Operation Oysterhood: 27 August

OYSTERHOOD is reclusiveness or solitude, or an overwhelming desire to stay at home.

— @HaggardHawks

Bed office with catssistants

I fainted and fell, bruising my left arm and thigh badly, the night before my second Pfizer vaccine appointment (thank goodness, it happened before, otherwise I might have thought it a side effect of the vaccine). This hadn’t happened to me in a while, but I used to lose consciousness because of menstrual pains quite regularly in the past. A scary experience, especially when you are alone and unprepared. When I was younger, I recognised the signs better and could usually protect myself by lying down before fainting. This time, I just did not realise what was happening before it was too late. Fortunately, I did not hit my head and recovered pretty quickly after the incident. But I felt strangely vulnerable, driving out to the New Somerset Hospital for my second jab in the morning. I arrived at eight. Despite having an appointment, confirmed by a text message, I wasn’t on the official appointment list at the hospital, but the gentleman at the reception desk quickly took all my details and asked me to sit in the queue. There were maybe twenty people before me and the queue moved swiftly. The doctor who administered my jab was friendly and careful not to show me the needle (I warned him about my phobia before sitting down). I told him about the painful bruise on my left arm and asked him to administer the vaccine on my right (twenty-four hours later and my left arm is still more sore than the right, where the needle went in). I was in and out of the hospital in just under an hour. I knew that I had a short window period before possible side effects kicked in, so I still ran some morning errands – I saw a beautiful rainbow against the background of Table Mountain while driving around – and returned home just in time for a walk with my love. Then, he went to his office and I just settled in for an afternoon of work in bed.

By five, I still had no side effects whatsoever, so I picked up two pizzas and headed over to my love’s house for an evening in front of the fireplace and TV. We started watching a new series. There was a thunderstorm and hail – Topolino’s first experience of ‘snowy’ conditions (I had learned to drive in snow, in the middle of the Austrian winter, but Topolino is a creature of the South).

Last night, I slept like a stone and had a dream about an author whose work I love: Katherine Stansfield. Still no side effects apart from maybe that unusually deep, restful sleep (if it was one, I will take it!) and a wave of gigantic, overwhelming RELIEF. I made it.

I MADE IT.

Through the global efforts of dedicated scientists and health care workers, their guidance and innovations, I have managed to keep safe from the coronavirus and COVID-19. This miracle – all these months in the making – is still sinking in. Two more weeks and I will be safe from potential serious complications and death should I contract the virus in the future. SAFE. I will live. And I will be able to travel and see my Family. I am overflowing with gratitude.

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

“Physical distancing remains one of the key strategies to curb this pandemic.”

— NICD

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