Hope for a brighter future starts with the COVID-19 vaccine

The end of the pandemic is in sight. But this is the time to double-down on protecting ourselves and others.

I received my first dose of the Moderna vaccine last week. I was surprised how nervous and excited I felt while I waited to be ushered into an exam room to get my vaccination. I’ve never felt so thrilled about getting a shot!

After the injection, I sat in the long hallway at The Everett Clinic in Mill Creek and waited 15 minutes while a nurse walked up and down the hall to monitor us for any allergic reactions. I was impressed by how well the vaccination clinic ran.

For the first time within the last year, I could imagine the end of the pandemic as millions of the world’s citizens receive their COVID-19 vaccination. My hope for a brighter future soared.

My kids told me they breathed a sigh of relief when I mentioned I was receiving my first dose. “We were worried about you, Dad,” my youngest daughter said. She called me right after my shot to ask me how I was doing. It never occurred to me that my adult daughters would worry about me. As their dad, it was always my job to be concerned about them. It was a surprise to think that they might fret about me.

I’m community-minded, so I signed up with the Center for Disease Control’s website to monitor reactions to the vaccine (vsafe.cdc.gov). This smartphone-based tool allows you to report reactions, provides personalized health check-ins after you receive your vaccination, and reminds you to get your second dose. Participation not only helps me, but it provides a database to further monitor the impact of the vaccines. So far, so good — only a mildly sore arm and a little fatigue. Otherwise, I’m fine.

It’s been a long year filled with uncertainty, worry, fatigue and loss. I read about the hospitals in California, filled to capacity, and imagine the anxiety of family members who wait to hear about their sick relatives. I worry about my daughter and her family who live in California. What would happen if she and her husband got sick? Who would take care of our grandchildren?

As more of us receive the vaccine, we will all experience less worry about our families and friends spread across the country.

We’ve all been in this same, leaky boat for so many months. The end is in sight. But this is the time to double-down on protecting ourselves and others.

When your turn comes up, please schedule a vaccination. If you have questions, log onto www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/vaccine to learn more. Don’t let fear or mistrust keep you from contributing to your own health and to the well-being of our community.

Paul Schoenfeld is a clinical psychologist at The Everett Clinic. His Family Talk blog can be found at www.everettclinic.com/health-wellness-library.html.

Talk to us

More in Life

See 81 original paintings by Jack Dorsey in the "No. 81" exhibit through May at Sunnyshore Studio on Camano Island.
Camano Island studio celebrates a patriarch of the arts

“No. 81” features 81 of Jack Dorsey’s paintings on his 81st birthday. You can see 28 of them at Sunnyshore Studio.

The vocal supergroup Säje will perform at the DeMiero Jazz Festival, which is March 4-6 this year.
DeMiero Jazz Festival packed with headlining performers

Edmonds’ 45th annual event will feature 17 virtual performances, plus jazz workshops for local students.

Owners Kim and Larry Harris at Bayernmoor Cellars on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020 in Stanwood, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
World-class wine, from grapes grown right here

Bayernmoor Cellars makes award-winning pinot noir from grapes grown at its vineyard northeast of Stanwood.

About a dozen metal dinosaurs sit in the front yard of a home owned by Burt Mason and Mary Saltwick on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 in Freeland, Washington. The couple are used to finding strangers in their yard and taking photos. Every year on their trip to Tucson, Burt and Mary bring home another figure  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Dinos on Whidbey? This Freeland yard is a Jurassic Park

These creatures from long ago won’t chomp or chase you, and you’re welcome to visit.

Drink This: 5 Snohomish breweries to host Smash and Dash

Each brewery takes the same base IPA recipe and then dry hops the beer with a different hop. Try them all.

Golden shakshuka

Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Golden Shakshuka is just the thing for a weekend brunch

This easy Middle Eastern egg dish is made with yellow bell peppers and yellow cherry tomatoes.

Don Sarver, left, and Kyle James, right, snowshoe on the Skyline Lake Trail on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 in Leavenworth, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Avoiding avalanches: How to know and where to go

Follow these tips for researching on-the-ground conditions from comfort of your home or local library.

(Getty Images)
You voted: The best Chinese food in Snohomish County

Even during a pandemic, people still have their favorites.

The parenting journey takes you on an adventurous path at each stage of your child’s development. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Growing up: The ages and stages of raising your children

One minute your child is the baby in your arms, and the next minute, they’ve just landed their first job.

Most Read