Initially, I had misgivings about the Covid vaccine. Usually, I don’t get the recommended yearly flu and pneumonia vaccines. However, I am grateful that I was given all my childhood shots and that I had the polio vaccine as a child. I am not an anti-vaxxer but I do think there are many shots that are unnecessary. That being said, I’ve had serious illnesses and operations in my life and believe that antibiotics and other medical interventions have saved my life several times. When my children were growing up, they had their required shots although I thought long and hard about agreeing to any extra voluntary inoculations.
I think a strong immune system bolstered by nutritious food, adequate sleep, plenty of exercise, supplemental vitamins and minerals, a positive home life, and the opportunity to be outdoors, is our most fundamental building block towards physical health. But accidents happen and pandemics occur and they are certainly not under our individual control.
When Covid came along, I quickly began to isolate myself, used masks when I encountered anyone not in my bubble, and maintained social distancing. I rarely went to stores, never ate out, or went to events. When my bubble members went back to schools and jobs, I only saw them occasionally and outdoors, masked, and socially distanced. That meant that I did not see some family members for a long, long time. I utilized social media, technology, and video chatting as a way to interact and converse with the people I cared about. As the newer Covid variants came into being, I isolated even more strictly. My big weekly outing was to take my recyclables and trash to the town dump.
I read all I could about the vaccines being developed and worried about the rapid approvals of several companies’ products. I didn’t want to be a guinea pig, was concerned about the quality of ingredients and the integrity of the companies producing the vaccines, and feared the idea of choice being taken away by governmental decree. Yet, I also wanted to be able to hug my grandchildren, travel, and conduct my own business again in person. Furthermore, I wanted to believe that humanity could actually come together and produce a vaccine that would help others to avoid severe chronic conditions as a result of this pandemic or, in the worst case, die. Despite the extreme divisiveness that our country has experienced in terms of politics these last years, I think our commonalities supersede our differences.
I watched as some friends espoused the evils of the health industry and “brainwashing” and others were in lock step agreement with each and every new announcement, sometimes conflicting, that came from the CDC. For a long while, I didn’t have to make a decision about whether to receive the vaccine because I was not in one of the cohorts that were eligible. When I finally was, I had to face my fears and hopes quickly.
With the advent of 65 years + being added to the groups that could get a vaccine, I had to make a decision. It seemed to be a scramble to even get an appointment. The state’s website crashed almost immediately upon the moment of opening up to my cohort and stayed crashed for a long time. Despite all that, the drive to come out of my extreme isolation and interact with family, friends, and clients overcame my reluctance. With the concerted effort of my son and daughter-in-law, who work remotely at home, I was able to obtain a timed appointment at a large vaccination facility about an hour from my home. I was apprehensive about driving there, negotiating the process, and essentially surviving the whole experience. It didn’t help that there was a storm predicted for that day with a wintry mix.
I realized that I had truly become hermit like. I was afraid to go out into the wider world. I had become somewhat infantilized, needing the comfort of home and hearth, scared to emerge into a wider environment. This was totally unlike my normally independent and adventurous self. During isolation, my world had become exceedingly small and I was apprehensive to experience the bigger picture.
I had to gird my loins to get in the car and drive in the wintry mix to an unknown destination. My hands and feet were ice cold, not from the outside temperature but from my fear. I had done all I knew to do to mitigate the feeling of anxiety but still it was there. Part of the distress was having to be utterly alone in this journey. I had to drum up the feeling of courage that had been buried deep under the months of isolation.
The vaccination site was well organized from the signage on the highway though parking and following directives in terms of registration; the vaccination process itself; and setting up the follow up vaccine. I emerged from the building knowing I had an hour’s drive at commuting time in rotten weather but I felt surprisingly victorious! My world had opened up! I rediscovered my ability to interact with others outside of my hermit like existence. I was, again, an adult not only in age but also in spirit.
The next day, I had a slight headache and my inoculated arm was somewhat sore. Those were things I could easily offset. By far, the greatest gift about this whole experience was the fact I was opening up to possibilities. I had regained a sense of self that somehow had been lost during all those months of isolation. My future was not small and curtailed. I could dream, again, about new adventures and journeys. While I might need to wait to play out some of these dreams, I now had the courage and determination to make these possibilities become real. My world had enlarged.
Sheila Peters helps clients and students regain their natural flow of energy and increase wellness through techniques from Traditional Chinese Medicine, shamanic practices, reiki, Jin Shin Jyutsu, intuition/channeling and movement. For more information, email Sheila at: email@example.com, call 781-354-0725, or visit Sheila’s website at: www.energymedicineanddance.com.
© 2021 by Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.