I had a pretty decent week. It was my birthday on Tuesday, which is neither here nor there, but it was an excuse to open one of my better bottles of rosé. I got my haircut yesterday for the first time this year – and my hairdresser gave me a 50% discount for said birthday. Score! But what made this week really momentous for me was that I got my second covid vaccine jab on Thursday. In two weeks I’ll have full immunity and perhaps normalcy will begin to creep back into my life.
I actually ended up being one of the first of my friends here in Ireland to be fully vaccinated. I got a call four weeks ago from my GP, where I’d registered for the vaccine. They had extra doses and could I get to the clinic like, now. I haven’t moved that fast in years. I got the Moderna vaccine, which has its second dose administered after four weeks, which is why I’ve ended up with my second jab before some friends who got their first jab earlier but got Astra Zeneca, which has a twelve-week gap between jabs. My side effects have been… not fun. I had a fever that spiked to 102.1° on Friday night, along with chills and muscle aches and still today my arm at the injection site remains stubbornly red and swollen. I haven’t felt that poorly in a long time – and it was totally worth it.
I’m actually starting to think of my life beyond covid. I love you, Ireland – but I’m beyond ready to start traveling again. My hope is to go back to the States and see my family for the first time since Christmas 2019 for the month of August. I’m contemplating a couple weeks in Paris in September. My friend and I are hoping to do a long weekend in London in October. I’ve been invited to a wedding in Bristol in November and then planning on another extended stay in the States for Thanksgiving through on to New Year’s.
I am feeling very hopeful. And very lucky.
But even as I feel so hopeful and lucky, I am very aware that there’s a long way to go. News from the States is that herd immunity won’t be reached, which is disappointing but perhaps not unexpected given the high threshold of vaccine uptake required. There are so many countries, most of them poor, who don’t have the vaccines they need. If rich countries like the US and Ireland don’t help out in getting people in those countries vaccinated, covid will not be stopped any time soon. The way this virus is currently ravaging India is heartbreaking. A young Indian man who worked at one of the animation studios here in Dublin went back to India recently to see family, caught the virus, and died. Who knows where it might strike even harder next?
So even though I am personally doing reasonably well, even though the US and Ireland are doing reasonably well, there is still a ways to go before we are doing reasonably well on a global level. There is a light at the end of the tunnel – we just need to make sure it keeps getting closer for everyone rather than closer for some and farther away for others – which really means farther away for everyone.