Got my booster Friday.

I chose Pfizer this time because my second Moderna made me have a pretty miserable 24 hours. That’s probably an exaggeration. It was probably more like 18 hours. 18 hours of freezing, and shaking, and pain…. whenever I get any kind of flu or even cold, it always hits me so hard right where I already have pain, thumb joints, finger joints, hips, arches. It’s really not very good. Last time (Moderna second dose), I hit the bathtub, trying to get warm and sooth the joints, so many times over the course of those 18 hours that I used up all the hot water.

IMHO if you are a woman with menstrual cramps, or a human with arthritis, a shower just ain’t gonna cut it. You need a tub to soak in.

But what luxury do I have to be able to get in the bathtub a million times in one night? To both have a bathtub that is mine, and private, and clean, and to have all that water at my disposal, that is privilege. My mind boggles when I think of all the people around the world who are also getting these vaccines, but are unable to sooth the after-effects.

And here’s the thing: in those places, they’re getting the vaccines as soon as they can, and they may not even have access to them yet. They may not have a government that can buy them, over and over again, from the manufacturers. And they are expensive. Very well-educated people have to develop them, in many cases (and probably so with the Covid vaccines) working overtime to get them done fast. And, doing them fast, on overtime, does not mean doing them poorly. Scientists have been making flu vaccine since the 1930s. Covid is a flu. Scientists know how to make flu vaccines. So, yes, they can do it quickly without it genetically mutating you. If they wanted a vaccine that would genetically mutate you, that would take probably another hundred years, People. We’re not at the point where CRISPER can be done in a shot. So, think of the salaries of those very well-educated people, who went to college for a long and expensive time and did a LOT (beyond your imagination) of homework. Those people are, and have earned the right to be, expensive. And I don’t want the cheap folks working on this; do you? The ones with their AA from your local community college? Yes, that development is expensive. Then packaging and shipping it is expensive. Keeping it cold is expensive. Paying the pharmacies to house it, and give shots to the zillion people who show up: expensive. And our government can afford all of that. It can foot the bill for every single person here. We are lucky.

To not realize when you have privilege is common, and easy. It’s hard to see that you’re lucky to have a bathtub, especially if you have always had one. It’s had to think that you should feel lucky to be able to get a shot, especially if you don’t like shots, if you think anything is possible (like they can genetically modify you through the shot), if you believe some spiritual belief can protect you from the shot, if you think “I have never gotten the flu, so I’m not going to get this.” No one can tell you with certainty that you will get Covid if you don’t get the shot. That is 100% true. And it is also 100% true that the large majority of infections since the shots have been in place have been in unvaccinated people. And some of us, who have chemo or otherwise poor immunity, are catching it, even after vaccination, from an unvaccinated person.

What would you do if you infected someone, and he or she died? Or ended up with the long-haul Covid? Or even ended up for a time on a ventilator, from which recovery is not easy? What would you do?

Send a basket of fruit? Send thoughts and prayers? How would you apologize for that?

So, I have to say, that this time, given a choice, I chose Pfizer, because everyone I know who got Pfizer (and in the spring we got what we could get, right?) did not get sick from the vaccine, #1 or #2. So, for my #3 (booster) I signed us up for Pfizer. And Friday I was fine. And yesterday I woke up in flu-agony again. Arm hurt. Arthritis hurt like a MF. Nausea. Arrrgh! Whole day gone. And at around 8 last night I gave up and popped an Advil PM to sleep it off. Which, pretty much, I did. Arthritis is still a little touchy, but I am through the worst of it.

I cannot imagine if my daughter got this, and I could not do anything to make her feel better. I mean, if this is a small taste of what the actual illness feels like, geez. I cannot imagine. We are so lucky because she went back into the classroom this year at age 12, old enough to be vaccinated. If she had not been, would we have sent her? IDK. Dad works from home, so we could have kept her home, but it would not have been the best for her brain, but, a brain is no good in a ravaged body, so we might have kept her home. It’s not forever, right? It’s temporary. But, we’re lucky. She was vaccinated when she went back to school. I was vaccinated when I went back to school. Dad was vaccinated when she and I went back to school, so he was protected from us. My students are protected from me. And, because I teach at college, I have no idea if I am protected from them. I just found out that some guy who I always have to tell to put his mask on went home with Covid. So, there you are. Not everyone cares about each other, or is telling the truth about their status. Why should anyone care about me? I’m just the teacher. I’m there to care about them. Why should they care about the student right next to them? This is their education, not that person’s. That person is on his/her own.

Have the 80s come back?

So, yes, out of this whole year I have had 2-3 miserable days of pain and suffering due to getting the vaccine. And I would do it again, though I hope the booster turns out to be enough, and it could, if the hold-outs would get vaccinated. But, the more the rest of us are vaccinated, the more the peer pressure will make them dig in and refuse, just to prove they can.

They are so privileged, because they live in a place where the vaccine is free, and there is plenty of it, and enough of us are vaccinated to help them be a little safer. The whole world does not have that luxury.

So yes, I had a rotten weekend. And I’d do it again, for my husband, for my daughter, and for you.

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