Living History

Getting my COVID vaccination was a lot more emotional and momentous than I thought it would be.

Warning, no reading or writing, just life in this post.

Some days you feel like you’re living history more than others.

We’re alive and events are happening all around us, so of course we’re part of history. But the fact that things are always happening can also make life feel very unhistoric and just….normal.

You go about your days in much the same way with history happening elsewhere but I feel like the pandemic has changed that. It’s pretty clear that this is historic. However, there’s so much that feels normal now about the pandemic, even it doesn’t always feel significant, unless you’re in lockdown, of course.

I live in Newcastle and when I got my first Pfizer shot a couple of weeks ago, it really felt like I was part of history.

Walking in to the John Hunter Hospital had a definite dystopian movie vibe with people in PPE, queues and questions, masks on all faces and marks on the ground. Thermometers glowed and clicked and people were waved onwards.

It felt almost war like, with people moving forward en-masse in the same direction, as if we were all looking for an escape – which we were, I guess. We’re looking for a way to keep ourselves and loved ones safe and to somehow get things back to ‘normal’.

In a movie the line would end in a cavernous hangar. There’d be people running in and out, and probably the noise of choppers landing in the background to add to the general sense of action and crisis.

Where I was, things were moving pretty fast. It wasn’t in a hangar but by the time I got to the administrative check-in, it did feel like we were at the front line. People were bustling around in high-vis with iPads and clipboards. The post-vaccinated sat in rows waiting to go home. The rest of us were in lines waiting to be sent in to see nurses along an ad hoc extension of tables and counters which really was the front line.

The whole thing made me feel quite emotional. I really did feel a sense of this being the small thing that I could contribute to something much bigger. I felt like we were all in it together and doing our bit and I desperately wanted to hug my nurse and tell her she was doing something amazing.

Of course, you’re supposed to keep a good distance, so instead I just said ‘thanks’ and turned away because of the tears in my eyes.

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