by Allison Smith –
Mid-May: I stood in the lineup, patiently waiting for my turn, six feet back from the woman in front of me and ahead of the man in back, and all of a sudden my eyes filled with tears. I blinked them away but it was difficult. It’s been such a long road to get here and to what this first shot represents – the first step on the road back to a normal life. It’s all a bit overwhelming.
A friend texts: “in line for my shot. Fighting back tears.” I’m sure the nurses and other staff at the vaccination centres were seeing a lot of the same.
As I walked to my assigned station I heard a young man talking to his nurse. “All good on the aftercare; no allergies,” he answered her quickly. Then, with a tremble in his voice, he added: “I’m just really glad that this is available.”
When the elderly were first to get their dose, there was a feeling of “of course; they’re most at risk. Thank goodness they’ll be safer now.” It felt somewhat unconnected to me. But once the queue included my age group, and my social media feeds crowded with posts from friends proudly showing off their vaccination record, it felt real.
Update: As we head towards Step 3 of British Columbia’s restart plan, it’s now been over a month since I received that first vaccination dose. I’ve had dinner inside my mom’s house, and gone on a double date with friends. My daughter has had a classmate in for a playdate. But I still feel a little like someone who’s been trapped in a cave, finally rescued, stumbling into the daylight on unsteady legs and with arm lifted to block the brightness … unable to remember exactly what life was like before, and what the future holds now. But I lower my arm, and step toward the sunlight.
We’re getting there B.C!