Fully Immunized and Feeling Free As a Bird

Tomorrow, Saturday, it’s three weeks since my COVID-19 vaccination, without adverse reactions. My remark about no adverse reactions references that I received the Johnson and Johnson, “one and done” vaccine just two days before the CDC and FDA put it on pause, after reports of women suffering from a rare form of blood clots. I wrote a blog post about my experience for Off The Charts, the blog of the American Journal of Nursing.

Now fully immunized, this past Tuesday, per CDC guidelines, I went for my first run in a year without wearing a mask when passing others.

Walking to my studio, mask-less, felt like I was getting away with something; almost as if I were breaking the law.

I smile sympathetically, at people who give me the evil eye as our paths cross on the sidewalk. I understand their concern, but the science says vaccinated people, once fully immunized (two weeks after your final dose) do not need to wear masks outdoors unless in large groups, such as outdoor concerts, or in the stands of sporting events.

I read that some experts feel lifting the outdoor mask restrictions for fully immunized people causes confusion, since no one can tell who’s vaccinated or not. However, this isn’t a concern if you are vaccinated: you’re protected, and not shedding enough virus to transmit to others while outdoors in small gatherings.

For those of you who haven’t experienced the freedom afforded by vaccination yet, it’s a wonderful feeling, and completely worth the trouble of seeking out an appointment.

But the very best part of being fully immunized this week, was visiting my grandchildren, and hugging them for the first time in over a year. I’m not overly sentimental, but as I write, I tear up thinking about it. David and I took each of them a small pair of binoculars, and we did some backyard birdwatching together.

Backyard birding with one of my grandsons. Photo by David Forinash

I’m so grateful for my vaccination.

*I am not endorsing the J&J vaccine in this post, merely telling about my experience. No information on this blog should be considered as medical advice. Please consult your licensed medical care provider if you have concerns about which COVID-19 vaccine is best for you.

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