Being Part of the Solution

Silver World Newspaper column - Life From My View - April 2021 

Covid-19 Vaccine
Picture by Malinda Mcdonald

March 30, 2021 I received my 2nd COVID 19 vaccination at our medical center in Lake City, Colorado. Bouquets of praise and gratitude to our amazing public health department.  A year into the global pandemic, the worldwide death toll exceeds a sickening 2.5 million. More than half a million deaths have been in the United States. Hope is arriving in the form of vaccines that have persistently shown success in preventing COVID-19. 

I had the Moderna vaccine. This vaccine protects against a potentially fatal illness, and its only proven side effects are short-term and mild for most people. Having symptoms after being vaccinated shows that our bodies are working to be able to fight the disease. I’ve had this experience after other vaccinations. . After my first COVID 19 vaccination, my arm was just the tiniest bit sore. Having heard that many people had a very sore arm, I made sure to rub and exercise my arm and that helped a lot, as did our RN Shawna’s light touch. I received my second COVID 19 vaccination on a Tuesday, exactly 4 weeks later, about 11:30AM. I felt fine until the next morning. I woke Wednesday with several symptoms that continued all day, including a sore arm that rubbing and exercising didn’t help much this time. I had an upset stomach that was helped immensely with crackers and soda water. My mild headache, fatigue and chills were helped with taking ibuprofen every 4 hours (for me, in this situation, ibuprofen worked much better than Tylenol) and I took ibuprofen PM at bedtime. Symptoms were lessening Thursday and Friday and I woke up Saturday feeling completely normal again!

Do NOT take any pain reliever before the vaccine. It's possible that taking a painkiller before getting a vaccine will result in a "decrease in antibody response," explained Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Having brought my vaccination card I received after my first shot, Shawna again filled it out appropriately and suggested I take a picture with my phone for a backup and store my vaccination card with my passport. I also made a paper copy of my vaccination card.

“The (COVID) vaccines have been highly protective against severe disease, hospitalization, and death,” says, executive director William Moss of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Even after you've been vaccinated, though you are protected, it's still possible that you can transmit the virus to others. So you should still wear a mask, practice social distancing, and frequently wash your hands when out and about with crowds. Remember, the mask is about keeping other people safe so we are not continually spreading COVID 19. Scientist say that small groups of vaccinated people can safely gather without mask.

Global pandemic or a cold, prevention protocol for spreading all germs is not about what one feels comfortable with or what one thinks but rather what science has proven. Be respectful of other people. Don’t cough or sneeze on people. Stay home with a fever and 24 hours after you are fever free. Keep your hands clean and away from your face. 

"Without symptoms" can refer to two groups of people: those who eventually do have symptoms (pre-symptomatic) and those who never go on to have symptoms (asymptomatic). During this pandemic, there have been people without symptoms who have spread the Coronavirus infection to others. An asymptomatic carrier is a person or other organism that has become infected with a pathogen, but that displays no signs or symptoms. Although unaffected by the pathogen, carriers can transmit it to others or develop symptoms in later stages of the disease.  

Always and forever – wash your hands. Hand washing throughout the day, is commonsense hygiene to always prevent disease through cleanliness. It’s not about what you think: you use the bathroom – wash your hands.  Before cooking or eating – wash your hands. You come home after being out and about – wash your hands. Typhoid Mary is a well-known, interesting asymptomatic carrier worth googling. She did not have typhoid and looked healthy and felt fine but she spread the disease because she was an was an asymptomatic carrier and would not follow protocol prevention. She was a cook who easily spread the illness typhoid by preparing food with unwashed hands. Corona viruses are spread most often by respiratory droplets; thus the masks and social distancing.

A registered nurse friend of mine who lives in southern Indiana says that she’ll never forget the horribleness of so many people dying of COVID on her hospital shift. Having run out of supplies, she had to cover the faces of the dead with black garbage bags – “haunting.” The Coronavirus affects different people differently. This past year too many people ignored the warning of mixing households and traveling. Some people got sick, some very sick, others died, some were hospitalized and some seemed unaffected - though they could have spread COVID. Some people who get COVID, even mild cases, are left with heart and lung damage and some people are left with sleep problems, mental issues, the loss of taste and or the sense of smell.

Before the vaccine was out, a friend of mine who lives in Oklahoma and her husband, like too many people, choose not to stay home as was very strongly advised and instead they flew numerous times visiting family across the country. Who knows if they spread COVID 19. On their last trip together they ended up flying home separately. Unbeknownst to them at first, the husband caught COVID on his last flight. While still pre-symptomatic he was with his son, daughter-in-law, grandchildren and then his wife when she came home. The family was fortunate that there was only one death. Sadly, my friend marked her 40th wedding anniversary this March a widow.

Be part of the solution – get your vaccinations.

Return to Articles