Al Muskovitz shares his thoughts and experience with getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
4:30 a.m. Thursday,
Jan. 14, 2021
Waking up at 4:30 this morning was standard procedure for me. It was an expected daily awakening usually reserved for a quick bathroom run and then back to sleep. It was exactly like the bathroom run I had at 2:30 this morning. (At 66 years old you chart these things.) But on this morning my iPhone had more than the time illuminated on the screen — there was an email from Beaumont Health updating me about my COVID vaccination.
And that’s all it took for the flood gates to open … of my mind that is.
This was vaccination day for me. I would be getting my first dose at 5:10 this afternoon. So why was Beaumont emailing me at 4:30 in the morning?! A rational mind would assume it’s an appointment reminder. I said a rational mind. My mind was busy thinking they’re changing their mind or worse … they ran out of vaccines!
Sleep gave way to the anxiety and exhilaration of what I would find in this early morning transmission, accompanied by a rush of thoughts of how I felt on this, my vaccination day. But I didn’t know my My Beaumont Chart password by heart, so I had to venture down to my office to get it — which I did — after that bathroom run.
The email? It was an appointment reminder. Imagine that?
I couldn’t fall back asleep because I was having a very unexpected reaction to vaccination day. “Unexpected reaction,” admittedly not the best choice of words hours before getting my vaccination.
I was actually feeling a variety of emotions. Similar to the excitement I used to feel on my first day of school, mixed with the anticipatory anxiety little camper Alan used to experience after waking up too early the morning of my annual summer bus ride to Camp Tanuga.
My joy and gratitude of finally getting vaccinated was reaching a crescendo in this early morning hour, like reaching the top of the first hill on a rollercoaster. But instead of throwing my arms up in sheer exultation, a melancholy feeling came over me. What about the hundreds of thousands of Americans, more than 400,000, who have died before getting their chance at living to see another day? And the countless others who have suffered and continue to experience COVID’s lasting effects? And the millions who must endure what appears to be the snail’s pace of receiving a vaccination appointment? It literally took my breath away.
I’m thinking of our frontline workers who’ve sacrificed so much, some their lives, so others could live. I’m thinking of the thousands of residents in our senior communities, those who’ve succumbed to the virus, and those who continue to battle heart-wrenching isolation, hoping that in this vaccination, there will be light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. To that end, I’m also thinking of the incredible minds of the scientists and researchers whose expediency in developing the vaccines is nothing short of a miracle.
COVID-19 has taken us all on the ultimate emotional rollercoaster ride. For months, we’ve ridden up and down with news that on one day brings us hope, only to be filled with new uncertainties the next day. But unlike typical rollercoaster rides, we’re not getting off this one yelling, “Let’s do it again!”
Ironically, when I first typed the word communities above, as in senior communities? Upon proofing, I discovered it came out as “immunities.” I’m going to take that as a very good sign.
At 6:15 a.m. on this momentous day
I went back to bed for a few more minutes of sleep. As I laid my head down, I gave thanks for the vaccination I was about to receive and prayed that you would be next in line.
P.S. At 6:27
I got up to go the bathroom again.