I’ve Got My Shot, and I’m Not Going to Waste It.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Expect a flood of intense relief.

Most of us have felt like hostages for the last year, scared to leave our homes and constantly scrolling the news. We lived on the brink, always one anti-masker or careless friend away from catching a life-threatening illness. Even if we weren’t staring at our phones all day with a knot in our stomach, we were just waiting for the next bad thing happen.

Your outlook might improve.

It’s amazing how much better you feel when there’s hard proof that someone’s in charge of the country and seems to know what they’re doing. Just a few weeks ago, we were living through the possible end of our democracy. We were cursed with a president who played golf all day and tweeted about miracle cures while thousands died. Every single morning, we woke up wondering if we’d be the next statistic.

You’ll have more energy.

Now that I’m free from the emotional burden of managing the pandemic inside my own head, I realize just how bad it felt. It was like dragging an anvil behind me everywhere.

You might feel like a spectator.

After getting my first shot, it feels like I’m no longer in the pandemic. I’m on the sidelines now. I’m watching events unfold that no longer have direct consequences for me. Suddenly I realize…

You‘ll be able to take inventory.

Almost everything has changed for some of us. A vaccine doesn’t turn time backward and undo all of that. We’ve lost more than we’ve had the time or energy to process. These changes are permanent.

You’ll feel a strange nostalgia.

Something has to be over before you can remember it. Since my shot, I’ve started having flashbacks to the early pandemic. It happens when I buy a bottle of Lysol and remember the aisles of empty shelves. It happens when I walk down a sidewalk and remember crossing to the other side, even if we were both wearing face masks. It happens when I walk by a store and remember how much anxiety it used to cause.

You’ll think about the future again.

We’ve spent the last year stuck in a time bubble, unable to think more than a few days into the future. We stopped planning trips or thinking about reunions. We stopped looking forward to things.

You’ll want to pay it forward (hopefully).

If there’s one lesson from the last year, it’s that we’ve got a ton of problems to solve. We’ve woken up a little. I’m hoping that as the rest of America gets vaccinated, they don’t fall back into apathy.

Don’t waste your shot.

It was easy to make predictions about what a post-pandemic world would look like, regardless of your outlook. You could sit at home and try to imagine all the depressing details. That’s the easy part.

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