I wasn’t afraid of Bill Gates putting a nanochip in my liver. The man wants to know how many times a week I go to the liquor store, he is welcome to that data. I wasn’t afraid of the vaccine being new—I got the polio vaccine when it was brand new, and I’ve never had polio, or experienced any side effects from that, unless you count a lifelong tendency to make cripplingly bad decisions.
I was way more afraid of being stuck in the house for another year. Overall, it’s worked, although there are side effects. I don’t have to say “What?” repeatedly when another masked mumbler is trying to tell me something. My hearing is not the best in my elder years, probably due to spending a good portion of my youth standing in front of speaker banks in night clubs. I miss the flare of anger in masked people’s eyes when I told them, “I can’t understand a word you’re saying.”
I don’t have to soak my hands in hand sanitizer every time I use an ATM. It’s true this isn’t necessarily a bad habit, and dropping it will lead me to going back to getting my usual regimen of a cold at least once a year, but I still look at the vast tubs of marked-down hand sanitizer at every chain pharmacy, Target and grocery store and chuckle, remembering the days of spring 2020, when we searched and paid for hand sanitizer like it was made of dissolved bitcoins.
I buy toilet paper just to burn it in the fireplace.
I get mistaken for a Republican when wandering around without a mask on, but I'm an old white guy, so I was getting mistaken for a Republican long before the pandemic, probably.
But the main side effect is I don’t worry about catching covid any more. This is the most serious and lingering side effect of the vaccine. It has led me to fishing in Mexico, flying on airplanes and buying tickets to baseball games. I don’t have to wonder where I’m going to end up on the Covid Spectrum if I get infected, whether I’m going to merely be sick for a few days, or hospitalized, or bring it home to other people and kill them.
The Delta variant means less to me than Delta Airlines, Delta Dental and Delta Truck Parking, which are three of the things that pop up besides the virus when I type the word “delta” in the Google search bar.
These are some pretty fraught side effects, I admit, and I don’t blame you for being afraid of them, if you are. You can be vaccine-hesitant all you want. I’m not afraid of your unvaccinated tushie.
Where we going?