I wasn't remotely concerned about receiving my second dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine this morning at Mayo Clinic. After all, my 91-year-old mother had completed the two-shot Moderna regimen weeks ago without any ill effects and I have at least fifty percent of the same genetic makeup. That's not to say I was taking an uneventful vaccine process for granted. Months ago, both doses of the shingles vaccine had given me a case of chills and nausea leading to sleepless nights after both shots.
When a veteran Mayo Clinic nurse named Sharon asked me to roll up my sleeve (we chose my left arm) I held my iPhone at arm's length to record the moment. I could see the needle go into my upper arm, but I felt nothing more than a pinch. I had expected at least a measure of soreness but there was none. Sharon and I continued to talk cheerfully about the Thoroughbred rescue t-shirt I was wearing for a moment and then I was on my way less than ten minutes after my scheduled 8:30 AM appointment time.
I hadn't eaten breakfast before going to Mayo, so when I got home I made myself a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich and fairly inhaled it.
I had been putting off painting a series of watercolors of Secretariat for some of my horsey friends and decided I would kill some time painting before I began my morning workout routine. As I applied the runny watercolors to the card stock I was aware there was absolutely no soreness in my arm. I concluded Sharon must be a gifted vaccine administrator recruited for her gentle efficiency in putting shots in arms to end a pandemic.
After completing three watercolor cards, I put on my workout gear and climbed onto my elliptical trainer. I decided going for a long bicycle ride on the Douglas Trail would have to wait for a day on the off chance I started to experience some sort of vaccine reaction. By this time, several hours had passed since my shot and I was feeling fit and strong. I set my elliptical trainer for the highest resistance level and began my impact-free stride. I doubled my heart rate for half an hour and noticed I was appropriately breathless as I continued to chronicle the hours on video.
I had nearly reached the five-hour mark when I went through my daily ritual of taking vitamins and hydrating before work. As I did so, a feeling of elation came over me. The relief I felt was palpable. A full year of reporting on this insidious virus had made a larger impact on my psyche than I had been aware.
That feeling of elation continued as I showered, shaved, and dressed in my favorite skinny suit for a day of defending the people's right to know.