Whew! I received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine two weeks ago and felt great relief once it was done.
First there was getting the appointment, which meant checking medical and county websites continually, and signing up on waiting lists. After an angst-filled week in a virtual waiting room, I was informed I could make an appointment for the next day.
After getting the shot, everyone waited in a holding area for 15 minutes in case of a reaction. I now had time to look around at all the masked vaccine recipients and at the tables of those administering it -- and was overwhelmed by the significance of it.
For the next two days I slept long nights and took lengthy naps, but I don't know if this was fatigue caused by the vaccination or exhaustion due to the stress of trying to schedule it. Right up until I actually received the shot, I kept expecting it to be canceled due to lack of vaccine.
The rollout has been a disappointment, if not an outright shock. Folks in my age bracket are scrambling, and navigating the websites is tricky for some. I know Pleasanton residents who had to go to Emeryville and to San Carlos or even a couple of hours away to get their vaccines. Yet my sister-in-law who lives in Alameda was given an appointment in Pleasanton, as were others, including from the Peninsula.
Hopefully it will go more smoothly for the bulk of the population as a mega site is expected to open at the Oakland Coliseum on Tuesday. Closer to home, Pleasanton is working with the county and health care providers on logistics for a vaccine distribution site at the fairgrounds.
I will receive my second dose next Friday, but we won't be completely free from restrictions until we have herd immunity, when the virus reaches extremely low levels. Nonetheless, after a couple of weeks, quick hugs with the grandkids will be in order and we will get together more, although probably still outside.
I have a long list of maintenance errands to run, from getting a new watch battery to buying a sheet of plastic for a bathroom light to purchasing a screen protector for my phone. Then there are medical issues like an annual eye exam and a teeth cleaning for me, and an overdue physical for the cat.
If everyone has a list of delayed chores like I do, we are going to all be pretty busy running around getting stuff done at some point. I am looking forward to seeing what I think of as the peripheral people in my life, not friends exactly but those who make it pleasant. Like checkers and other shoppers, and wait staff in restaurants. Zoom meetings have been great for my book clubs but I miss walking out to my car with the others, chatting, and maybe developing new friendships.
I can't decide if holidays light up my life these days or make it dimmer, being but shadows of former celebrations. I purchased Valentine cards online and mailed them to the grandkids with money inside. And I will drop off some heart-shaped pasta (shown above) for them to use as they see fit -- cooked for dinner? made into a salad? strung for a necklace?
The East Bay SPCA is hosting a Valentine's Day drive-thru event, called Smooches for Pooches, at 4651 Gleason Drive in Dublin. Animal lovers are invited to drive through between noon and 2 p.m. Sunday to send some socially distanced love to the "sweetheart" animals in residence. Treats, including candy and an East Bay SPCA activities book, will be available for kids. Learn more and make a donation at eastbayspca.org.
Happy Valentine's Day to everyone -- and good luck getting that vaccine.
Editor's note: Dolores Fox Ciardelli is Tri-Valley Life editor for the Pleasanton Weekly. Her column, "Valley Views," appears in the paper on the second and fourth Fridays of the month.