The Pandemic and I (15) – if you were offered the vaccine would you take it?

You don’t have to answer the question. I only pose it here because last Friday (29 janvier), after weeks of deliberation on my part, I agreed to have the vaccine.

Re-Animator. 1985. Image: Empire International Pictures.

As a health care worker I’m among the first in line to be offered it. And my main dilemma was: fear of importing a still largely unknown substance into my body VS the high risks of catching Covid-19 through my work. In the end, the latter won out.

So, come Friday, I was nervous but determined to get jabbed. A team of external doctors and nurses came in to administer the vaccine to approx 90% of consenting residents and approx 40% of consenting staff – a small staff percentage there, and for those who I spoke to who declined to have it the reasons ranged from ‘fear’ to ‘allergic to vaccines’ to ‘I’ll let my body fight it out naturally if need be’. Good reasons, and some that I also shared. For those who did accept, I was surprised by the age group; from early twenties to late fifties. Somehow I was expecting only the older staff to agree.

Before the jab, you had to:

  • Complete a simple medical questionnaire related to any previous vaccines and allergies.
  • Undergo some standard medical checks like blood pressure and temperature.
  • Then came the jab. Painless. Quick. A shot of first-dose Pfizer-BioNTech into the muscle of the upper arm.
  • After was a fifteen minute observation by a nurse to ensure no immediate adverse reactions.
  • Then you were ‘set free’ šŸ™‚

I’d researched some of the common side effects:

  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • joint pain
  • fever
  • injection site swelling
  • injection site redness
  • nausea
  • feeling unwell
  • swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)

And the less common + allergic reactions:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of your face and throat
  • A fast heartbeat
  • A bad rash all over your body
  • Dizziness and weakness

So how did the vaccine go for me?



In all honesty, I’d began the day absolutely knackered and with a slight headache (it was my third 13 hour shift), and weirdly I found the shot made me somewhat hyper and then shortly after vanished my headache. Weird. Oui. But that’s just me I guess. I’m weird. My colleagues reported nothing. One was a bit tired. One was very thirsty. And out of all the residents only one was ill later that afternoon. Other than that, by the end of the Friday shift at 8pm everyone was fine.

However, the next day, Saturday…

Ouch. A magnificent headache. But not like any I’d experienced before. This was like someone had tied your brain up in a sack and was pulling on it by a drawstring. Not painful as such, more a pressure, and it kept coming and going. Then there was a big tiredness – more so than normal after coming off the back of three shifts. By the evening, the corner of my right eye had swollen and looked bruised. No pain or irritation. It just looked like someone had punched me. Weird. I reported the bruised eye to the Pfizer website as they have a section for uncommon reactions, and will again report it to my superiors when I return to work Monday.

Sunday (today)

The eye has gone down to almost normal. No headache or pressure. But still a bit tired. Hopefully I’ll be more energized when I go back, and it will be interesting to see how my colleagues and residents held up over the weekend.

Conclusion

  • Despite some side effects I’m glad I’ve had it. The 1st dose is done now. Fin.
  • For the second dose, Pfizer recommends a gap of 3 weeks. In France they have moved the goalposts to 6 weeks.

Staying Covid-free?

Maybe the vaccine will help me, maybe not. Maybe if I catch Covid-19 the symptoms won’t be as bad as my body is now currently learning to recognise it and remember it for future combat.

Since our positive cases outbreak in October and November last year, our medical retirement home has stayed free from new cases. Good. However, we do have one case but this is from a new resident who joined last week and has since tested positive. Staff and residents were tested at the same time and came back negative (for me, my 19th test now – I’m sad, I count them).

Staying in?

Lundby of Sweden. Denmark. 1979.

I largely support the French government’s response to the pandemic, but not the 6pm to 6am curfew which has just been extended. Closing down food outlets at 6pm forces everyone to rush to the shop after work, or go on a Saturday. If you could see some of the photos on our news here of traffic jams and crowds of people crammed into supermarkets on a Saturday you would become angry. It’s like high summer tourist season! I had to go out on my lunchbreak last week to get some essential food because all the food shops are closed at 6 and I finish at 8. Many people believe that this crowding of people at lunchtimes and on Saturdays only makes the risk of infection higher, when the govt. could allow later opening hours with sensible distancing measures in place. But sometimes, there is just no sense.

Staying upbeat?Ā 

Regular readers will know one of my themes is to stay upbeat and offer a little ‘Pandemic Gallows Humour’ to help take the edge off things. Am I upbeat right now? Yes! Of course (just a bit tired this weekend, Doc, that’s all).

Upbeat terrace gardening

Today was sunny and warm šŸ˜Š I trimmed back some plants on my terrace, swept up dead leaves, watered, a bit of cleaning. Ah, nothing like a spot of Sunday gardening before coming back indoors to my loving family.

‘Honey, I’ve finished the lawn.’ No idea who to credit this to? It’s been saved on one of my USB sticks for a few years now…

Upbeat archiving!

When we had our positive cases at work last year, I decompressed by archiving music for a psychedelic hard rock band I played with in the mid-90s, after discovering a bunch of old cassettes we recorded live on. Here is some more Zig Yell Seed – comin’ atcha, live, in the house, ‘n….

Beautiful!

Let’s Go!

Another popular English expression heard among my French colleagues (like “What the fuck!” and “Good job”) is…

“Let’s go!”

So, let’s go, vintage mates, go, go! And let’s stay safe and healthy out there everyone!

Power Rangers Robot Ranger. 1995. France.


Disclaimer. This report is meant to offer an overview of the fluid impact upon a care worker in the French medical system. No names of any persons or institutions are given. Some of the reportage here concerns decisions made at a French national level which is available to the public at any time. No breach of confidentiality or professional workplace standards is made or implied. Any health advice stated here is exactly the same as that given by theĀ World Health Organization public advice pagesĀ 


19 thoughts on “The Pandemic and I (15) – if you were offered the vaccine would you take it?

  1. Hi TVTA, well this answers my email I sent you as far as how you were doing! I think I’ll have the vaccine no worries, I suffer from most of the side effects already anyway from my current health issues and medication. Mind you the fact that despite having a low immune system (due to the aforementioned meds) I have been overlooked as regards to being classed as being in the “Vulnerable/Shielding” category meaning I don’t know when I’ll get the jab.
    At least the government and supermarket retailers in the UK considered frontline healthcare and social care workers by having dedicated hours set by to allow them to shop during the lockdown – having to sacrifice your dinner hour is a bit out of order.
    Just one final thing, I’m not sure if your audio player block is working properly – I tried three times to get it to play with no response (It just displays a thin black outline showing I had clicked on it).
    Anyhoo, glad you didn’t have too severe a reaction to the vaccine and hope the booster second jab goes equally well. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey For Tyeth, I had the same thing with the player in the WP app – but when I opened the post with Chrome the player was working; some killer tunes there!
      Take care and be safe.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hello Spira, thanks for the heads up – I use Edge so it’s probably a Microsoft browser issue. I heard the earlier songs TVTA mentioned in the post and they were outstanding too – they could have easily gone professional imho.
        Thanks again and make sure you stay safe too ok!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Guys, I really wished we had recorded professionally šŸ˜¦ We had some top tunes and an excellent dynamic, played a ton of gigs in the Midlands, but only lasted about a year and half before certain members left to go and study, and then the band evolved into another. We were all in our early twenties back then. You have to remember too that social media was nil those days. Wonder how we might have flown with the weight of that? Interestingly, my last band had a big soc media presence and mosty played London – we got courted by Sony Records at one point. Supported the Editors, Maximo Park too. Crazy fun days!

        Liked by 2 people

    • Hi FT. Thanks mate! Will check out your email just now. Good luck with your vaccine. The after effects for me were tolerable and hopefully I’ll have some protection if ever needed.
      Weird how the WP music player is cranky. It works fine here on other devices and other OS.
      Stay safe and well too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi there, yes WP again! I just visited your page and checked the tunes out in person as it were and I like them a lot. I got definite Vangelis Blade Runner-esque vibes from the keyboards in “Live if you wanna live” (plus a Brian May like guitar setup). And I think Nirvana must have listened to your bassline for “Groove on Angel” – I kept hearing the first four notes and then imagined I heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit”!
        Great stuff all round.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great that you’re keeping your spirits up. I had my first injection this past week and except for a little soreness at the injection site, I’ve experienced no side effects, touch wood. I do get tested every four or five days so if I do get positive, I’ll know quickly. Keep going!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. (Warning: Islay effect on full speed!)

    “I am sitting on a rock
    Looking at the sea as the Surfer goes fishing/
    I am searching under a rock
    To say to the little one – don’t be afraid,
    Live if you wanna Live/
    I am gazing beyond the rock
    As my hands move on an invisible drum
    Playing a Groove for an Angel/
    I am between a rock and a hard place,
    They say
    Maybe they are right, maybe they left/
    But alas, they hear not
    the Throstle singing to me:
    Let’s go, let’s go, Nothing to loose! ”

    With all my…fill in the blanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I respect you for taking the shot, V, given your reservations.
    “like someone had tied your brain up in a sack and was pulling on it by a drawstring.” And your eye. Yikes! I hope you are back to your normal self by tomorrow.
    So, yes. Positive attitude and music! (btw, Cowboy Song was my favorite off that album)
    Terrace gardening. Up high. Off the ground. Pretty cool. Sounds as if you had a lovely Sunday.
    Hey. You know who else is famous for “Let’s go!”? Tom Brady šŸ˜
    Take care of yourself out there, V.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, loads better today, eye back to normal. My boss had the shot too, and she said over the weekend she had a sore throat and a weird metallic taste when eating, but like me was okay today back at work.
      Crazy ass vaccine.
      Cowboy Song is good. My fave is Emerald and I love Brian Downey’s drums on that one.
      Tom Brady? Quoi? Okay, had to go research that. Omg! He says it loads! The compilation clip I watched had him saying it like 60 times over Ozzy’s ‘Crazy Train’. Too funny šŸ˜‚
      Right. Tomorrow, at work, I’m gonna dazzle my colleagues by yelling LET’S GO a la Tom Brady stylee!
      Thanks for adding a layer of lunacy to my already crazy work schedule, D šŸ˜

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, 2Loud. Good stuff. I’m Loads better today. My boss also had a weird reaction over the weekend, she had a sore throat with a metallic taste when eating or drinking. We reported our reactions to the work doctor. You’re right, as time passes we’ll learn more of the side effects of the vaccine.

      Liked by 1 person

Reply to this blog post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.