Vax to Reality

Last Friday (2nd July), I received my second dose of the anti-coronavirus vaccine.

Earlier that day a friend sent me a text message asking if For Whom The Bell Tolls was a good book – one worth having. I love Hemingway and have read several of his books but have tried and failed three times to get on with this one. I don’t know why – perhaps the Spanish Civil War setting doesn’t grab me, or maybe Hemingway’s use of archaic language (there are lots of thees and thous) to illustrate the (presumably) old fashioned way that the Spaniards are speaking puts too much distance between us. Anyway, after admitting that I hadn’t read the book, I couldn’t help but take it down off the shelf again to give it another go.

My copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls with two sheets of paper containing information about the coronavirus vaccine above it

I took the book with me to the vaccination centre and started reading it after I had received my jab: I presume this is happening over Britain: everyone who receives the vaccination has to wait at the centre for fifteen minutes afterwards just in case they have a bad reaction to the vaccine.

Fortunately, I felt alright, and was able to leave when the time was up.

The worst that I felt on Friday was that my arm – the one that had been jabbed – hurt a bit. This had happened in April when I received the first dose, if not quite as much, so I just got on with my day.

That night, I slept terribly. In fact, after three am I didn’t sleep at all. When I got up in the morning on Saturday, I felt achy and at one or two points shivery, even though it wasn’t cold.

As a result of this, Saturday became a rest day: no daily physio for my dodgy leg, no exercise, no anything: just rest. As the day progressed, I started to feel better but went to bed that night still aching, somewhat.

Rather to my surprise, I woke up on Sunday morning as if I had never been ill. I felt just fine, and have continued to be so, since. Now, I guess I just have to wait two weeks (or one and a half now) for the vaccine to fully kick in.

And then? Well, it looks like the government will end as planned all the restrictions relating to the coronavirus on 19th July, so I’ll be able to go and paint the town red. Of course, we can already go to the shops, pubs, etc but the truth is it will be a long time before I fully integrate myself back into society. I also need to wait until work pays me (even in a pandemic, some things don’t change!) before I can buy any paint. I won’t, of course, that’s not my thing. What I might just do instead is buy a celebratory bottle of wine, and maybe a new book. I like the sound of that.

Speaking of books, I read Chapter One of For Whom The Bell Tolls on Friday, and Chapter Two on Saturday. Since then – nothing. Why? Not actually because I still don’t like the book but because my reading at the moment has stalled. I’m determined to kick start it again but that is a topic for another post.

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