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Vaccine Days Jab 1 Day

Updated: Jul 3, 2021

There are certain events that you will readily remember like the 9/11 attacks on The World Trade Centre or the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The past year will be remembered forever as the annus horribilis of Corona Virus 19. For me personally I will forever remember April 7th, 2021. That was the day I got my first Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine jab.

I never realised how stressed I was from living through the pandemic for twelve months .It had definitely exacted a certain toll on my mental and physical systems.

I went to my doctor’s surgery for a appointment on April 7th. My thought process was jammed thinking about the injection and what side effects it might have on me.I arrived for my appointment five minutes before the appointed time. 0ne could sense that there was some momentous event occurring with the whole square around the surgery having cones with reserved for Vaccination People attached.

Inside there was a special reception area for Covid operations. I was met by a receptionist who had a certain urgency and giddiness about her. She pointed me in the direction of the stairs. She told me that they wanted me upstairs immediately to get the jab into me.

At the top of the stairs there was another lady operating a laptop and checking me in.Once she verified that I was who I was supposed to be I was on the conveyor belt to Jabville.

There were chairs strategically placed around the floor and 2 metres apart. I was ushered into a chair where I had a full view of all the proceedings. One of the ladies approached me, engaged in some chit chat and proffered some hand sanitiser which I rubbed into my hands.

I had barely settled into my location in the jabbing room when I was ushered into a new sitting position outside a nurse’s station door and was informed that the nurse would be calling me in shortly.I sterilised my hands again and in jig time I was called in and was sitting down in the jabbing room. I answered the few perfunctory questions dealing with Corona symptoms and if I had done any travel lately.

Once this question, and answer session was over she proceeded to take out a new needle and extracted the appropriate dosage from the phial.She rolled up my shirt sleeve and injected my right arm. Operation Jab itself was over in seconds .It was totally painless. T She stuck a time label of 5.15 pm on my jacket. It reminded me of Junior Infants first day in school with all the labels. I was directed to a waiting room where I had to wait for the compulsory fifteen minutes post jab observation period. It was great to sit down and observe the business and efficiency with which operation jab was being operated. It was a highly organised operation.

At the end of this period, I was released back into the normal world. The nurse told me that I could take two paracetamols when I got home and to take it easy for a day. She also told me that I might feel some soreness in my arm and that I might feel tired.

It was a wonderful feeling to be liberated again and there was definitely a skip in my step. I had a great feeling of exhilaration, exultation and joy that I had survived Covid 19 thus far.I was about to experience my first day of limited liberation from the daily dodging of the virus.

During lockdown periods I was being burdened by the constant wearing of masks and hand sanitising and social distancing .I truly missed the shops being closed and having to do online shopping.

Another great deprivation was the total lack of social activities. We missed out on visitors calling to our home. We missed the cups of coffee and meals out. We really missed the occasional visits to Dublin, Wexford and neighbouring towns. There were no weekend or mid-week breaks. It has been so long since we visited a cinema or gone to a plat or show. Our lives were truly disrupted. Today my life was being partially restarted after an entire twelve months of lockdown and restricted movement. I am already eagerly looking forward to the Roll out of Pfizer vaccine round two . This will give me far more freedom of movement and less wearing of masks.

Even though full freedom is some time away yet there was a different feeling in the air this evening. I was now loaded up with ninety percent of the antibodies to fight off any would-be assassins of my immune system. I felt safe in and with myself. There was no longer this fear and dread of contracting the deadly Covid and all the consequent dangers that implied. Even if I got the virus between now and round two it would be a mild dose. There had been constant images of seriously ill people on ventilators in hospitals on TV and print media. We were being bombarded left right and centre with horrific stats about new cases and deaths. It was all very threatening and worrying.

Now, in this evening of partial liberation myself and my wife went for a drive to the woods . There we unexpectedly met our daughter and grandchildren. They ran up and asked me about the jab and how I was feeling after it. When they were assured that I was still alive and well, they wanted to go for a little jog in the woods. I was still pumped up with my post jab adrenalin rush and off we trotted.

We picked up leaves and felt tree bark and identified them. There were hills to be climbed and trails to be traversed. The beach below us beckoned and off we trotted down a path. Here we discovered new treasures of multi layered stones, shells and crabs’ legs. It was a children’s hidden treasure territory. There was no time here to be thinking of jabs or possible side effects. What a way to celebrate my penultimate exit Covid moment.

And so, one hour later we bid farewell to grandkids who were reluctant to go home after such a nice time in the woods and beach. We packed up ourselves and headed for home to get some food at the slightly later than advertised time of seven forty-five p.m.

I dined on the celebratory exotic evening quicky meal a la Mick. This consisted of a boiled egg and slice of brown bread washed down with a mug of peppermint tea.

I then fielded a number a number of phone calls from family and friends enquiring about my well-being post jab. I assured them that I was grand.

I got a mighty night’s sleep and woke up refreshed and ready for action. We first did our Joe Wicks routine and felt greatly energised at the end of it.Having breakfasted and scrubbed up I donned my walking gear and headed out to the great outdoors of woods and beach in Courtown. It was a great morning to be out with the lovely early morning sun shimmering across the Irish Sea. It was pure magic to behold.

I had barely alighted from the car at my walking destination when I was greeted by an exuberant retired teacher who was out walking with her daughter. Mother and I recalled some of the madder moments of our younger slightly wilder days. We then bid farewell to each other and departed on our way having checked on our jab status.

Now as I progressed through the woods, I met another branch member who was out walking with her family. Having been introduced to all five of them her hubby changed the conversation over to important issues. He was stuck with a few questions in the teachers quiz and wondered when the answers would be revealed. Now there was a man who had his priorities right. He was glad that I was jabbed, and they were getting theirs shortly.

Walking progress so far was being impeded by excessive talking sessions and so off I trotted again with renewed vigour to finish my morning exercise.

I had only progressed a few hundred metres when I heard my name called out by a fellow walker. She was like me ,a long-retired principal teacher who was out for a mini picnic with her son and grandchildren. Her main concern was the jab, and she was anxiously waiting for the phone call. She went into all the minutiae of how I felt after my jab encounter but there was no story to tell except to say that I was grand. We bid farewell and she was glad for me that I had got my Pfizer jab dose one.

I progressed on to the beach where I met another jabber from the previous day .He also felt great and relieved that he had got a shot in the arm. I was heartened by the fact that the vaccine had entered another arm.

My final encounter of the morning was with a lovely couple who had settled back here in the sunny south east having spent their working lives in Manchester. It was delightful to hear them say how happy they were to be in Ireland where they had met such friendship and friendly people. They have no television yet, so they are avoiding the bombardment of conflicting expert views on the efficacy and effectiveness of various vaccines. They do beach and wood walks every day and stay fit and healthy getting large natural doses of natural vitamin D. Incidentally her sister is a retired primary principal. There is no escaping Club Na Múinteoirí today. They are omnipresent. Bhíodar go léir amuigh ag siúl cois trá.

Now we all count down the days to the second Pfizer jab day in early May. After that comes the fourteen day wait for total effective and a more relaxed style of living from mid-May 2021. Then and not till then will my virus passport be written [ apologies to Robert Emmet ]

And so, my freedom walk was ended, and I headed for home over three hours since departure. I felt so refreshed, relieved and invigorated .My head space was clear again post vaccine.

Meanwhile when I arrived home my ever- patient wife had a lovely shepherd’s pie ready which was much appreciated and scoffed down quickly to quell a savage hunger .Yes, three hours of talking and walking is hungry work.

Mick O Callaghan 10/04/2021

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