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It has been a year, an entire year, since we all received the email from the university saying that COVID-19 reached campus. I vividly remember this email, especially since prior to reading it, I had little information about the virus, and I truly did not realize that it was as close to me as it was. However, I was not the only one who was shocked, as each classmate was looking around the room confused and shocked as well. It was a very surreal experience and even now, I find it hard to believe that it wasn’t a storyline in a novel, but instead was something that really happened, and is still happening.

363 days after that first email was sent, I received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. This happened merely three weeks ago, from when I am writing this, so I remember it very well. Just as I have been with other issues caused by this virus, the idea of the vaccine made me nervous. I didn’t know what to expect as far as symptoms and I was overwhelmed with other things to do, making it difficult for me to allot time to rest. However, for as much anxiety as I had, I was just as excited. Even though the vaccine still means that I have to be careful, I was excited to be sure that I was safe. So there I was standing in line waiting, anxious and excited all at once. Then, after a quick 30 second conversation with the pharmacist, I had received the first dose.

Of course, the part that really made me nervous about the vaccine was not the shot itself, but its symptoms. I am sure that I was not the only one, however, and while my experience will not be the same as everyone else’s, I hope that sharing mine will help ease the anxiety for others. Falling into a void of COVID-19  vaccine tweets the night prior truly made me expect the worst, yet my symptoms after the first dose were mild. I was tired for the next two days, with the second day being far worse than the first. On the second day, I also got achy and had the chills, issues which subsided when I went to sleep. Following the 48 hour mark, there were no residual symptoms besides my sore arm, which only lasted a few more days before I was once again feeling good as new. However,  then I had to wait 3 weeks to get the second one, one of the more difficult “symptoms” to overcome for my impatient self.

The day I am writing this marks 3 weeks from my first dose. Four hours ago, I received my second dose, and while I am excited to be “done,” I am still sitting anxiously on my couch awaiting a wall of symptoms to hit me like a truck. Thus far, I have had very few symptoms. My arm hurts, much worse than the first dose did at this point, but that is manageable. Also, I am beginning to feel tired again and a bit foggy. Besides that, however, I still feel fine and now just have to await full immunity for two weeks. 

I am so excited to have gotten the vaccine, yet I am still very nervous about the pandemic as a whole. Despite having immunity, I know that I will still be particularly careful seeing people and will surely still do my best to live in a low risk way, even if that is not as necessary. At this point, it is just so routine that I think it will be harder to change it than to keep doing it. After over a year of this, everything is so habitual, a fact which makes me so anxious about going back to “normal.” Especially with the potential for new strains, I am so nervous about going back to in person classes, maintaining a suddenly-imposed regular schedule, and dealing with new rules that accompany these changes. However, for as much as we don’t know about this pandemic, I am sure that it will continually be changing, just as it has the past year. We will just all have to get through it together!

Becca Mezei

Delaware '22

Becca is currently a junior in the honors college at the University of Delaware! She is double majoring in Marine Science and Environmental Global studies. She is very passionate about the environment, politics, and learning about different cultures. Her hobbies include yoga, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
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