Happy 2nd Birthday, Coronavirus Pandemic

Today we mark the 2nd anniversary of when the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Hooray?

To celebrate, we made a Coronavirus Birthday Cake. Originally it was going to be a hemisphere with candles sticking out all over, but due to time constraints and the fact the first two layers turned out so perfect it seemed a shame to mess up, we transitioned to just a regular layer cake:

Coronavirus Cake
Coronavirus Cake 2

It’s a lemon poppyseed cake with lemon cream cheese frosting. The poppyseeds were perfect little coronaviruses. Continue Reading >>

In-Person Emotions

On Sunday we went back to church in person for the first time since the pandemic started. They tried to ease us in gently; we met outside in the parking lot, ensuring lots of fresh air. 

Only a few kids too young for vaccines wore masks. Nobody checked vaccination status or temperature (eh, the temperature checks are health theater anyway), and they didn’t ask unvaccinated people to wear masks. Overall our church has taken a delicately hands-off approach to vaccination that doesn’t even extend to encouraging people to get vaccinated. In-person masks were strictly optional, depending on how comfortable each individual felt about their risk. Continue Reading >>

Super-Low Tide Beach Adventure

Today I took the day off work to get my hair cut (taking immediate advantage of full vaccination!), but really spent most of the day with Benji and Mom enjoying an almost -3 foot low tide at a private-access beach. Mom has connections. Anyway, after my hair cut, we drove down to Burien, where we’d access the beach.

We had some extra time, so we planned to eat lunch there first. The restaurant Mom had in mind was closed, so we picked a random place that was open.

Low Tide Beach Lunch Out
My first meal at a restaurant, albeit outside, in over a year.

The less said about that meal, the better. Suffice it to say that we waited nearly an hour and found the food more than a little disappointing. Still, it was my first meal “in” a restaurant since the pandemic started, so that’s another vaccination milestone. Continue Reading >>

Two Weeks Later

May 27, 2021. I literally marked it on my calendar: “Fully vaccinated.”

To celebrate, I’m getting my hair cut. It’s grown quite long since I last trimmed it in September.

Then we’re inviting one person who’s not a family member over to our house for Memorial Day.

On June 5, I’m riding in my first organized group ride since 2019.

Flying Wheels Registration

After that — who knows?

What an unfamiliar sense of possibility, of taking a deep breath after holding it for so long.

COVID Vaccine #2 Symptom Unpleasantness

Did I say I felt “a little tired” on Thursday afternoon? Ha! Little did I know that within hours I’d have the dubious pleasure of checking off pretty much every common vaccine side effect:

  • Fatigue. Oh, yeah. Ian had this with his second shot, too — the kind of fatigue I associate with pneumonia, where it takes real effort to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. Only, for Ian it abated within 24 hours. For me, more than 48 hours later, it still lingers.
  • Fever. Yep, around 100 with Tylenol, or 102 without. That went away after about 36 hours.
  • Aches. Oh my word! I never experienced anything like it. My entire body felt… I guess the best way is to say it felt like I needed to stretch. Everything hurt, with or without drugs. That lasted about 36 hours, too.
  • Headache. Why differentiate that? When everything aches, it’s pretty safe to assume the head does, too. That, along with fatigue, continue hanging around today.
  • Nausea. I haven’t heard anecdotal stories of people I know having nausea, but I sure did. With a vengeance. I spent a deeply unpleasant night with my body retching up bile, since I had nothing left in my stomach. That was probably the worst part. Thank goodness it abated on Friday night and let me resume eating yogurt and applesauce.
  • Pain in the arm. Like the first shot, the ol’ injection site hurt a lot. Like for everyone. Guess that’s why they don’t give you that shot in your butt.

So, I admit that even though medical professionals and the CDC describe these as “common” side effects of the vaccine, I still really expected to have maybe a low-grade fever and feel a little tired. I took Friday off work as a precaution, but thought I’d hop back on to do some stuff that was due at 3:00 pm. I absolutely planned to do my regular long Saturday bike ride. Continue Reading >>

Second COVID Shot!

I got my second COVID-19 shot today. At the same time, the CDC lifted restrictions on most activities for fully vaccinated people, among whom I’ll be able to count myself in a mere two weeks. And the Governor said Washington State would lift COVID restrictions on June 30.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Now, it’s been about seven hours since my shot, and I am exhausted. Excuse me while I go take a nap. (On my right side. That injection site really hurts — not that I’m complaining!) Continue Reading >>