If the fear and stress of trying to stay alive during a pandemic could be measured in poundage, then I weighed 220 before my first vaccine shot (Moderna), lost a good 50 pounds in stress-and-fear poundage after the shot, and no doubt another 50 pounds of stress-and-fear-weight dropped off after the second shot.
The owners of the apartment building where I live, along with area health professionals, set up a vaccine clinic for tenants and community members downstairs in a large room. A room most often used for parties, holiday celebrations, and other sizeable gatherings. The room was filled with a dozen or so masked and friendly health professionals and building staff.
While I must confess to being fairly well schooled at wearing my emotions on my sleeve, I had no idea how deeply and unexpectedly emotional getting vaccinated would be for me and, as I would see, others.
After the first shot, my eyes filled with tears as relief set in. For the first time since the pandemic began, I began to feel safe. Now, finally, I was protected in a way no hand washing or mask wearing can provide. When I looked at members of my community getting their shots, I could see mine were not the only pair of eyes filled with tears of relief and, I would suspect, gratitude.