Finally taking a breath

“This means so much to me,” I said to the sweet nurse administering my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine back in January.

“Living through this pandemic as a high risk person has been… a bit stressful.” I chose my words carefully, not wanting to regurgitate my many personal frustrations onto her unsuspecting lap.

What I didn’t say was:

This has been so scary.

I absolutely hate the way we’ve been treating each other throughout this pandemic.

I’ve been shocked at the ease with which so many were willing to sacrifice the safety of the vulnerable for their own comfort and convenience.

I’ve been enraged by the politicization of medicine and science and human lives.

I’ve been saddened by the way this last year has forever changed some of my relationships.

I’ve been enraged and heartbroken by the massive amount of preventable loss we’ve experienced.

Those were the things I didn’t say, but as we talked a bit more, it became evident that I didn’t need to. She understood and shared some of her own frustrations and experiences with me.

For a moment, right before she gave me the injection, we looked each other in the eyes and smiled behind our masks (you don’t even need to see faces to feel genuine smiles; the eyes are always a tell).

“Well, maybe now you can take a breath, honey,” she said warmly.

• • • • • •

I was lying awake in bed last night and this conversation came flooding back into my mind.

When I hear or read people talking negatively about these vaccines or still debating the necessity of taking precautions (which, let’s face it, happens on the regular) I just remember this conversation and the peace it brought me. Her kindness and the moment of connection we shared made an exciting experience even more memorable.❤️