After the Vaccine

I’m sure this Canadian cartoon is applicable almost everywhere..

Our Bodies, Ourselves, written by the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective and published in 1970 by the New England Free Press, changed the lives and attitudes of American women. It disseminated crucial information about women’s bodies, sexuality, birth control, menopause, and medical care. We learned to navigate a health care system that often treated women as hysterical beings in need of Valium (some became addicts) and hysterectomies.

I wonder, Do we need a similar handbook for the Covid years, perhaps a small-press book with the title Our Covid, Our Corpses? (Sorry, morbidity is unhelpful.) But is it not surreal to continue to live in a state of emergency after getting a vaccine that is 95% effective? When you get a flu shot, you do not wait until everybody gets the vaccine. You would wait forever. I do not mind wearing a mask and I am the social-distancing queen of the grocery store, but do we vaccinated people need our masks or are we expected to be role models for the unvaccinated (so they don’t rip off their masks and infect everybody – their dream)?

Yes, the world is in a state of emergency, in and out of lockdown. Yes, this is a grave time, but we are are becoming demented. How long can people stand lockdown? Regardless of lockdown, the young will be out protesting this summer. Regardless of lockdown, some of us will have to go out for pizza. I do not care to participate in a protest, but we vaccinated ones should be encouraged to live normal lives–if the thing works!

As for our personal lives during the pandemic: it turns out that the Rooms of Our Own are not nearly as private as Virginia Woolf hoped. Nowadays we are all home together, working, making toast, turning on the radio, asking where the hummus is. You might have liked your family once… before the pandemic!

4 thoughts on “After the Vaccine”

  1. Here in New York State if you have an IOS or Android smartphone you can download what should be the most important of documents but what is actually simply a silly waste of time. It is your vaccine certificate. The app is called the “NYS Excelsior Pass Wallet.” When you download it then it walks you through a questionnaire and goes to the main database to verify that you know your birthday, where and date you got the vaccine and what type of vaccine. Then it goes into a special wallet on your phone. When you call it up it shows the expire date for your vaccine (which may be revised at some point) and it also shows a scannable code which others can read on their own phones to verify quicker than just reading the info by scanning using another app on their own smartphone. This is coupled to using an official photo ID. So, basically, here in NYS we have a very reliable methodology in place that could easily ensure that in a restaurant or a bar or Church or Synagogue or Mosque even a movie or opera or theater that the participants are 100% vaccinated. No doubts about it. So what do we do with this tool in New York? Well, sometimes I call up the wallet and look at the certificate and just laugh a little. Or maybe cry. There is simply no scientific reason that NYS is still so shut down. The tool is right there. They don’t use it. Why? The only possible answer is they do not want to offend the people who refuse to be vaccinated.

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    1. The pass wallet does sound like an efficient tool. So you’ve got the vaccine, the app, and the tech–and insanity! Maybe the restaurant owners should have a VACCINATED ONLY NIGHT. After all, the grocery stores and box stores have or had what they call “senior” shopping hours–at dawn!–so as to reduce the risk, however slightly. I will have to check if our state has this pass wallet.

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  2. Here in Canada the statistics are just emerging for the double mutations, so there are new concerns to monitor here, and Toronto/Ontario reentered a phase of lockdown at the beginning of April which is similar to that mandated here in March 2020. It looks like 40% of the U.S. has received a single dose of the vaccine whereas 30% here in Canada, so not that different. I imagine that policies will change when those numbers increase, because in the meantime there are a lot of people who are not vaccinated at all (let alone completely) who are still at risk of having it transmitted to them by those who do have the vaccine (at least, I think they still believe that’s a matter of concern). It’s already been quite warm here on some days, and it’s clear to see that people are busting at the seams to get outdoors and return to “normal”. We live next door to a very small park and the amount of trash left behind after the weekend was remarkable…presumably people are just overjoyed to mess up someplace other than their own homes. Haha. Glad to hear you’re both keeping well and safe!

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    1. I am sorry to read Ontario is back in lockdown. Let’s hope the numbers go down and that the vaccine is available to all soon.

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