I never put my phone on airplane mode, but yesterday, I read this as a tip on avoiding distractions and becoming more efficient. The idea is simple (and sounded right) – put your phone in airplane mode from dinner to the middle of the next morning or so. This gives you a good time to wind down for the day, and also to start up in the morning. What’s really so important that it cannot wait? I am never called anyway. I switched on airplane right off. How did I never think of this myself?
This morning I was called for the first time in months, by my boss. That’s alright, I can call him back, it wasn’t that important.
I was called a second time. Two calls in one morning? That never happens. The person left a Bavarian message on my voicemail, telling me that it was *something incomprehensible* asking me to *something even more incomprehensible*, followed by a very loud and clear message that I WAS SCHEDULED FOR A COVID VACCINATION three hours later this morning!!!!! I called back, two hours later (but still in time for the appointed time), to see if I could still make it, but unfortunately – but understandably – it had been given to someone else…
Luckily I was still on the list and I will be vaccinated. I will have to wait until next Monday instead.
I can’t describe the feeling of euphoria that overwhelmed me after making this appointment. It is sensational! Feeling safe again after such a long time of doubt at every supermarket aisle…? I’m not sure if I can ever get used to that again. Imagine having a beer with friends in a park. Or a conference with thousands of attendees…? Unthinkable.
So why did they call me – you probably think.
I’m on the higher priority list for vaccinations, because my wife is carrying our unborn child. I had gotten used to living with the pandemic quite a bit, but when I learned that pregnant women are at higher risk for severe disease, all alarms went off. I didn’t take that into consideration with parental planning… Suddenly nothing felt right anymore. Putting her at risk by meeting other people for work, for instance by supervising a presence-format exam – however well-arranged -felt very wrong. I felt a lot of guilt because of this. It even made me physically feel sick with chest pains (many anxiety associated somatic symptoms involve breathing difficulties and chest pains). It just felt off to me. She is not even allowed to enter any of her institute’s buildings (I think she’s not even allowed in the parking lot), because she is pregnant. How could I, then, resume all my necessary activities, involving an assistant and a technician? Maybe the precaution is all a bit exaggerated, but I would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to the health of Heike or the baby. So I’m glad I made it on the priority list.
Next week I will have my shot, and that’s one step closer to safety.
So, the lesson for today? If you ever read the advice to put your phone in airplane mode to avoid distractions? Don’t do it. I could have been vaccinated today had it not been that I blocked my phone from its only useful purpose. Don’t do it! It’s not worth it. Until you’re immunized, of course! Get your shots. Then do whatever you please.