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Side Effects May Include

Started spring break with the second covid vaccine, and I figured this was a good a place as any to share some side effects.

1. Leaky eyes. Almost immediately, I felt an overwhelming sense of emotional release that caused actual tears to stream down my face. This was only slightly unexpected as I had a similar reaction to the first vaccine dose. These effects mitigated fairly quickly as when I got back in the car, there was a teenager there and she immediately made fun of me for crying, as if she didn’t live in our house for the past year and witness me crying at pretty much everything, especially in the beginning.

2. Contagious euphoria. I noticed this of other families in the waiting room as well. High-fiving, elbow-bumping, huge smiles that were evident even though everyone had a mask on. The personnel at the location at Christiana Care also seemed euphoric, leading me to believe that it was an airborne contagion and not a specific vaccine side effect.

3. Gleeful joy. See number 2, above.

4. Overwhelming gratitude. Gratitude, in no specific order, to every person that played some small hand in making it possible for this vaccine to exist, and for so many members of our community to take part. Yes, the scientists - and the funders, like Dolly Parton, the Patron Saint of Covid Vaccines - and the volunteers who participated in the studies but also, these events are massive distribution undertakings. From the person who sends the email to the medical professional that delivers the shot and every National Guard member, volunteer, elected official, traffic cone putter outer, sign supplier … there are a cast of thousands involved in making every shot possible.

5. Abundant relief. I can’t help but feel so lucky, and so relieved. Like so many, our life drastically changed this past year - but we have been so very fortunate in not losing loved ones, and not losing our minds. We know we are a long way from “back to normal” but we feel so much safer in our world, mere moments after injection.

6. Selfie posting. This happened nearly immediately; Christiana Care had a selfie station to accommodate this side effect.

Other side effects may be forthcoming, but no way can they top these. Good luck to all embarking on the journey to vaccination!

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