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Started: 2021-12-01 18:15:11

Submitted: 2021-12-01 19:59:19

Visibility: World-readable

One step forward, hopefully towards to the end of the pandemic

When I got my second COVID-19 vaccine shot in May, I allowed myself to hope that maybe the pandemic was coming to a close. I enjoyed a couple of care-free weeks in the summer, as California ditched its color-coded county-by-county COVID restrictions, before reality sank in: not enough people were going to get the vaccine to really give us herd immunity as the Delta variant burned through the idiots who were too stupid and narcissistic to get the shot so they could protect themselves and others. When the vaccine became available for 12-year-olds Calvin was first in line. Then we waited, through the summer and into the fall, for the vaccine to be approved for six-year-olds; and then once the vaccine was finally approved there were not vaccine appointments available in Santa Cruz County. After a few days his school scheduled vaccine clinics and we signed him up (and we didn't even have to show up for him to get his shot at school), finally putting the whole family on our way to being fully vaccinated.

Crochet coronavirus
Crochet coronavirus

In the fall I started hearing about the possibility of booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccine, but the CDC and FDA were not quite as enthusiastic about boosters as the Biden administration. While the Federal government argued with itself, I remained agnostic about a booster for myself: I do not have any risk factors for developing a serious breakthrough case of COVID-19 myself, and with Julian finally approved for his own shot I no longer have to worry about him. I did not feel any booster FOMO; I was preoccupied by feeling FOMO for Julian's first COVID-19 booster shots.

But I'm planning on attending Worldcon in person this year, then heading straight for Christmas in Walla Walla with my parents, so I thought that I ought to go ahead and get a booster (especially because I'm planning on taking a fast antigen test after the convention to make sure I'm not going to bring anything to Christmas, so it seemed not unreasonable to boost my immunity even further). While I waited for the CDC to get around to approving boosters for everyone, Colorado (and New Mexico) went as far as to say "we're still in a pandemic, yo" and recommend vaccines for everyone, and several Bay Area counties and the state of California did the same, but most of the vaccine inventory was available at local pharmacies that followed the federal rules. (Santa Clara County gave Levis Stadium back to sportball, otherwise I might have gone back to the vaccine mega-site for a third time, after getting my first two shots there this spring.)

Once the CDC finally decided it would actually be ok for everyone to get booster shots the pharmacy chains updated their websites and let me schedule appointments. I decided to wait until after Thanksgiving to get my shot (just in case I had any side effects from the shot, better to have them while I was working not while I was visiting family) and scheduled an appointment at Walgreens in Scotts Valley for this morning.

Compared to getting my first two COVID-19 vaccine shots at Levis Stadium, overlooking the football field with hundreds of other people getting their shots at the same time, getting my booster shot at a suburban Walgreens on a Wednesday morning was fairly boring. There was considerably less walking than Levis Stadium, but almost as much waiting. I got my shot and waited fifteen minutes to make sure I didn't have an adverse reaction, then headed back home. The shot was about as anti-climatic as the pandemic itself, but I expect my increased immunity will protect me and others from the virus as we find out what the newly-designated Omicron variant means for the future of the pandemic.