Vaccines and Convenient Healthcare

Today, after many delays due to scheduling issues, not being able to handle downtime from potential side-effects, and being just too tired and out of spoons to handle anything other than what I absolutely had to do in a day, I’m finally getting my second booster shot of the Covid vaccine. I was eligible a while ago, but I’d wanted to wait for the much-touted version to come out since it had proven effective against the strains of the spring and summer, but now I’m wondering if the current strains of the virus have mutated so much that we’re going to need a whole ‘nother booster to be as effective at countering them. I went to do some research, since that’s usually what I do with questions like this, but I discovered it had gotten difficult to find information that talked about vaccines and the pandemic as an on-going concern. In fact, the manipulation of SEO meant that I had to scroll a few pages down to find anything useful that wasn’t about economics or how the current administration in the US is to blame for how tired people are of the pandemic and so on.

As it turns out, while I’ve been busy with personal issues and trying not to lose myself to the stress of the recent elections (which have resolved with the right-wing asshats and facists gaining control of the House of Representatives because nobody loves an authoritiation slide like the modern US), the US media has continued to move on from the pandemic. I was already sick of the premature retrospective and the clear attempts to normalize the likely hundreds of deaths a day from the virus (and issues related to virus such as worsening health, overcrowded hospitals, a collapsing healthcare system, etc), and it seems to have only gotten worse as my attention was focused on the election and maintaining my sanity.

I’ve long lamented the fact that I’m the only person on my team who still wears a mask. There’s a couple others in the building who still mask up, but we’re a small handful in a population of hundreds. I see a few more masked people when I go to the grocery store every week, but I don’t think the percentage changes much given that I also typically see more people in the grocery store than I do at work. Most of the people in my social cirlces don’t mask either. None of them people I spend time with seem to be interested in taking precautions any longer, which is incredibly frustrating and more than a little isolating. Which, you know, is the last thing I need given how isolated I already feel.

Still, I’m going to keep masking up and take as many booster shots as the scientific bodies of the world recommend. I don’t want to get sick so I’m going to do my best to prevent that. I can’t come even close to solving this problem by being a lone holdout, but I can at least live my life in a way I won’t regret. It’s not like masking is terribly difficult, anymore. N95s are actually pretty comfortable, even if I don’t like what they do to my hair when I wear them before it has had time to dry out sufficiently. Sure, I can sometimes get a pretty annoying breakout on my face if I forgot that I sweat in a mask at work and put it back on after it has dried out and then feel super gross when I remember that I’d wearing a disgusting sweaty mask on my face, but that’s a pretty small price to pay for the safety and security I feel knowing I’m less likely than my coworkers to get Covid the next time someone shows up to work sick.

What made this whole booster shot possible, actually, is that my employer brings people on-site to administer things like booster shots and flu vaccines every year. An email goes out, you can sign up for an available slot, and if there’s enough people on the waiting list, they add another vaccine session. It’s incredibly convenient, even if I hate getting stuck with morning vaccine administrations because then I have to deal with feeling sore and kinda bad for the entire day while I’m at work instead of getting to be at home where I can just go to sleep when I develop the mild flu symptoms and incredibly achey joints that accompany every flu vaccine I’ve ever gotten in my life. At least the Covid boosters have been pretty symptom free for me. The only one that left me feeling unwell was the second shot of the initial administration, but that was also a bit of an excuse for me to work from home for a bit longer. I feel so much more comfortable and productive working from home where I don’t need to filter out the noise of my coworkers and this building full of people.

Anyway, I’m super tired now so I’m going to go play video games until sleep claims me and reflect on how convenient it is when healthcare comes to you instead of having to figure out how to fit a trip to a pharmacy or healthcare center into my incredibly busy days. Insead, I got to get my healthcare during a break at work. A wonderful experience.

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