The last year has been a ride for everyone, in so many ways. COVID-19 has taken us all for a very strange ride, and certainly our reactions have been just as strange. Some I have understood and some not.
I believe they are a reflection of an angry country at war with each other over so many things — not little things, big things; opinions that make a difference in all facets of our lives. Now throw a pandemic into a crazy election and surprise.
No one can get on the same page. It seems in the beginning everyone was willing to stay home for a couple of weeks and shut everything down. But our opinions with how to proceed from that point on went as many directions as there are people to profess them.
However, who ever thought we’d still be dealing with this a year later?
When I was a child, a kindergartner to be precise, smallpox and polio vaccines were given in school. They were followed up as needed with sugar cubes that were dosed with booster meds.
I will never forget a scene played out by a 6-year-old classmate named Sheila, whose mother had told her she was not to get the vaccine. Apparently, someone in their family had an adverse reaction to the vaccine we were getting. So there we all were, lined up at the nurse’s door in the elementary school and this little girl threw a tantrum like you’ve never seen before, largely because the school nurse was intent on giving her that shot, regardless of the parents’ wishes.
The kicking and screaming are still something etched in my brain some 50-plus years later. I’m not sure if that was because as a child I had never seen another child tell their elders “no” before or just the violence of the whole incident.
Fast forward to now and I have to believe that was the beginning of the anti-vaxxer generation. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not a fan of all vaccines. I don’t get flu shots every year and were I under some other different personal circumstances within my family, I may have waited a few more months to get the COVID-19 shots. But as of today I am fully vaccinated.
I don’t doubt the science. I believe these vaccinations will slow the spread of this strain of the flu down to a manageable place where we can get all these government mandates off our backs — or at least I hope it will. It gives us the opportunity to get our children back to school and rebuild our economy and lives. These things are paramount to our society.
So while I understand many of you are wary of the vaccine, I will share a bit of my experience with you. My first shot was on Feb. 2. I had the Moderna vaccine at the CHAS clinic in Moscow. I was in and out in 20 minutes. They were prompt (amazing what a pandemic does for not overloading the clinics). They had me right in, gave me the shot and then had me wait for 15 minutes to see if I was experiencing any reaction to the vaccine. I did not and so I was released.
That night I would say was a restless night. I likened it to “restless leg syndrome” only for your whole body. Fidgety would be a good word to describe how I felt. The next day I was tired and a little achy and had a sore arm. No big deal.
Dose No. 2 was on Tuesday. It was the same adventure at the clinic. This shot, however, was a kicker. My arm felt like I had been hit with a baseball bat, my joints ached and it felt as if it had settled in my lymph nodes.
Needless to say I spent the day on the couch. But by the next day, the only leftover ailment is a sore arm where the shot went in.
So here’s the takeaway: Get the shot. Stop with all the worry. Stop with all the politics and save them for the next election. We have to stop COVID-19 and this is the only way.
Call your health department, your doctor or a local clinic. Get your name on a list and get it done.
Agidius represented Latah and Benewah counties in the Idaho House. She lives in Moscow.