Category Archives: small town USA

A Shot in the Arm or in the Dark?

I’ve a good reason for being a day late this week – – –

I was away from home yesterday and one reason was an appointment two hours away for my first Covid 19 vaccination. It was quick, well organized and painless and I was in and out in less than thirty minutes.

Of course I was curious about something being injected into me, so I did as much research as I could, once I knew that I’d be getting the Moderna one. I started from the position of someone who has had many vaccine inoculations in the past and continues to have regular B12 injections following bowel surgery years ago. Despite the fast tracking of all the current Covid vaccines I didn’t find any good reason to be concerned.

I discovered that the first dose gives up to 80% protection and the second one boosts it to 95%, which is on a par with the very best of previous vaccines for polio, measles and mumps (the ones I’d gotten as a child). I used to have a real fear of needles and there must be many folk who share that dread, but because of my regular B12 injections I’m pretty relaxed about it now, in fact relaxing is the secret to a painless shot.

Of course there are many other reasons why some people are ‘anti-vax’ – some legitimate and others less so. Wendy co-wrote a book that delves into conspiracy theories surrounding this.

 But the more folk get vaccinated then the more everyone else will be safer. I will also continue to wear a mask for the foreseeable future, partly because I could still be a carrier, but also to make a statement of support for the new Federal policy.

Talking of Federal policy – on my way home I listened to the inauguration on the car radio and was very impressed. I’m not a member of any political party, but as an immigrant and a Quaker I’ve probably been as horrified as anyone at the events of the last four years. Of course Trump has said he’ll be back, but there’s another four years and maybe eight to make America significant again. As someone with an academic interest in environmental issues and a personal interest in lowering international tensions and advancing peace, I hope President Biden will move things forward on these fronts – there’s a lot still to be done and more to be repaired. The connection between my themes in this post is obviously that the new administration’s biggest immediate task is to tackle the pandemic.

My feeling is that both my experiences yesterday were a shot in the arm and, even more, not a shot in the dark!

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Filed under between books, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

A Shot in the Dark – – –

Jack hits the spot a day early for the first time ever – – –

I’m scheduled for my first Covid 19 vaccine shot next Wednesday and the second twenty eight days later. I feel pretty euphoric about it! I should be safe to be around folks a week after the second shot.

It will have been about a year after going into strict hibernation when I emerge and it’s interesting to look back on how I’ve survived, how life changed and what kept me (relatively) sane during that time.

Wendy and I live in a rural area that, for various reasons, didn’t sign on to the advice and rules regarding controlling the spread of the virus; very patchy mask wearing or social distancing. So she kept me in the house throughout except to take the trash for re-cycling and filling the cars with gas – these were my luxury outings, but wearing a mask and gloves. And once we went to view Christmas lights! She did all the shopping, chose her times of day carefully and was meticulous about changing clothes, sanitizing bought stuff and getting even the floors in the house mopped with a bleach solution where she had walked in the house. 

That might seem like some kind of jail term but it wasn’t. Because she has been able to work from home I’ve been busy with lots of domestic chores – a house husband. So I mowed our yard, did most of the meal planning and cooking, did various long delayed house repairs etc. We have five recalcitrant cats and I’m the cleaner up of their litter trays and accidents (because I’ve no sense of smell), and a very lazy dog and they provide lots of diversion. I’ve also continued to record my radio programs and to interact on-line with friends and old colleagues, so I haven’t felt trapped or depressed at all. I also, like many musical friends, videoed many songs and stuck them up on YouTube for posterior (SP?).

I wonder what the world will look like post Covid 19? I suspect it will be very different, but sometimes, the more things change….

A famous British Prime Minister once described the uncertainty of political life as having far less to do with planning and policy than “events, dear friends, events” (Harold MacMillan). The same has been true for everyday life, this year. Wendy has to wait in line until she can get the vaccine shots – we may have to separate – –

Although several times during this year we looked at each other and said what is now our tag line: “We’ve been locked in here xx days/weeks/months now and I still love you.” Twenty three years and one quarantine later, that counts for something.

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Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, folklore and ethnography, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch