Yesterday was quite a monumental day for me. Being one of the ‘maturest’ students on Marjon campus I’m probably one of the first to have been summoned for my Covid jab.
Beforehand I was pretty ambivalent about having it. I knew it was necessary but wasn’t in that much of a rush, having managed to get through the whole year without catching the virus, by being extremely careful and following the guidelines. But actually, when I drove to the vaccine centre at the China Fleet Club I was genuinely surprised at how efficient the whole operation was being handled, and how the local community had pulled together to make it run as smoothly as possible..
First, on arrival the carpark was being directed by masked and hi-vis jacket wearing volunteers at every step of the way, then as I walked into the building there were more people explaining exactly what would happen next. The building’s corridors were lined with even more volunteers dotted about, all ready to hand-san you, direct you, ask for your details, explain the next step and then finally guide you into the huge function room – temporarily converted into Covid Jab HQ.
There were rows of individual jabbing stations, with socially distanced seating lined up in front of them. I was told to sit and wait my turn, with only one person ahead of me. Within seconds I was beckoned forwards by a lady wearing blue scrubs. She told me her name was Doctor something, which I instantly forgot. I got the impression she might have been a retired doctor of some description, judging by her advancing years. But she was absolutely calm and reassuring, firstly asking me several questions about whether I’d already had the virus, had I been suffering any other symptoms etc. And within moments and just a tiny sting later, I was being handed a card with my Astra Zeneca batch number details, told to wait in my car for 15 minutes in case of any adverse reaction, and I’d be contacted by my local surgery shortly, to arrange my second dose, then ushered out of the door.
I was then directed around the one way system, sploshed with another dose of hand-san and advised to have a nice day as I walked out into the open air – the whole experience having taken less than 5 minutes.
Frankly I was amazed at the speed and efficiency of the whole operation, and at no time whatsoever did I feel stressed in any way. What did surprise me though, was that as I walked back towards my car I felt a wave of emotion, and tears began to spring into my eyes. It felt as if somehow the nationwide pulling together of everyone over the past year was finally coming to an end, and abiding by all the rules, being sensible and vigilant had eventually paid off.
Today I have no achy arm, just a tiny purple bruise where the needle went in. However, I did have the worst night’s sleep in weeks, waking at one shivering, then an hour later with a banging headache which felt like it was trying to burst my skull. Fortunately, after taking some painkillers left ‘just in case’ next to the bed, it abated, and today I feel slightly thick headed, but no further symptons – other than a tangible sense of relief, and the feeling that I can finally see the finishing line to this whole year of turmoil, approaching on the horizon.