Day 304 of self-isolation (and day 165 without gas/heat).
My entire family back in California received their first dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine yesterday — my parents, my brother, my uncle, aunts, and cousins. Despite the horrible, horrible infection, hospitalization, and death rates in the Los Angeles area, there was apparently a surplus of the vaccine at my cousin’s nursing home (he works there, and I think as a director). The extra doses were distributed to friends and family of every patient and worker at the facility, and my mom explained to me that this was all legal. I suppose it helps that my parents, aunts, and uncle are over 75-years-old now and that my brother has a lot of pre-existing health conditions, so I can’t judge them for wanting and receiving the vaccine.
Yesterday started off horribly: my brother and my mom were fighting and had called me several times to complain about each other, interrupting my work day. What can I say? My co-dependency and empathy can’t ignore my family. The last phone call, however, was jubilant: my brother and mom miraculously reconciled, and they were all driving to LA to get the vaccine.
I’ll admit, trying to talk and counsel my family earlier in the day left me pretty irate — I acted collected, sure, but I was still very annoyed inside. In spite of my healthier lifestyle, I could feel my blood pressure getting raised. During that last phone call, however, my entire family insisted and begged for me to immediately fly to California and get the vaccine with them. Was it truly that much of an emergency? Sure, if there was a death in the family, I’d drop everything (with at least a day or two to prepare), but they wanted me to come now — despite work (and a new semester starting in a week), not having a dog-sitter for Dusty, waiting for my gas to get fixed, and a little apprehension of flying 6 hours, enclosed, on a plane.
Logistically, it’s hard. I do a lot of design and video work for my day job on a new iMac Desktop; my 2010 MacBook with the broken shift key sure isn’t powerful enough for work if I were to “work from home” in California. Dusty, also, is a major issue: she’s in the midst of blended, in-person/virtual dog-training (which I poured a lot of money into), is too big to put under a seat on an airplane, and it’s hard to find a dog-sitter so soon and in a pandemic. For fuck’s sake, each time I let someone dog-sit her (or with Nico), I’d prep meals and winter clothes and poop bags and compile a comprehensive yet exhaustive care guide.
Nah, my family just felt so desperate to see me, and I think the prospect of personally getting liberated from seriously contracting this virus excited them too much. My mom, especially, is super worried about COVID-19 that it’s almost paralyzing. I know she just wants the best for her family.
I don’t think my family even realized that both the Moderna and Pfizer Vaccines (and I don’t know what they got) requires two doses. I’ve tried looking it up, and I’m wondering if you have to get your second dose at the same location. Surprisingly, there’s no info on that anywhere on the internet. Did my family expect me to stay in California for a month? Fly to LA then back to NYC and then back to LA? It all seems too silly, too rushed.
Despite my parents wishes for me to quickly fly to California for a dose of the vaccine, I’m not worried. Again, COVID-19 in California is pretty bad right now, and flying to LAX and being in the LA area feels pretty dicey. Here in New York, I’m not really exposing myself to any risk, aside from walking my dog, getting coffee, and running errands — all the while masked like a ninja, mind you, and my errands aren’t everyday occurrences. I don’t see anybody, and I’ve gotten used to washing my hands 2000 times a day.
Plus, if there’s any positive of having high blood pressure and working in the higher educational system, I think my pre-existing conditions and being academic administration poise me to get the vaccine sometime between late February and April. I’m in Group 1C, perhaps? They say patience is a virtue, and I’m willing to wait — even if I don’t receive the vaccine in the spring.
Anyway, I’m glad that the vaccine is here, and I’m especially glad that my family got it. Their fears and hyper-vigilance regarding the virus will definitely temper down, but I do worry about everyone else in America — especially the anti-mask and anti-vax people (the Capitol Riots will undoubtedly become a Super-Spreader Event). The daily death toll is breaking records every fucking day, and despite the vaccine, I wish parts of America would just come to their senses.