Pfizer Shot #1 done!

And though I feel like the *last* person to be getting the vaccination, only half the folks in my county have gotten a shot, so I figured I’d write up the Northern Virginia Walgreens Pfizer Experience on the off chance it helps someone feel a little more comfortable about getting their vaccine.

First, if you’re looking for an appointment at Walgreens, set up an account with them first – it will save you some time when you’re actually scheduling it, and then you can download their app and have the info on your phone.

The appointment process was very straightforward and they scheduled both the first & second dose at the same time.

The appointment confirmation email will also have a link to a consent form you can download and fill out & print. If you do not have a printer, they have forms at the pharmacy, so you don’t have to worry about that.

When you get to the pharmacy, just go to the pharmacy window and they’ll take your name (they didn’t even ask for the appointment confirmation #, so if you forget to bring it, it’s OK.)

Then they take your consent form (or give you a blank one) and give you a printout that is the receipt for the vaccine, and you sit and chill out a bit until the pharmacist is ready to do the shots. We waited maybe 5-10 minutes. (We were early.)

The injection itself was super easy – I honestly did *not* feel it. The needle is very fine and short and there is not much volume to the vaccination itself, so you don’t even feel that icky burning sensation you get with some injections. The pharmacists smushes up your arm where the injection will be so they have a good squishy spot to do the injection – that is what I felt – it wasn’t painful, you just feel them smushing on your arm.

They then gave me my card, and told us to hang around for 10-15 minutes to make sure we didn’t have a reaction. We used this time to do a bit of shopping and hit the hardware store immediately next door. We then got lunch to go and went home and stuffed our faces with quesadillas, empanadas, and tacos.

The after-effects – those were pretty minimal. (Bearing in mind, this is dose #1.) I’m 49 years old, and reasonably healthy, if in need of more exercise.

Injection site: A bit achy, starting about an hour afterwards. Still feel it a little this morning. It’s not *painful* or continuous – just when I move my arm some ways, I go, “Oh, yeah, I got stuck there yesterday.” The best way I can describe it is if you’ve ever smacked your arm hard on a dresser corner or car door and you’ve bruised it and you don’t really think about it until you move your arm a particular way. I slept on that arm last night with no problems. I also massaged and moved around my arm as much as possible when I thought about it.

Fatigue: This is a tricky one, as fatigue is actually kind of hard to describe IMO. But, I would say, yes, there was some fatigue. I took a 2 hour nap after lunch, and I can’t say for sure if that was vaccine related, food coma, Friday after a long week, or a combination of all three. Between the nap and bedtime, I was pretty much parked on the couch with zero motivation to do anything. Crashed out around midnight, and I can tell you that was not normal as the Padres were playing the Dodgers and it was being broadcast on TV and I had to give up in the 7th inning. (They won!)

I slept like a rock for 10 1/2 hours. I’m glad I got the Friday appointment vs. another weekday, so I could sleep in this morning. If I *had* to work today, I could, but I wouldn’t be at my best.

Headache/Dizziness/Lightheadedness: Right before I took my nap, I did have a second or two where I felt slightly lightheaded. It could have been vaccine related, or I just was switching between phone screen & TV too much/too quickly and my brain was going “Stop it, asshole.” As I said, it was only a second or two.

I also felt some pressure in my head right around then – just a small bit, not even close to a headache or painful – just enough to be noticable and even then, probably only because I was VERY aware of everything my body was doing. Could have been vaccine related, or the fact that our pollen counts are off the charts here. It was gone by the time my nap was done.

Fever/Chills: None to speak of. There was one point after my nap when I was still upstairs and I was “Ugh, so hot” then I realized it was 78º upstairs (it gets very warm in the afternoon up there) and I was wearing a hoodie. Hoodie off, problem solved.

All in all though, not bad at all – the fatigue was really the biggest thing and there are worse things than needing to take a nap or go to bed earlier than usual and sleeping in.

I would recommend planning for a lazy 24-36 hours after your appointment. Honestly, you’ve earned it after this past year anyway.

Also, if there is a good eatery near your appointment location – treat yourself to something yummy for takeaway to celebrate.

The member of our household with the most pointed reaction to it all was the LilyMonster. “YOU BOTH LEFT THE HOUSE AT THE SAME TIME AND WERE GONE FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF!!!” Boy howdy, did we hear about that when we got back. For the rest of the day.

So, I hope this can help anyone who is a little nervous about that first dose.

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Day after Pfizer shot #2

And frankly, I feel fantastic. Had a big lunch yesterday, napped for a couple hours (I only got 2 hours of sleep Thursday night so the nap was probably not vaccine related,) watched some TV, stayed up kinda late, slept well. If I try to lift my left arm all the way over my head, the injection site is achy – but that’s it.

Mentally – I am still just gobsmacked at the decision by the Governor to drop the mask mandates when we don’t even have half the state population fully vaccinated. Our case numbers are looking great, but our average vaccinations per day have fallen off a damn cliff. We peaked towards the end of April and now we’re at half of that.

If he’d said, “When we have X% of the population fully vaccinated, we can drop mask mandates” – that very well could have incentivized some folks to go get the damn shot, but that carrot is gone now.

I’m still not mad that the CDC said, “If you’re vaccinated, you can safely do X” – it’s important to know what you can & can’t do, especially in private settings where you know everyone is vaccinated. But the Governor’s decision on public spaces just changes all my mental math.

I was still going to mask up until we hit better vaccination numbers, but I’d been making all my decisions based on the fact that I wouldn’t be surrounded by a bunch of unmasked, unvaccinated chucklefucks until we at least hit the majority of the population being fully vaccinated.

Now, I have to count on businesses to have an interest in keeping their employees and customers safe until we hit majority vaccination. And we’ve seen how well they do *that* without state intervention. Trader Joes, Walmart, and FML – Costco – are dropping mask requirements for fully vaccinated customers – tell me, are they REALLY going to be checking shot cards at the door? I doubt it.

If you’re thinking, “but you’re fully vaccinated and will be fully protected in 13 days” – yes, that is correct. But there is still the risk of breakthrough infection. And while I realize the risk of an infection is very low, and any infection actually being serious is insanely low – there is then the chance of my passing it on to someone at risk who is not vaccinated yet, or cannot get vaccinated. And we’re looking at a whole lot of unmasked, unvaccinated people being out and about.

My pro-mask stance has not just been for myself, but to *not* do put other people at risk. (Even assholes who *won’t* get vaccinated.)

If we lived in a society where folks actually thought about the greater good and looked out for each other, this would be a non-issue. We could count on folks who aren’t vaccinated to stay masked up until they were vaccinated – and that they would be actively working on getting vaccinated. But if we’ve learned anything in the last 14 months, it’s that we do not live in that society.

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Well, Virginia has given up

36% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated. 55% haven’t gotten a single shot yet. (My county is doing a little better – but still 47% with no first shot.)

So of course, the Governor is dropping mask mandates, effective at midnight tonight and all capacity restrictions are removed starting Memorial Day weekend.

His message was “get a shot or wear a mask” – yeahhhhhh, that will do it. So, now it’s back on businesses to decide if they either keep masks mandatory or try and figure out who is and isn’t vaccinated.

Businesses who already feel like mandatory masks are hurting their business sure as shit aren’t going to start asking to see shot cards. (I find the panic over vaccination passports so overblown – if anyone is actually going to be doing it, it’s going to be highly specific and short lived.)

Nothing wrong with the CDC saying “vaccinated folks can do X” – but we don’t have enough vaccinated people yet to just ditch all the public-wide safety protocols when NO ONE IS ACTUALLY GOING TO CHECK WHO IS VACCINATED.

The smarter option would have been to set a vaccination goal, and tell everyone, “when we get there, mask mandates will be dropped” – THAT could have spurred some more vaccinations – we’d all have something to really work towards.

Now, you *will* see people make the decision to not get vaccinated because the inconvenience of a mask is gone and no one is going to ask them about being vaccinated – so why bother?

I want nothing more than to be utterly wrong, but I hope we’re ready for the June spike, cause it’s coming.

I’m really disappointed in the decision.

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And I got a whopping 2 hours of sleep last night, so I’m very happy I am not trying to go back to work after my appointment.

And everyone is mad at the CDC… May I gently suggest your anger is not really at the CDC, but at the same assholes that have ruined everything for us the last 14 months?

I get it. It feels like it’s too much, too fast. And holy shit, parents are PISSED. (But – and I say this with zero snark – were the kids not masking up before now? I thought they were? They seem to be around here.)

But, the CDC has an obligation to let vaccinated folks know what they can do safely. They can only go so long begging people to get vaccinated while saying folks have to maintain the status quo – if anything, there comes a point where you’re going to have part of the population who may have been on the fence decide “why bother if nothing changes?”

And the assholes who will lie about being vaccinated – they were always going to do that. Always.

And I’ll admit, I’m cringing a bit about the fact that mask mandates are probably going to start being dropped left & right. Hopefully those decisions will be made with vaccination rates and case counts in mind – and provisions made to reinstate them if needed.

But, no one is saying I can’t keep masking up if it makes me comfortable. Plus, at least we’re not going to see folks in this administration mocking people who aren’t quite ready to put the masks away.

My hair appointment in two weeks? (Two weeks!!!!) I’ll certainly still be all masked up, regardless of the salon/state/county policy. Outdoors will be easier to adjust to than anything indoors. I’ll keep watching the vaccination stats and case counts for the county as part of my decision making process.

I’ll admit, I do like living in an area that has had amazing mask compliance and I suspect we’ll have a lot of vaccinated folks around here that continue to mask up for any number of reasons.

It’s going to be a *big* adjustment – over a year of making sure you’re masked up is a habit you aren’t going to be able to just drop on a dime. Take your time. Be gentle with yourself and keep those masks part of your “phone/keys/wallet” routine as long as you need to.

As for me, I just ordered another box of disposable masks, because I’ve been using them for double masking and I’m down to one left – and I’m going to need the throwaway ones for my hair appointment. Not getting hair color splashed on my pretty ones.

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Tech is weird.

So, my department at work is moving to agile development. The best way I can easily explain it, it’s breaking down the software development process into small pieces that can be done in short time increments. It’s supposed to be more flexible (ie, “agile!” get it?!) and you find things that are wrong quicker, etc – all in all, it makes perfectly good sense. I think we’ll benefit from it once we get through some of the transition challenges. (Like the fact that QC just ain’t structured for this right now, but we’ll get there, and I get to push for that in a meeting in an hour.)

But hooooo boy, the language choices here are something else. It all screams “white techbro” so badly. (It was first introduced in 2001, and my gawd, does it show.)

I mean, when your core principle/mission statement is called “the agile MANIFESTO” – you know that is not where the weird is going to end.

Then we’ve got more creepy cult language. Grooming. (Ewh.) Ceremony.  Ritual.   Reveal.  Retrospective.

Of course, then some gaming and sports has to be thrown in. Planning Poker. Sprint.  Spike. (No, not volleyball, but mountaineering. Of course.) Scrum. 

Some ableist bullshit in there to boot – “stand up meetings” – where every is supposed to be *standing* to make it move quicker.

And then, in the training, it was mentioned that you’ll hear some Japanese terms here and there, because it was inspired by Toyota’s lean manufacturing principles. Or, the dudes that came up with this were a bunch of fucking weebs.

It’s just so cringy.

And now I have to go to a meeting where I get to be the asshole that says we can’t have an 8 person QC team that can only dedicate 25% of their time to this particular version/module. The answer to the daily “what did you do yesterday/what will you do today” question will be “I had to work on other things” 75% of the time. Let’s just make two people fully dedicated to it with one or two tagged for overflow work – the whole point of this is having a *small* team.

They may regret dragging me into this, LOL.

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OK, need everyone to vax up so we can be done with this…

I hollered at someone in Starbucks this morning. Jerk didn’t put on his mask until he was already inside – which I was prepared to write off as a moment of absent mindedness. Then took it back off 3 feet from the door on his way out… That’s when the word ASSHOLE may have escaped my mouth.

FFS, we’re so close – just fucking put your mask on BEFORE you go inside and KEEP IT ON.

We haven’t dropped the mask mandate here. When we do, fine, I won’t call you an asshole. Until then, tho…

Also, this jackass bought a black coffee. You could literally make that at home in less time than it takes to make the round trip to Starbucks.

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What will “The After” look like?

Been thinking a lot about what things will be like post-pandemic, especially with my second shot just next week.

I don’t think things will ever fully look like they did before – especially with reports that herd immunity through vaccination may not be possible. (I was just gutted to read that – I just do not understand it.)

I think there are going to be more than a few strained relationships (if there aren’t already) – there are going to be a lot of situations where folks decide not to reconnect with people who spent the pandemic showing their asses. I am grateful that in my circle of friends, folks have done their best to minimize risk and have been very excited to be vaccinated.

I think masking up will continue to be a thing, especially on public transport. And the number of allergy sufferers I’ve seen on Twitter going, “Holy shit, this is AWESOME” with regards to their masks this spring…well, I definitely think they’re going to stick around forever for those folks. (Why didn’t we think of this before? I know SO many people who are miserable every spring.) Also, they’re nice in the winter for keeping your face warm.

As for myself, I’ll be dropping from double masking to single – and will probably be keeping that up for the foreseeable future when I’m indoors or crowded places until I see our vaccination rates max out and our case counts drop significantly. (Our county is averaging 76 cases a day – I want to see that well under our 2020 summer lows, which was 39 cases a day.) Probably gonna continue it forever on the Metro or if I ever set foot in an airport again.

Also, the hand wipes in my car and purse are definitely permanent, and I have full justification for my fancy soap habit.

I want to see labor keep pushing back against shitty employers who are pissed off that people don’t want to work for crap wages in umsafe conditions. Y’all love that free market, and this is the free market in action. Suck it up, buttercup.

Lets do better for restaurant and retail and delivery workers – hell, anyone who can’t work remotely. They kept our asses fed and medicated and supplied with stuff over the past year – they deserve good pay and safe working conditions. We know damn good and well that a McD’s double cheeseburger and fries won’t suddenly become unaffordable if the folks in the store are making a living wage.

I also want to keep pushing back on the idea that folks in white collar jobs all have to be in an office to contribute. I realize not every job can be done remotely, but a LOT of them can, and we have seen over the last year that working at home can work just fine – even with the added pressures of kids at home, too. (Which will be lifted when school starts again. Seriously management, let folks work from home.)

As much as the government wants to get to a point where they can pretend this never happened – we have to push them to do some permanent things that will help people and make life just a little easier. It’s not that they haven’t done anything, but it’s pretty much all been temporary. We all deserve better.

I’m kinda worried about the fall, though. With kids going back to school in person, and at that point, under 12s will still be unvaccinated – we’re going to have to keep a sharp eye out for outbreaks in schools. Kids are great, but they’re also little disease vectors, and Covid can mess them up, and I don’t want that for any family.

But maybe, just maybe – the “after” can be better than before.

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Shiny, Happy Saturday to you

Don’t know what it’s like where you are, but we’re having a deceptively sunny day – we *might* hit 60 today, and we won’t see the 70s until next weekend. *sob*

I may have put all the plant starts out too early, LOL. Well, another lesson learned for next season.

In the Covid battle, the county has finally passed the 50% mark for first vaccinations and 34% for fully vaccinated in the total population. 64%/43% of the eligible population. We should be seeing a bit of a bump in fully vaccinated folks here in the next week – on April 21, there were 20,000(!!!) first doses – we’re coming up on that 3-4 week point for all of them. (And I get my second in SIX DAYS!!)

It’s just so weird after the first week of full eligibility, it seems like vaccinations just kinda fell off a cliff. I don’t know if we just have that many people who are just not going to get vaccinated at all, or people just don’t think there is enough supply (I know I didn’t expect to get an appointment right off the bat,) or it’s still not really accessible enough for too many people.

I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but it’s time to go hyper-local. Every pharmacy manager in a shopping center needs to be going store to store and asking who needs vaccinations. We need pop-up clinics in marginalized communities with ridiculous hours. I keep seeing announcements for walk-in clinics that you need a car to get to, and end mid-afternoon. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a car and be able to tell their boss, “Hey, I have to leave early” on short notice. (Plus, our public transit is shit these days.) We HAVE to do better.

If people can’t get to the vaccine, we have to get the vaccine to the people.

And if you’re waiting because you feel like you might be taking a dose from someone who needs it more – stop waiting – we have the supply, and here in the US, it’s open to everyone because we *did* hit those vulnerable groups first.

Go get your shot, please. Help someone who is having trouble with the appointment systems. Provide assurance for someone who is just scared.

Let’s put this pandemic in the rear view mirror.

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Oh Glorious Sleep!

Two nights in a row! No interruptions! Even the LilyMonster let me sleep through the night!

I could still probably sleep another 12 hours, but damn, sleep is AWESOME.

And – IT’S FRIDAY! And one of our half-day weeks, and everything appears to be under control enough that I will get off on time.

On the work front, that “opportunity” I was presented with earlier this spring… Hoo boy, we had our first meeting and it was, “And Cindy will be doing X…” That is absolutely not what had been presented to me by my supervisor. And after the meeting he hit me up with basically, “it will be what we talked about, really” – yeahhhhhh, right.

But, if I’m stuck with this, I’m going to be brutally good at it, even if the program manager from another department who is guiding our group through getting this project started thinks we’re all idiots. (Look, all I’m saying is if you want people to see a bunch of links and go read them – don’t bury them in a meeting invite that disappears to someone’s calendar as soon as they accept the invite. Put it in a separate email that will actually stay in folks inboxes.)

That all being said, time to do the thing and read the links and figure out how to make this all work.

Have yourself an excellent day.

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Hump Daaaaaaaayyyyyy!

And Cinco de Mayo to boot! And another year where I forgot to buy Coronas and limes, LOL.

And I actually got a semi decent nights sleep last night. Did wake up once, again with the effing abdominal cramps, but it only was for a few minutes. No fucking idea WTF is making me so…well, let’s be honest (sorry)- gassy. Remnants of bodily anger over what I ate Monday? Am I suddenly lactose intolerant? (That would SUCK.) Or ya know, sometimes bodies are dumb and farty? But at least I fell asleep again quickly and don’t feel like the mess I did yesterday morning.

To those thinking, “This is not the content I came for” – understandable, but it’s annoying and this is where I get the annoying stuff out of my head.

In other news – former cheeto in chief started a fucking blog. HAHAHAHAHAHA. I don’t know why I find this so hilarious, but I do. And Facebook is deciding whether or not to put him back on their platform. BBC was just talking about how they have all these experts they have reviewing the situation and all I can think is – that ass repeatedly violated all your damn rules, you banned him, it’s done. Social media as a whole has been so much more pleasant since he was deplatformed.

Time to go do the thing for the capitalism.

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Just a couple nights in a row of good sleep

That’s all I’m asking.

Last night, took forever to fall asleep. Then there were a ton of little outside noises that kept waking me up, and it never occurred to me to close the window.

Then at 4AM my body decided to inform me that it did not care for my culinary choices yesterday. I didn’t get properly *sick*, but enjoyed an hour of feeling like I was being repeatedly stabbed in the abdomen with a sharpened pencil.

Once it stopped, I passed out hard – but at that point, only 2 hours until the alarm went off.

I’m up and I’ve got my coffee, but I’m still feeling a kinda wobbly this morning. :(

But, this is where working from home (and not dealing directly with clients anymore) is a really good thing. I feel fine enough to quietly sit and work, but if I had to get in a car for an hour to get there? I’d probably call out and have to burn PTO. And I can use my lunch hour for a snooze if needed.

I may not be at the top of my game today, but everything that is due this week is well in hand and if I have a less than stellar day, it won’t cause a disaster.

But a couple weeknights of really good sleep would be welcome.

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