Feeling positive after COVID shot

Treena Mielke

The face of COVID-19 is refusing to take a back seat to spring and all that is good and beautiful in this world.

For weeks, the world has waited for the latest red-letter day on the calendar.

Easter.

But, it looks like, once again, tradition and get-togethers will have to take a rain check.

Every day the number of COVID cases punctuate the air waves with little staccato notes that strike lonely chords of worry, fear, and frustration in all of us. It seems these chords have been playing for a long time.

“I think they should focus on how many people are getting vaccinated each day, not the cases,” my husband grumbled to himself after hearing the latest numbers. “That would be a lot more encouraging.”

“For sure,” I reply, but it does not matter. He doesn’t hear me, anyway.

Those darn hearing aides. They seem to be the kind that work best when the speaker is facing the person and only about two feet way.

My husband and I both had our COVID vaccine the other day. Somehow, we found ourselves with a bunch of old people who were also waiting to get a vaccine.

Amazingly, we fit in well.

After we had the vaccine, we were required to wait 15 minutes in case we had a reaction. And so we did. Wait, that is. Not react.

I had no idea how long 15 minutes was, but as I sat there in that little cubicle it seemed like two days had passed before it was determined I was good to go.

I bounced out of the Westerner with a light step feeling like a much younger woman than I was when I went in. I almost wished I had some sort of proof that I had, indeed, received my first COVID vaccine. On my way to my car, in a moment of rash boldness, I exposed my bare arm to the elements and also to the curious eyes of anybody who happened to walk by.

Of course, no one was curious, or the least bit interested in my arm with the tiny pinprick on it, barely visible to the human eye, when I casually stripped off my sensible, heavy wool, beige cardigan.

Oh well, I was still proud of me, darn it. And, later, when people asked if I had any kind of reaction, I said somewhat proudly “well, my arm hurt a little after.”

They say the longest journey begins with a single step and I felt like getting that vaccine was the first step in a long journey towards wellness for all of us.

But, of course, there is now.

Now doesn’t looks so good. Now means there have been no, at least very little, loosening up of the chains of restrictions. For me, now means scanning my own particular world for all that is good, purposely eliminating thoughts of making my table bigger and visions of family get-togethers sprinkled with love, laughter and dare I say, hugs.

And so I do it. I scan my world looking for the little gold nuggets, that lie hidden, like so many Easter eggs waiting to be uncovered.

Well, it seems there are quite a few.

I beat my husband at Bananagrams two nights in a row. Bananagrams is a game like Scrabble, and it requires using words that may or may not exist in the English language. I have been told that I am quite competitive. Nothing could be farther from the truth. However, I do not really like losing. To him. My husband. He is an accountant, for crying out loud. He is not supposed to know about words. Why did he keep beating me? And so, we played. Again. And again. Finally, I won. “Let’s quit,” I said. And so we did, not because I am competitive, but because it was 2 a.m.

And so my gold nuggets keep showing up. A lovely chat with a friend on the phone, a surprise bouquet of pussy willows on my doorstep left there by a nephew who wished to remain anonymous. And then there was the two CDs made for me by a reader who actually read my column on music and, a birthday lunch with a friend. True, my birthday was in February, but it’s not like they asked for my drivers’ licence at the restaurant or anything.

Anyway, when I scan my world, it seems there are many little gold nuggets of good things that have somehow avoided COVID and landed right at my doorstep.

Maybe they were delivered by an early Easter bunny or maybe they were there all along.

I just needed to bring them into focus and zoom in, making them larger than the great unknown that we all face, also referred to as ‘the future.’

Treena Mielke is a central Alberta writer. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.

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