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Combating COVID-19

As senior citizens beyond the age of 80, both Geanell and I fall in the “highrisk category” with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

As a result, we have been mostly self-quarantined in our home for nearly a year, washing our hands, practicing social distancing and wearing masks. So far, we’ve been lucky, and we couldn’t be happier that vaccines are being made available to further protect us from contracting the disease. 

Our names were added to the list of qualified vaccine recipients last week. 

Geanell received the first of two shots at Parkway Hospital in Decatur Monday. She will return for the second and final shot in two weeks.  

After receiving a regular flu shot this past week, I was placed on a reserve vaccine list and will be called in to take the first vaccine shot next week. 

President Joe Biden has advocated administering 100 million doses of the vaccine during the first l00 days of his administration. If his goal is reached, it would mean the vaccine will be available to everyone regardless of age or medical condition in early spring.  

The ultimate target is “herd immunity,” when immunization becomes so widespread that COVID-19 is a thing of the past, and normal can become a condition of the present.  

When I think of immunizations, I remember health nurses rounding up children in the countryside and giving them shots for measles, mumps and whooping cough.  

My brothers and I would crawl under the house and hide when we saw a strange car coming down the road – but that turned out to be a waste of energy. We were pulled out and made to stand still while the shots were being given, and afterward, the whippings we took with a peach tree switch hurt a lot worse.  

Then, one after another, we all came down with the mumps, measles and whooping cough and had to suffer from the pain and discomfort the shots didn’t prevent.    

On a happier note, have you been outside lately and noticed the first plants of spring pushing through the ground? The green leaves of jonquils are visible in all our flower beds; rose bushes are budding; and wild onions are popping up all over the yard. Soon, azaleas and forsythias will be in bloom.