Second Dose

On Saturday the Prince and I headed out to a local mass-vaccination site, having appointments for our second dose of Pfizer. It went extremely smoothly–we were on time, had all our paperwork, and wore easy-access sleeves. I was absolutely beside myself at the thought that the prior administration’s malignant incompetence would somehow reach out a skeletal hand and snatch the opportunity to get a vaccine from either or both of us, and I didn’t relax even fractionally until we were in the observation area and a quarter-hour had passed without incident.

I was surprised by a great burst of altruistic feeling for everyone else in the observation area. Not a single car bolted for the exit prematurely; everyone came out of the vaccine-administration area and parked with plenty of space left between individual cars to wait. A man two spaces away from us was playing a DS; when the breeze shifted and brought us faint sounds the Prince recognized not only the game he was playing but the dungeon he was in.

Before the plague he might have called between the cars; as it was, he was just pleased to see an adult doing something cool. “I have that game too,” he confided at least twice, bursting with pride.

I did cry, but only after we got home and I could lock myself in the loo for a bit. And I was useless the rest of the day. We celebrated with burgers, so that part was nice.

The Princess got her second dose well before ours, and is very relieved at us catching up. The Prince and I are in the home stretch before full immunity. All three of us had mild fatigue and arm soreness with dose two; I got an extra helping of fatigue and a very mild fever. Still, my body likes to cook itself at the slightest provocation, your mileage may vary and all that.

So I’m taking today off–if I owe you an email, I am very sorry, but it’s not gonna happen. I might get out in the yard and move some laurel volunteers since that takes only a hand shovel and can be done at infinitely slow speed. That’s why the image for today’s post is the zombie rhubarb–I feel pretty much like that poor plant. If it’s going to cling to life so hard, I might as well water it.

I did get a cheap grow light for starting seedlings and giving the African violets a bit more illumination. One of these days I’ll have a whole grow table for the violets, but that’s another story; I’m trying to keep my plant habit contained. I tend to rehab terribly neglected plants from the discount rack, then give them away when they’re recovered.

I might even write some werewolves today, or something just for my own delectation. It will be nice to go back to work without the specter of plague hanging over my head. I’m looking forward to my usual productivity, or something close to it.

Still struggling with the fact that I never honestly expected to survive 2020, though. Now I’m staring at the latter half of 2021 going, “I can’t die, I have deadlines, what is all this bullshit?” It’s not quite a letdown to find I’ve made it through one more gauntlet, but the survivor’s guilt is waiting in the wings. It’s going to be intense, I can already tell.

So today is for everything I like on the music queue, nothing I don’t, maybe moving some volunteers in the yard, possibly getting the leeks in the ground…and walking the dogs, because they don’t care about plague, coup, or anything else. Their breakfasts, walkies, and dinners always come at the same accepted times, so they’re content consigning every other worry to Yours Truly. It’s nice to see them so unburdened. Almost makes my own heart lighten.

The relief–that neither the kids nor I will need to visit the ER with the plague, not only risking being ignored while drowning in our own sputum but saddling any survivors with medical debt to the tune of absolute bankruptcy–is immense. World-shattering. I don’t deny my knees are a bit mushy at the moment just thinking about it. I’m still not sure what portion of the fatigue or other side effects springs solely from that consolation.

We’ll still be masking up and always, ALWAYS washing hands. They’re good habits, and the pandemic is still going on. Vaccinated doesn’t mean, “We’ve got ours so fuck you,” it means, “We’re still doing our best to take care of everyone around us, and this makes it incrementally easier.”

The coffee has cooled and the dogs inform me they are ready to go, for God’s sake. Before vaccine, laundry and walk dogs; after vaccine, laundry and walk dogs, albeit with a little lighter heart.

It’s about damn time; that fucker’s been heavy as a teaspoon of black hole for a while now. Over and out.