I got my shot; hope you can, too
A year ago I was packing my bags for a week-long trip to Florida. We were going to escape the cold and snow and catch some sun and warm temperatures. We were going to visit long-time friends, take in a Twins spring training game and maybe relax a little.
Life was good. Life was normal.
I had just started to hear about something called a coronavirus and COVID-19, but to be honest, I was not sure what either one of those things were. Or if they were the same thing or different things. And I wondered why a disease would be named after a beer from Mexico.
I knew this virus thing came from China. Like a new Asian flu. And the experts were worried about it coming to America and spreading across the country. But, I really had not studied up on it very much.
I really did not know what a pandemic was. Or what Zoom was. Or distance learning. Virtual reality was playing a video game with a weird, large helmet on, wasn’t it? What were virtual meetings? Were they not really real meetings? Were they actually fake?
I did not have to wear a face mask on the plane trip to Florida or back home to Minnesota. Or to the Twins game or anywhere else for that matter.
I have to admit I did own some N-95 face masks back then. I only wore them when I was spraying insecticides or spray painting or varnishing in close quarters indoors or demolishing the walls of an old house – hazardous work like that. Those things did not happen real often for me. That pack of masks had been purchased years ago and would last me forever, probably, I thought. However, I was wrong; they didn’t last.
I never imagined a year ago that I would own a dozen cloth masks and have surgical masks hanging on the gear shift knob in my vehicle, several in my briefcase and desk, my camera bag and most of my coat pockets.
And, that a day does not go by that I don’t wear them; for a short time on a weekend when I leave my home or for hours on end at work or covering a public meeting or even going into any store or restaurant.
It is now almost second nature for me to wear one. It probably is for you, as well. I know little kids who are perfectly at ease wearing a mask all day long at school. Speaking of school, I never imagined schools and sports (high school, college and pro), businesses and restaurants and even churches would be shut down for months on end. And, that a year later, some still would be. That almost every single summer event would be canceled in 2020. And then it was canceling events in the fall, as well, and it continued; we even had to do a virtual Thanksgiving and Christmases.
That phrases such as quarantined, Stay at Home and work remotely would become commonplace in our society.
Last March did you ever think this thing called a pandemic would be around a year later, in March of 2021.
However, now it has me wondering. How are our lives going to be a year from now, in March of 2022? Will we be saying ‘remember when we had to wear masks and work remotely?’ ‘Remember that COVID-19 pandemic deal we used to have to put with?’
Or will we be saying ‘I sure wish this would get over and we can get back to having a normal life.’
We have the new vaccines rolling out across the country and people are getting the shots. I got my first one this past Thursday at UHD. I will get the second one on March 25. Yes, I am in the 65 and older age group who qualified to get the vaccine. I guess there is at least one benefit to being old.
The staff at UHD did an excellent job of getting everyone in and out efficiently. It only took about 20 minutes and that includes signing in, getting the shot, and sitting down for 15 minutes to make sure you are OK.
The UHD staff will be doing this procedure more and more in the coming weeks as more and more vaccines keep arriving. The plan is to continue to do the vaccinations each and every week, with different age groups being added in, and those with certain high-risk medical conditions. By later in the summer, they will be at a point to give a shot to anyone who wants one and has not gotten one yet.
I hope everyone gets vaccinated. I hope things do get back to normal. I hope a year from now I’ll wonder whatever happened to all those fancy cloth face masks I used to own.
I hope life is back to normal, whatever a normal life is. Because, like just about everyone else, I am pretty sick and tired of hearing about coronavirus pandemic rules to live by each and every day. I hope we have moved on.
And, I hope a year from now the thought of writing a column about something called ‘The COVID’ never even enters my brain.