Dancing away the voodoos of side effects – silly but maybe true

Funny that people are curious how COVID vaccines pan out.  This interest is peaked by numerous reports circulated on media outlets and social platforms.  They tend to prompt fear.  That’s normal in the “new norm.”  I was anxious, too.  Though fully cognizant that negative reports claim just a miniscule fraction of the total results, still, I entertained a nudge of doubt myself.  Admittedly, I had a pinch of anxiety, but I’m much relieved that my second Pfizer vaccine shot was administered a few days ago.  Now, family and friends inquire into my wellbeing after the second dose.  There seems to be a veiled quasi-obligation to satisfy the third degree from concerned family and friends.

However, before sharing my all-too-familiar vaccine narrative, I would like to offer my gratitude and compliments to the myriads of health care workers, employed and volunteers, who make the tedious process of vaccinating the public a very organized and well managed “event” – so efficient and smooth running.  I’m certain that everyone vaccinated appreciated the 15 to 30 minute rest soon after the shot, to be observed, while in the facility, for any immediate possibly adverse reaction.  That’s how it was for my first and second COVID vaccines.

Applause & gratitude to all health care
workers who tirelessly help to stave off
the COVID pandemic!    ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

My first jab was a breeze.  No noticeable side effects.  Not even a painful arm.  My second shot was early in the afternoon four days ago. The rest of the day was good, nothing different to grab notice, but I watched like a hawk for any side effects.  A new development sprang on the second day.  My left arm where I was injected became a bit swollen and sore, but not the way I expected it to be – very painful and heavy.  Perhaps, because I frequently exercised my arm soon after the second dose. Flexing my arm up and down, sideways and front became a habitual ritual which, at home, evolved into a funny dance to the beat of loud music.  Ah, that must be it – the secret of fighting any unpleasant side effects – dance!  Or, just move and sway, stretch and waltz to shake up the muscles and bones.

But did those jerky, offbeat or smooth movements help me the next day?

The following day was something else.  It felt like I was coming down with a slight fever and a hint of a headache.  Just a feeling of suspension or in limbo, but that’s all.  As the nurse suggested, I rested and took Tylenol which actually made me feel less achy and less lethargic. But again, I turned up the music and danced. Seemed silly, but it felt good.  Today is the fourth day after the second shot.   My head is less foggy and I’m more up to doing house chores.  In fact, I’ve been cooking up a storm – food enough to last for days.  The problem is, I have so much good food in the frig that I’m prone to be tempted to eat more than I should.  Maybe, that’s a good sign – my appetite isn’t cramped!

To family members and friends who still find themselves hesitant to get the COVID vaccine – I suggest, go for the protection.  Don’t allow the fear of side effects prevent you from taking a precaution offered by tried and approved medicine to mitigate the risk of being trapped in the snares of COVID virus.

And, silly as it might sound – dance to ward off the voodoos of side effects.  Thank God, it worked for me.  It might for you.

A wise reminder — even with the vaccine, continue with the new norm: masking, social distancing, frequent hand washing — until the professional health experts say the “coast is clear”.

Linda P. Jacob

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