Eventually I’ll get used to the needles

I was a bit worried about how this day would unroll… This morning, I received my booster covid vaccination. The first two were easy peasy. With the first two, I felt a bit fuzzy, and my arm hurt. I had a bit of a headache with the first, but not so much with the second. Both first shots were Pfizer. I figured I would get a third Pfizer shot as well, and was so convinced by this that I didn’t even bother to ask. I’m pretty lousy with needles, so I basically lie down, waiting to faint – which may or may not happen. I want to get this over with asap, so no small talk. Lie down. Sting. Fuck off. Only when I left my gp, I found out I received a shot of Moderna. I had heard more gruesome stories about the ‘derna than about Pfizer. Even yesterday, a colleague told me she was knocked out for two days after her Moderna jabs. I know both vaccines are compatible, so I don’t care about that part. I, uhm, was just worried about also getting hit with another sledgehammer, just before the weekend. I’ve lost many weekends to being sick or utterly exhausted lately. I just need a good one. Just one! My fear was that Moderna would mess with that planning.

I did feel fuzzy again. And within the hour, I developed a headache. I was a bit shaky for a bit (which I noticed while sealing off petri dishes for our insect choice assays in the greenhouse this morning). It kicked in rather quickly, so I feared the worst. By now, we’re ten hours later, and I am still there. I’m much more tired than with the first two though. I can feel it. My arm is sore, too, but not nearly as much as with my Pfizer jabs. It may be too early to conclude that I’m safe from getting knocked out for days, but I feel a little more confident. And in any case, I feel a bit safer again.

What does feel odd though is the lack of emotional response. After the first two shots I felt invincible. Like we would conquer this virus with those vaccines. I’m still convinced that taking the vaccine is the right thing to do, and the best protection there is against severe disease, but I’m starting to doubt whether this virus will ever be conquered. I guess not. I wonder what the new normal will look like, and when it will be here… Or is it here already? A situation where at the end of summer we really should start saying – with fear – ‘winter is coming’?

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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