I miss my grandkids. We all miss our freaking grandkids. It's been brutal, hasn't it?
Light, meet tunnel
I had my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine two weeks ago and felt the most immense surge of relief. Now I'm six days away from the second shot. Two weeks after that I can hug the kids again. I am counting down the days like it's Christmas. And then I look at my husband, who loves the kids as much as I do, and is young and healthy (and gorgeous and sexy and I adore him) with no underlying conditions, thank goodness, and I feel a little sad for him having to wait.
It's the same for my daughters, super-heroes, all five of them. Three nurses and two teachers A full freakin' house, right? They've all been jabbed. All twice, except for one of the teachers. Her second shot is still two weeks away, but she's in the classroom every day all the same. It's such a relief to know they're protected. None of their husbands have been vaxed yet, nor, obviously their kids.
I got Pfizer because it was the first vaccine available. The girls all got Moderna because it was the first shot available to them. Taking the first shot available was the best thing we could do for humanity, so that's what we did.
The relief I felt after that first poke in the arm was beyond what I had expected. I cried real tears like a sappy sapsucker on the way home. Emotions just flooded in. Relief. Hope, you know? But since then, I keep letting it get clouded by worry for those who haven't had yet had the shot. Especially my grandkids.
You know normally, worry is not something in which I let myself wallow. (See how grammatically correct that sentence was? I hope my editor reads this post!) But back on topic. For the past year, I haven't been doing so well keeping worry away. It sucks me in every now and then.
We share this, don't we?
I know a lot of us are missing people we love. I've been very lucky that there's been an oasis here and there throughout the twelve-months-from-hell. I was able to have some of the kids over during summer vacation, anytime they could isolate for two weeks first. But once school opened, our visits had to stop. I got to see some of them over the President's Day break. I waited until the very end of the vacation, had them over that final weekend, and on the last day, one of the kids got a sore throat and then a headache and chills.
My husband got sick as hell a day or two later, same symptoms. I was sure it was Covid and made him go get tested. Negative. And the kids were tested as well. Negative for Covid, flu, and strep. So we don't know what it was, but Lance was knocked flat for two days. I barely had a sniffle, maybe a little headache and fatigue one day, which could've been psychosomatic.
It was just like old times, having the kids over, staying up way too late, picking up whatever bug they brought with them! Ah, how we've missed it! But that's how easy it can happen, and it was a lesson, I guess. We relaxed a little there. It wasn't quite two weeks quarantine before the visit. Shame on us. We could've given this monster another opportunity to mutate.
Anyway, the kids are back in school, everyone's healthy at the moment and we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If only we could all see that doesn't mean it's time to relax. It means it's time to power across the finish line.
The South Park take
South Park, a leading source of cutting edge cultural commentary, did an episode they called The Vaccination Special that was hilarious. (If you find a racist named Mr. White turning into a giant, walking penis hilarious. Which I do.) By the end of the episode (spoiler alert!) all the adults in town had been vaccinated. The entire town of South Park, Colorado erupted in parties and barbecues and revelry. Meanwhile, the children were still walking around in masks, praying school would stay open. It was just so very sad, because it was so very true.
Our kids are still going to be dealing with this for the foreseeable future. And while evidence is mounting that vaccinated people can no longer spread the virus, UN-vaccinated people can. They are also human breeding grounds for the virus, giving it space to mutate into the variants our kids will be exposed to while they await a vaccine of their own. They will be the only unvaccinated group left in the country by summer, and they could be facing a far worse threat than adults, directly because of adults. (The only unvaccinated group, that is, besides one.)
Adults should protect children
Doesn't seem like something we should need to say aloud, does it? Seems like something obvious, like “don't put beans up your nose.”
Adults who wear a mask over mouth and nose when out in public are protecting our children and grandkids and their own.
Adults who get the first available vaccine are protecting our children and grandkids and their own.
Adults who do not share, and who block and report social media bullshit about the virus and the vaccine are protecting our children and grandchildren and their own.
If you're a grown-up who's doing those things, I adore you. If you're a grandmother who's been staying away to protect the kids and yourself so they don't have to lose you, I am endlessly grateful to you! I know how hard it's been. You are a super-hero, too! You are protecting our children, yours and mine. THANK YOU! Together, we are helping humankind to defeat the virus.
I must be old because nostalgia
I keep thinking about the American people during World War II. Things like sugar and coffee and gasoline and heating fuel were rationed so there would be enough for the troops. Almost nobody bitched about it. Nobody stormed the gas station demanding their rights. Everyone pulled together, willingly giving up a portion of their own comfort for the greater good.
I am not old enough to remember this, just old enough to have learned it by watching The Waltons, and Captain America.
I feel like we need to try to re-instill some of those core values and empathy in ourselves and each other, to get us to where the good of the all and protecting those who can't protect themselves are seen as more desirable qualities than self-centeredness and “me-first, screw everybody else” thinking.
We storytellers, especially, need to probe into matters of right and wrong and values and lines that mustn't be crossed in our characters and in the worlds we create. Story feeds culture. It's powerful thing, and you know what Stan Lee wrote about power.
I continue to believe there are more kind, caring, compassionate, intelligent humans than the other kind. I really do. And on top of that, I believe goodness and love are far more powerful forces than intolerance and hate. And I think the former, goodness and love, are spreading. There's a great awakening underway. A spiritual, cultural evolution, I think.
We can help
Every one of us can help goodness spread further by trying to BE goodness and love in our lives and in everything we do. If we can't say something nice about someone, maybe we shouldn't say anything at all. (I wrote, then deleted many lines of this post based on that rule.) Let's be super picky about what we choose to like and share on social media. Let's remember that commenting on a post helps it spread – even if the comment is “What a pile of bullshit.”
And let's just let our inner light beam out to everyone as much as we possibly can. Crank that up the lumens. We can make it better, but only if we shine.
Doesn't that sound like the sappiest pile of crap ever? What's even more wild is that I really believe it's true.
KILLING ME SOFTLY
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