Incredibly smart and dedicated people have been working virtually nonstop for almost a year to develop these vaccines, and the work they’ve done is complex and impressive. Plus, I would never forgive myself if I brought it home to my family.
Every doctor and nurse that I know lined up the moment it was available. If they believe in it, I do too.
The vaccine may make me (almost) bulletproof, but I heard stories that it makes you feel as if you caught some bullets first.
I was extremely tired the night I received the first shot, but had no lingering effects aside from a slight headache in the morning.
It’s now been over twenty-four hours since I received the second dose and my reaction has mirrored that of stories I heard from others. I woke up this morning feeling as if I had a bad hangover, despite the fact I haven’t had alcohol in two weeks. I was weak and achy, almost as if I had a light flu, and I’ve been ravenous with an insatiable appetite.
I spent a few hours in bed, but after eating and popping some Tylenol, I felt pretty good, good enough to do some work and even exercise.
Still, I feel very fatigued, as if I’ve been up for days. I’m already fantasizing about a nap.
But it’s all upside from here. I’ll deal with anything as long as it prevents me from catching the most deadly virus the world has seen in a century.
As a close friend, who is a doctor in the emergency room told me, “Even the worst side effects in the world are nothing compared to the virus itself.”
See you on the other (vaccinated) side.
Christopher Pierznik is a nine-time worst-selling author. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, Fatherly, Hip Hop Golden Age, and many more. Subscribe to his monthly newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Please feel free to get in touch at CPierznik99@gmail.com.