This past week I joined the ranks of those who have had their first vaccination shot. I waited my turn, and when they opened slots for vaccines in phase four in North Carolina, I signed up and was scheduled for a 3:25 PM shot on the day of my vaccination.
What I didn’t know was how emotional I would feel after I got the vaccine, and it was way more than I thought it would be.
I was beyond impressed at the efficiency of the vaccine operation. I signed up for a vaccine with The Granville Health System in Oxford, NC. When I arrived, the team of volunteers and healthcare professionals (there was a large team there!) made it so simple. They waved me along the route to get checked in, waved me to get my vaccine, and finally to the waiting area to spend my 15 minutes after getting vaccinated to ensure I did not have an adverse reaction. The team was friendly, professional and caring. They didn’t just check the blocks to get people vaccinated, they went well beyond that to make the process smooth and positive.
And I have heard this story time and time again. Incredibly positive stories and experiences.
Volunteers and healthcare professionals are coming together across our country and across the world, to move us closer to the new normal. But how they are doing it was what made it so emotional. They were glad to see us. They were glad to see that we were getting vaccinated. They were kind, thoughtful and efficient. Yes, I said something similar earlier, but I thought it was worth repeating. I am looking forward to the second shot in three weeks, to become fully vaccinated, but also because I know that the process will be easy and smooth.
I tried to thank as many of them as possible. They had other places to be on a Saturday, but they chose to be in Oxford, NC, and thousands of other locations across the country, to put needles in our arms. But not just that, to help move the needle towards the new normal in our country.
Like so many of you, our family and friends have been affected by Covid in many ways. I have not seen my Mom face-to-face in over a year, as she is in a nursing home spending most of her days quarantined in her room with no visitors allowed. But there is hope, as she and her fellow residents are now vaccinated. My brother will visit with her next week…progress and hope. I will visit soon, myself.
Like many of you, we have a friend who has been on a ventilator and is now recovering with rehab. We are hopeful he continues to make progress each day. So many of you have stories of loved ones who have suffered greatly over the past year.
When the vaccine went in my arm yesterday, it was a bit surreal. There were 2,299 others who felt their own emotion yesterday in Oxford, and millions more across the country.
Happiness…for them giving me a stamped vaccine card showing my first does of the Pfizer vaccine.
Moving the needle towards normalcy.
Next Saturday, I am sure the team will be there in numbers, in Oxford, NC…vaccinating the next round of 2,300. And if some of them are like me and others who showed up early, not wanting to lose the opportunity to get vaccinated, their process will not only allow for that, but they will also seamlessly get us through the line with their well-refined team and process.
To those of you in healthcare, thank you. Our country (and the world) has had many challenges in the past, but we have always found a way to come together and move forward, stronger and better than we were before. I saw that again yesterday and I was proud. And I was a bit emotional, knowing I am a step closer to seeing my now 85-year-old mom.
I hope the volunteers and healthcare professionals can kick back and relax on Sunday…their job is far from over… next weekend lets continue to move the needle in the right direction…and please say thank you to as many of them as possible when it’s your turn to get vaccinated!