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April 15, 2021

Ann Farabee column: COVID vaccine No. 2

By Ann Farabee

The memory:

While sitting in the auditorium of my elementary school, looking up into the eyes of a nurse dressed in white and wearing a white nurse’s cap, I remember her being quiet, polite and serious. I reached up to receive a sugar cube dosed with serum as part of the distribution of the Sabin vaccine. It was believed by scientists that it could eradicate polio.

Polio was something I knew very little about. I was too young to know. But I did know people that had died from it and a classmate at my school suffered paralysis from it.

That was enough knowledge for me.

I believed the sugar cube could protect me from the dreaded disease.

I nervously — and gratefully — took it.

I wonder how the nurse felt that day.

It was a seemingly simple task.

At the same time, it held great responsibility.

Just another day at work? I doubt it.

I believe she knew what she was doing was highly important. I believe she held hope that this would help bring an end to polio that was devastating families.

That memory of the polio vaccine from more than 50 years ago had come to mind that evening, as my husband and I walked into the pharmacy for our second COVID vaccine.

The moment:

6:45pm. COVID vaccine No. 2 — also known as the Fauci Ouchie.

The pharmacist giving us our vaccines was quiet, polite and serious. He had been giving the vaccine all day. I was No. 45.

I wonder how he felt that day.
It was a seemingly simple task.

At the same time, it held great responsibility.

Just another day at work? I doubt it.

I believe he knew what he was doing was highly important. I believe he held hope that this would help bring an end to COVID that was devastating families.

The aftereffect:

We were aware that side effects from the second shot may be greater than they were from the first vaccine.

They were — for my husband.

For me, No. 2 was much easier.

My husband: Fatigue, arm soreness, fever, muscle aches, headache, chills.

They began 24 hours after the vaccine — and lasted 24 hours.

Me: Muscle aches and headache.

They began 24 hours after the vaccine — and lasted 12 hours.

I am fully vaccinated!

We have the sticker and vaccination card to prove it!

There are differing opinions about the vaccine.

I choose to respect all opinions.

I choose to make pandemic-related decisions based off what is best for my family.

I choose to respect your pandemic-related decisions based off what is best for your family.

I choose to trust the vaccine.

I choose not to trust COVID.

Having gone through a case of COVID where I felt at times that my next breath may not come, there is one word that now comes to mind: Gratitude.

Gratitude — to God who not only forgives our sins, but also heals all our diseases. — Psalm 103:3

Gratitude — for all the world changers who go to work — or stay at home — and help keep our country in sync and in harmony as we are going through this pandemic together.

I see hope,  in all of you.

I see hope, in all of us.

For that, I am grateful.

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at annfarabee@gmail.com or annfarabee.com.

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