I’ve entered my first phase against COVID-19

Published 10:50 am Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Last Sunday I was stabbed.

My wife and I were out shopping at a local store Sunday afternoon after church and decided to go to its pharmacy department and get our first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

We had discussed getting the injections for some time, with the usual reluctance about dealing with something new and whether it would be worth the time to get it.

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Our doctor recommended we get vaccinated because of our age. I had an added reason. The combination of age and high blood pressure put me in that group of candidates called “at-risk.”

Still, we hesitated for various reasons — time, concern over side effects after reading various articles and watching newscasts.

I had what I thought was a good excuse. I’m a big-time needle ninny. I have a serious fear of needles. I don’t like shots; I don’t like being stuck, period. I guess I shouldn’t have his fear since I have to have periodic blood tests to make sure the medications I take to control cholesterol and other medical problems haven’t caused other maladies for my body to contend with.

I guess my fear of needles started back in the first grade when I caught almost every childhood disease but the mumps, including pneumonia. Back then I got a lot of shots. Later, I would get shots from my mother, who worked as a nurse for a private physician. She’d jab you like she was harpooning a whale.

All that aside, when the opportunity arrived Sunday I sucked it up, sat in the chair, turned my head and closed my eyes and got my first dose of vaccine. I felt a slight stick in my right shoulder and that was it. My arm was sore for a day or so, but that was only one more annoyance to an already sore shoulder.

My wife, who preceded me in the chair, took her shot with no complaint, but then, she never does.

Having taken that first dose, I wonder why we didn’t do it sooner. I guess one reason I decided to move ahead was the experiences of my brother and sister-in-law who contracted the virus, members of my wife’s family who had COVID-19 and people I know here in town who battled the illness.

And I wonder why many other people resist getting vaccinated, because the only way this virus will get under control is, as the scientists say, for more people to get vaccinated. It’s strange. When the vaccine first came out, people were standing in line to get it and Warren County residents were among the best in the state at rolling up their sleeves and getting the vaccine.

Now there seems to be a drop in people getting the vaccine, and that is disheartening. More need to get it if we are to make COVID-19 a memory.

My family and I went through the worst of the pandemic without contracting the virus. We were lucky.

I’m not pushing my luck any further.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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