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Spires: Living in a COVID-19 world
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Spires: Living in a COVID-19 world

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Who would have thought that we would be living in a time when everyone wears a mask and stands in line to both be tested and to receive a vaccination?

For the first time, I have qualified for something that not everyone can have, the COVID-19 vaccine. I got mine on Monday and had to wait 15 minutes to see if I had any reactions to the vaccine. Those were probably the longest 15 minutes of my life.

Not knowing if the next few minutes were going to bring on some sort of symptoms or not is sort of scary, especially if something were to happen. When I pulled up to get in line for the shot the first thing I saw was several EMT’s standing around and an ambulance sitting a few feet away with the engine running.

That was a little unnerving to say the least.

The shot itself wasn’t really that bad, by the way; it stung for only a few seconds.

I called a friend of mine and told him about taking the shot and we compared notes since he got his last week. That was during those 15 minutes you have to wait that I called him.

“If I quit talking, call 911,” I told him.

I told him I was hoping I got in the correct line when I drove up, because one line was for rabies vaccinations. He thought that was funny until I told him I was craving “Milk Bones” for some reason.

I got the vaccine for two reasons: first, we are going to be moving my wife’s mother down in a couple of months and, if you travel, some states require you to have a vaccination or you will be quarantined for 14 days; secondly, I lost several friends and a first cousin and his wife back in October to COVID-19.

To be honest, that scares me enough that I'd rather take my chance with the vaccine than not take it.

COVID-19, isolation, quarantine, mask, hand sanitizer and disinfectant have now become words we use every day and our normal way of life. The worst part of it is that there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

The last time I went to the doctor he gave me a flu shot and a tetanus shot, so I guess next year I’ll be getting a COVID-19 shot as well.

In my life, I have been vaccinated for a whole host of stuff. I have a scar on my arm from the tuberculosis vaccine, I took the sugar cube for the polio vaccine, I’ve had the diphtheria vaccine and several vaccines I do not remember what they were for while I was in grammar school.

My question now is, what is next?

Byron Spires is a retired newspaper editor. He has written dozens of short stories and serials in the Havana Herald. He recently published “The Curious Life of Marci Bell: Part I,” in a series of three books. You can contact him at byronspires51@gmail.com.

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