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As of mid-May, 2021, nearly 16 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Canada. But if you’re like me, you may still be waiting on your dose. I feel like we’re at a point now — in this COVID-19 era — where some people are loosening their coronavirus precautions while others are persistently refreshing their health agency’s website to read up on the newest vaccine availabilities… I’m among the latter group. 

Vaccines are the talk of *many* towns, and like a lot of people, I’m eager to get poked. If you fall under the requirements and can get the vaccine, I must admit that I’m quite jealous of you. Both my parents got vaccinated a while ago, many of my friends have received their first doses, and almost all my family members abroad have received both doses already. Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly happy for those who have gotten their vaccines and who are contributing to the fight against this virus, I just wish I was in the same boat. My joy and my envy are existing simultaneously right now. Picture this: you’re in the eighth grade and still the only one without a cellphone because your parents won’t get you one. That’s how I feel. So, for lack of a better word, I’m experiencing major FOMO (fear omissing out). I don’t think these feelings of jealousy make me a bad person, though. I mean, everything I’m feeling stems from a basic (and normal, might I add) desire for normalcy. Aren’t we all yearning for normalcy?

Each one of us have been profoundly impacted by this virus, all in different ways. The emotional, physical, and psychological toll has surely accumulated, no matter how much we try to stay positive and hopeful. But that’s okay. It’s okay to feel frustrated, upset, sad, and maybe even angry about this whole thing. Many of us, especially those who aren’t yet vaccinated may feel frantic to sprint past the finish line. I sure do. For more than a year, I’ve been trying to preach optimism, gratitude, and hope. I truly feel like we will get through this, together. That’s just it; I know it’s a collective effort, so the fact that I’m not vaccinated makes me feel like I’m not contributing to the fight. We should keep reminding ourselves, though, that some things are just not in our control and that our time will come… but it’s difficult to do that when we’re constantly hearing and seeing — what seems like everyone we’ve ever known — talk about their vaccine. Every band-aided arm on Instagram is making me incredibly antsy. How many more photos do I have to see before it’s myarm? I don’t want to cut the queue. I don’t want to take a dose from someone else. I want to play fair and I want to play safe, but I also want to cross the finish line. ASAP. 

If any of you are in the same boat and are wondering, “how can I cope with vaccine FOMO?”, I have some tips for you. 

Well, to state the obvious (even if it isn’t always so obvious), you’re not alone. A part of you probably feels like everyone in the entire world is getting vaccinated besides you but reminding yourself of the confirmation bias you experience is going to help talk you down. The reality is that our brains are hyper-aware and are noticing all the people who arevaccinated, not those who aren’t. I mean, think about it; we don’t see people posting about their non-existent vaccination card. 

Try focusing on what you can control, rather than focusing on what you can’t. If you’re not vaccinated and can’t contribute to the COVID-19 fight in that way, think about the million other ways you can. Maybe you go donate to a local food shelter (many are in shortage), or maybe you simply wear your mask or wash your hands more. You can’t go steal Pfizer from your local hospital (I mean technically you can, I guess, but you shouldn’t), so there’s no point in worrying about getting your hands on it. Do what you can do with what you already have. Do your part, and try not getting obsessed with doing more, especially if you physically just can’t. 

Use your time wisely. I spend a lot of time asking myself the same question over and over: “how can we get back to normal?”. And the answer to that question almost always begins with same word, “vaccines!”. It’s safe to say that I spend many minutes of my day with COVID on my mind. Is that normal? For sure. Is it healthy, though? Probably not. Remind yourself that every minute you choose to do something fun instead of refreshing the vaccination appointment sites is a minute you get back of living a real and normal life. And every person you see getting vaccinated is also, one step closer to getting back to real, normal life. You’ll get your turn. It’s just a matter of time, and if this pandemic has taught us anything at all, it’s that we’re all so much more patient than we ever imagined. 

Finally, — and this is difficult for me but is so crucial — we must believe and trust in the power of now. I wholeheartedly believe that everything happens for a reason, who knows, maybe if I had gotten vaccinated weeks ago, I would have taken the appointment slot of someone who desperately needed it, who needed it more than me. Take this time to practice mindfulness and self-care. Connect with those you know who still aren’t vaccinated, even if — or especially if — they are struggling like you are. 

So, what’s next? 

In case you haven’t heard, big things are coming for us Ontarians. Up until now (May 17th, 2021), only those who meet the requirements or who live in the hotspots have been eligible for vaccination, but as of May 18th, every adult (18 and older) will be eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment through the provincial portal. That’s huge! Keep doing your due-diligence, and if you really need to keep checking those vaccination availabilities, do so, but make sure you’re not making yourself suffer in the process. Do your research, but also breathe and live in the moment. Call your friends and family. Take care of yourself in any and every way you can. Stay safe out there. We’re all in this together and we’ll all get through it together. 


Hi there :) I'm a fourth-year student at uOttawa pursuing an Undergraduate Degree in Communications. My passion for writing goes far beyond my academic and professional career – I love art, poetry, storytelling, and everything to do with creative writing. I hope you enjoy my work!
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