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National Superhero Day

Do you know what today is? It’s National Superhero Day! Ok…I just found out last week from an article on Google that read this is an actual day. Who would have thought? Apparently, it has been an annual holiday for years. But, I’m excited because I am a huge superhero fan! Live action, comic book, animated, video games, etc. I’ve been apart of the fandom since knee high! In honor of the day I am currently at work wearing my Black Panther shirt with black Puma sneakers.

DC, Milestone, Marvel, Image, and other comic books franchises, I support them. My earliest memory of watching a superhero on TV was probably Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman that aired Sunday nights on ABC. Then, I was a FOX Kid dedicating hours of my life after school to its lineup of shows such as Batman: The Animated Series, Spiderman, X-Men (I can hear its theme song in my head as I type this), Power Rangers, The Tick, etc. I’ve read different comic books about these superheroes during their abilities to protect the innocent. I watched the Blade trilogy of the late 90s which ultimately saved Marvel and the entire live action superhero movies as a whole. And you don’t even have to ask about the Marvel Cinema Universe, I jumped on the bandwagon when it was just an online rumor.

But, what really makes the Superhero franchises so successful is not just the story, but the villain themselves bring out the best in our favor superheroes and really sell the story being told. Whether the villain is an equal match like Doomsday is to Superman, a force stronger than the mightiest heroes combined like Thanos is to The Avengers, a motivational speaker with an evil mind like The Joker is to Batman, a jealous citizen fighting to overtake the throne like M’Baku is to Black Panther, or superheroes fighting each other like Captain America versus Ironman, the villain adds an extra layer of importance that the superhero must overcome.

Even though this is National Superhero Day, and the day pertains to fictional superheroes with superhuman strength and abilities, or a man/woman who uses SciFi technological suit that enhances his/her abilities to have a fighting chance, we have everyday superheroes who are doing extraordinary things in our real world. The Covid Pandemic, supervillain, has wreaked havoc on our lives for over two years now. Businesses have been destroyed or altered to combat lower wages. Employees watched their income reduced as their jobs have tried to weather the pandemic. With little to no preparation, these same people had to find different means of income just to survive our newly adopted pandemic world. Our schools had to turn to e-learning forcing struggling parents to make tough financial decisions so their children can learn. As we battled with stay-at-home orders and rising then falling then rising again cases on the daily in addition to several variants, we have also battled with increased cases of anxiety and depression from being forced to stay home amongst ourselves. All of this does not include the people who died at the hands of Covid-19 or still has long-standing effects from contracting the virus.

Yet, a team of superheroes worked around the clock taking on a villain they had no prior preparation for. Risking their lives daily they put on their mask, gloves, face shields and uniforms fighting this disease on the frontlines because it has become their duty. Spending time away from their own families for their safety and well-being, these heroes put their superpowers to the ultimate test while suffering mentally. Sometimes successful, but also witnessing lives lost to this virus, our superheroes did whatever they could to put an end to the pandemic urging others to stay vigilant and do their part to help slow the spread. Although these heroes got help with limited resources and increased patient numbers, they wore their capes knowing they are the team this world needs. Some of our superheroes died trying to save others at the hands of the very same virus while the remaining are still working saving lives or hung their capes for good due to the anxiety developed during the fight.

If you don’t know who these superheroes are by now I am talking about the doctors, nurses, and medical staff who risked their lives everyday to cure patients of the Coronavirus. Also, the same healthcare professionals who were forced into working Covid units due to a severe shortage and high volume of patients who really needed saviors. I am talking about the fellow healthcare professionals who had to treat other illnesses and deliver newborns during the pandemic with limited resources and help. The scientist who focused on finding a cure for the coronavirus through vaccination, but kept urging the general public to practice social distancing while they worked on a cure. The teachers who were teaching in-person one week and through e-learning the next while still being subjected to lower salaries and little to no funding for a proper education. The daycare workers who put in extra hours to sanitize their rooms hoping the children they watch don’t become a superspreader. The parents who made sacrifices to their livelihood to meet the demands of parenting during a pandemic. The new parents who missed out on traditional baby showers while giving birth to a baby without the presence of family members. The janitors who worked long hours sanitizing every corner of buildings so workers can feel safe at work. The grocery store employees who encountered people everyday not knowing if they have been exposed to Covid, but kept working to ensure the citizens have food to buy. The essential workers who may not have fought the coronavirus directly, but had to show up to work everyday because work from home was not an option for them.

There are plenty of other superheroes I did not mention, but just know we have everyday superheroes who risked their lives during the pandemic to keep the world we live in going. They walk among us everyday and each have the battle scars to prove it.

Happy Superhero Day 2022

2020 Blogging Lessons Pandemic Thoughts Writing Year in Review

What Has 2020 Taught Me?

Written By:  Preston A. Thompson

Edited By:  Preston Thompson

               If you are reading this then Happy New Year 2021 (now Happy New Year 2022)!  We survived the apocalypse of 2020 and stepped into 2021 with new expectations and determination (and we are still in the apocalypse today). 2020 came with the four horsemen.  Famine came in the form of job closures and layoffs.  We even learned a new word, furlough.  We did have that scare of a food shortage, but not as big as the toilet tissue and Lysol shortage.  Pestilence came in the form of 17-year locusts and murder hornets.  Disease, no surprise here, came with the biggest blow to our 2020 social lives in the form of COVID-19, aka the Coronavirus and “The Rona!”  Lastly, let’s not talk about the last one, but let’s just say every day the coronavirus took a major toll on our lives.

               Despite all the chaos 2020 was a very manageable year.  The government having to step in to help families financially through unemployment and forbearances have been one of many topics to explain 2020. Sure, we could not travel much thanks to travel restrictions and bans, but it did teach me some valuable lessons that I hope to take with me once this pandemic is over.  Here are just a few:

1) I really do have food at home:

               I must confess I love to try different restaurants.  When I do not feel like cooking, I will go to a fast-food or regular restaurant with no hesitation.  Years ago, I made it a habit to try a different restaurant when traveling to a different town or city. Just about every date night with my wife consisted of going out to eat.  Now that I think about it if I was not eating out once a day it was probably 3 to 4 times a week.  Meanwhile we still spent money on groceries for it to expire in a week or so.

               When COVID-19 forced shutdowns globally, the same restaurants that I loved had government-forced shutdowns or limited capacity, so now this forced us into cooking more at home.  Yes, there are delivery services, but this part-time introvert really misses the experience of eating inside a restaurant. Regarding cooking at home, I sometimes enjoy it even though my wife is better at it.  I have become creative in the kitchen and on the grill (air fryer, too).  Just thinking about it, lunch breaks at work consisted of trips to fast-food restaurants in the area.  Although this is good for those businesses, bringing food from home did keep money in my pocket.

2) I spent a lot of money on leisure activities:

               A $20 to $75 gym membership, over $100 for a personal trainer, tickets and food at the movies, drinks at the bar, the gas put in my car to go extra places, just to name a few, all added up with each swipe of the card.  The funny thing is I had things at home that could have saved me time and money, but by habit I did additional spending for these events.  It makes sense why I worked plenty of overtime hours to support my lifestyle.

3) My job cutting overtime for a period of time made me realize how valuable work-life balance really is:

               Jobs in America hit the panic button when COVID cases went up.  At my job separating shifts and pausing overtime became the new norm.  Before the pandemic overtime was a choice.  If you wanted it, you could do it if the work was available.

               When overtime was cut, I had more time at home to enjoy myself, wife, fitness, and other activities.  I did not feel like I was coming home just to eat, squeeze in an exercise, and go to bed just to repeat the cycle Monday through Friday.  Sure, I miss the overtime money, but time at home is more valuable because one day I will look back and wish I had it in my youth.  My work-life balance has been the best since the start of this pandemic, I hope to continue it when it is over.

4) I am more of an introvert than I thought:

               I have always called myself an introvert, but I still went out when invited.  Sometimes before going out a part of me would hope plans got cancelled so I can stay in and play video games or watch TV.  On the other hand, I would also get upset if plans did get cancelled because I was really looking forward to going out (it’s hard to explain).  When the shutdown happened, I was prepared for a moment like this.  I get pleasure in being home watching Netflix and being away from people not including my wife.  Plans cannot get cancelled during a pandemic when following the “guidelines,” because safety was my top priority in 2020.

               Reading has become a big part of my quarantine life at home.  To keep the mind strong reading works your brain and improves memory.  Think of it like a book being weights at the fitness center and your brain are your body muscles (although there are articles out there that says your brain really is not a muscle but needs to be treated like one). Before Covid I can honestly admit a busy life and weekends filled with activities would push reading to the side.  I would start a book then finish it in a month or longer.  The reason is without school putting a time limit on when I need to finish the book, I would start reading a chapter then put the book down for a couple of days before picking it up again.  Now, I find myself reading just like I did in grade school.  When I am done, I begin reading the next book.

               Video gaming has always been a part of my life.  Since my mom first bought me a Super Nintendo with Super Mario World, I have been a gamer ever since.  Even into my adult life, video games have been there for me as a leisure and competitive online play.  I was sure by a certain age I would stop playing video games.  I tried to give them up when I first got my real job outside of college, but two weeks later, I found myself back into gaming and have been there since.  This hobby may follow me into my senior years, and I am cool with that. As an introvert, I get a little joy playing my favorite games to pass the time on a Friday night, and while COVID is going on, I can play games online to fill in for the missing social part of life.

               My music consumption has increased drastically during this pandemic.  Hip Hop, R&B, Gospel, Pop (sometimes), a little Country, and others have been a part of my life since birth.  When my grandfather gave me a portable radio with headphones as a child, you can say I have been an audiophile ever since.  I have gone through my fair share of portable radio, tape, and CD players over the years. Then I moved on to the iPod then smartphones.  I have also had my fair share of headphones and earphones during these times.  As music moved from CDs to Pandora to now streaming services like Apple Music my consumption of music have increased to countless hours.  It is no surprise my Apple Replay 2020 said I have listened to over 1,000 hours of music.

5) Black businesses really need our love and support:

               Large corporations will be alright during the pandemic; however, we really need to help our fellow black businesses.  Maybe we are not all moving to Atlanta but supporting your local black business can help rebuild the New Black Wallstreet.  For many of us we are trying to break generational curses of debt.  With pay rates remaining the same and rising prices of goods, we must support our own while we can.  The side hustlers who no longer want to wait on the next promotion that may never happen or rightful raise that is more than a quarter an hour from the previous year need your support. It does not take much to put your money to a growing business from black entrepreneurs.  Google is here to locate black businesses in our area. Whether it is through listening to our friend’s podcast or reading their blogs, buying from their restaurants, purchasing a bar of soap, now is the best time to show your support and stand with us now.

6) I am essential even if the work I do isn’t:

               Who’s an essential worker and who’s not? Whose job made money from leisure and whose job is important during this pandemic? You see, job closures have been a pandemic before the COVID pandemic. Large corporations opened one too many facilities, and when the customer’s taste changed, the money shifted. This resulted in these corporations downsizing to meet the financial demands of their annual reports. On the other hand, some small businesses do not have the strong financial support of the community like others do. This makes it hard for a small business owner to maintain the business and results in tough decisions about the future of his or her business. As the pandemic progressed, the healthcare industry had become too essential. The problem with that is as more people fill up the emergency rooms with COVID-like symptoms, the amount of healthcare workers available do not meet the demand. This put added stress on the workers because they must serve the public before they can take care of themselves. And I forgot, just because there is a COVID pandemic, it does not mean other health problems have disappeared.

               Whether you are furloughed or working too many hours, just know that you are essential, and no one can change that. Your life is more important than any job. Sure, you want more, that’s the human in us, but you are essential even without the recognition.

7) The internet really is powerful and essential:

               I know computers and the internet began to take over the world before the new millennium, but in 2020 we really needed the internet more than ever! How could quarantine life survive without the internet? For starters TV streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, Disney Plus, Hulu, and others were the real MVPs of quarantine life! I finally had the time to watch shows while working less overtime and having the free time from home to do so. Even as a worker who did not have work from home as an option, work-related communication such as meetings were done through Microsoft Teams. Just think about the schools and how learning moved from the classrooms to remote learning from home through Zoom. Speaking of Zoom, I cannot recall how many family and friend events I attended at home through the app that would normally be done in person.

And I cannot forget about curbside pickup. At first when stores began to encourage it to reduce the amount of people coming into the store, I thought it was a little annoying. I was not the biggest fan of using store apps other than Amazon to place orders for the things I needed. I thought it was time consuming having to search for items then placing an order in the virtual cart then going through the payment method from an app. Then, once the order was placed and payment processed, having to use the app again at the parking spot felt like it took longer than going into the store and getting what you wanted. What was even more annoying was missing or the wrong items that was not caught by the employee. As I used curbside pickup more, it grew on me. I saw the potential behind it especially knowing that I was safe with contactless pickup. Fast forward to today, it is my preferred method of buying from stores.

               2020 had me thinking what this pandemic would be like if the internet was never invented? For starters work from home would probably be impossible. Staying up-to-date on the latest changes in the community due to COVID would take longer to communicate to the public. And I am sure cases would be higher than what they are today because social distancing would be almost impossible when we still need to go inside places for the things we need. Before the pandemic, experts spent a lot of time trying to prove how the internet is ruining our brains and making us more socially disconnected from human interaction due to the high number of hours consumed online. After the pandemic, these same experts did not complain that much as they, too, had to rely on the internet like everyone else. In 2020 the internet really became the unsung essential hero of quarantine life.

8) Some people just do not care:

               I get it.  We have been trapped in the house all 2020.  We can’t go out, work can be work from home, and wear a mask when we do go out. Some businesses will not serve us if we refuse to follow their mask policy. We have been in quarantined for months hoping the pandemic ends so we can get our pre-pandemic lives back.  We are prisoners in our own homes, and we need to be around people.  It is our right. 

Despite all the warnings the CDC passed about COVID and how herd immunity could have possibly ended the pandemic before the discovery of a vaccine, some people just do not care.  Why?  There can be numerous reasons, but I strongly believe it is because no one close to them have contracted COVID. You see the number of cases reported online every day, but whether you want to believe it or not, if it has not happened to you or anyone you know personally, then you feel comfortable being around people mask or no mask. You feel safe to be around others with no mask and being in close contact.  I log onto social media and see large gatherings in close places where some wear a mask and others are not (I am starting to sound like the experts you see on the news every day).  While you are having fun, your healthcare workers are shaking their heads thinking about how full the hospitals are going to be in the coming weeks. It is your American right to go as you please, but until this pandemic is over, please consider the people who maybe the most affected.

9) Work towards your goals:

               2020 brought out the hustler in many of us.  We started investing when stock prices were low at the start of the pandemic.  Others started school after putting it off for years.  Some took their talents and turned it into a second source of income.  No matter how crazy our dreams sound at first, we moved them from ideas to action.  Even if you fail, continue to work towards your goals or find new ones and work towards them.  Remember, ideas first appear ugly, but once they manifest, they become beautiful creations.

10) Reconnect with your family and friends:

               Life is short.  You can be here today and gone tomorrow.  For those following the expert’s suggestions about social distancing then you probably have not been around people other than those who live with you.  A visit here or there, but not to the extent of where it was before.  If you have been living and working from home since this pandemic, then the stress of being in the same spot for months may be kicking in.

               Now would be the perfect time to reconnect with your family and friends by some app like Facetime, or in-person remembering to social distance with a mask on.  Hearing from the people you value most can give new hope that we will overcome this pandemic and celebrate, mask off.  Call a loved one whom you have not spoken with in a while and see where the relationship goes.  If you are holding a grudge against someone, try to free your mind from it and find a way to let it go the best way you can so you can move on with your life.

11) We will overcome the COVID pandemic:

We have lost so many people to COVID. Let’s help each other by doing what’s right for your own soul, and for the people you love.  Trust the experts who are working hard trying to find a cure for this virus. Remember, they are humans just like you and me. They do not have all the answers because COVID-19 is new and mutating. Sure, it may have been around before 2020, but the virus seems to bring out different symptoms in those who tested positive and are fighting it. With so much uncertainty, our healthcare experts keep studying this virus challenging what they know about the symptoms and are searching for answers when new symptoms are present. It is not like the common flu where frequent symptoms show up in those infected. This means if the virus is here mutating our healthcare experts are stressing and working tirelessly just to understand it. At this point they are giving their best educated guesses.

The truth of it all is we will overcome the COVID pandemic. It may not happen overnight, but humanity has a history of prevailing. Humans have survived and adapted to changes for centuries. Whether it was caused by our own doings or by something greater than ourselves, the fact is we are still here and standing tall. Look around you. The Sun is shining even through the clouds and night sky. You are winning more small victories than you can imagine. That’s why we are still here. I hope this serves as hope to those who are living in pandemic fear. Take care of each other, but most importantly, take care of yourself.

Blog Blogging Covid Family fiction Friends Health Love Marriage Pandemic Secrets Story Vaccine Work Writing

the virus spread

Story written by: Preston A. Thompson

Dear employees,

We are sending this email with deep concern and empathy. On Friday over half of our 1119 employees across our four locations, the majority working in production, called out of work due fever-like symptoms. These employees were informed to get tested for COVID at any free testing location immediately and once the results came back, they send us proof of their results. It is now estimated approximately 311 employees have been confirmed positive for the COVID-19 virus. In addition, 121 employees have negative COVID results and are sick from the regular flu or cold while the remaining are waiting for results. At this time, these employees will not be returning to work until they have negative test results after a two-week quarantine period and no COVID-related symptoms. We wish all employees affected well wishes and to remain safe during these unprecedented times.

Here at work, we are more than just employees, we are a family. We follow the health expert’s guidelines to help stop the spread and hope to contribute to putting an end to this pandemic. We want to ensure that you and your family are safe. In compliance to the health expert’s guidelines with our own COVID safety guidelines we have decided that effective at the end of today all production will be suspended until we can ensure employees are working in a safe environment. All employees must provide proof of a negative test to return to work once production reopens. Please check your work email during this shut down for updates involving work. We advise you to schedule an appointment as soon as possible at the nearest testing site. In the meantime, all employees will be required to use PTO for each day out of work as it is written in our new Pandemic Agreement. We are sorry for this inconvenience. Remember to stay safe and follow our COVID Safety Guidelines below:

  • Pay attention to local news and government guidelines
  • Practice social distancing with and without mask
  • Wear mask when you are not home
  • Wash hands frequently and always keep hand sanitizer
  • Wipe down things you have finished using with sanitizing wipes
  • Avoid large gatherings
  • If you suspect you are sick with COVID, DO NOT come to work or gather in large crowds. Get tested right away and quarantine until your results are negative

Once again, we thank you for working so hard during these unprecedented times. We hope you remain safe.


Human Resources

               This was the email Human Resources sent to the entire work organization at 8:28 a.m. The time is 10:38 am. “What have we done?” Davis Young says as Lamar Keith, Karl Stanley, and Antonio Thomas stand behind him reading the email from the operator’s public computer. “I knew this was a bad idea! Karl, this is your fault!”

               “My fault!?! Nawl homie! You got me messed up!”

               “Yes Karl, it is!” Antonio comes to Davis’s defense. “You planned for us to play hooky three weeks ago!”

               “But we agreed on it!” Karl says with anger. “Don’t you put this all on me! We followed the safety guidelines that day…well not you Davis. Not all the wa…”

               “Ok, stop right there!” Davis interrupts. “Either way, we all had to have come in contact with someone who had it, and one of us is not being honest!”

               Lamar finally speaks, “Not me. Hey! It’s just my wife and I, and she works from home.”

               “But does she know about you skipping work?” Lamar does not answer Antonio’s question. “I’ve been going from work to home to work minus that one day.”

               “Same here” Karl says. “Davis?”

               “Me four,” Davis says as the three guys look at him with a straight face. “It was just lunch, that’s all.”

               “That’s been trendy with you lately,” Antonio says with a grim. They laugh at each other.

“Look,” Davis interrupts, “we need to get back to work, get tested again when we get off so it can say negative, and we can return back to work in two days.” He puts his mask laying on the table beside the computer on as the others do the same. He reaches for his hard hat, slowly puts it on his head and adjusts it by turning the screw on the chinstrap until it firmly fits his head. He leans back on the computer chair, takes a deep breath but exhales too quickly. This triggers a mild asthma attack. Davis quickly reaches in his uniform pocket for a rescue inhaler. He removes the tiny canister out of its placeholder, shakes vigorously for a few seconds, then puts it back firmly fitting the nozzle into its hole. He pops open the mouthpiece cap and stuffs it in his mouth. As he slowly inhales, he presses down on the canister to administer the aerosol spray of medicine into his lungs. Davis holds his breath for several seconds then exhales. He repeats a second time. This time he has immediate relieve as breathing returns to normal.

               “You good my dawg?” Antonio asks as the other two look in fear.

               “Yea. Thank God for inhalers.” Davis puts the inhaler back in his pocket, pushes himself off the computer chair with his long arms, and stands up. His 6-foot, 3 inches height, dark skin complexion, and athletic posture hoovers over the other three guys who all are 5 feet, 7 inches in height and brown skin. “All is good. It happens sometimes. Let’s get back to work.”

The time is now 2:15 pm. Davis is in the lead operator’s office sitting down at a table going over today’s paperwork and scheduling for a production shutdown. Suddenly, he hears high heels clapping against the concrete floors from outside of the office with each step. The door opens and in comes Mrs. Trinity Walker. She smiles and walks over to Davis. “It’s that guy!” She sticks out her fist towards him as Davis does the same. They fist pump. Davis notices Trinity’s jet-black wavy afro behind a white headband exposing her perfect hairline. Her jet-black hair shines from the light above. He notices the light also reflects off her light brown, baby oiled forehead as she begins to talk. “Let me put my mask on.” Trinity pulls out a pink mask with gold glitter from her purse and covers her mouth and nose. “It matches my pink business suit and heels.” She models her coke bottle shaped body in front of Davis. As she twirls the aroma of her cocoa butter lotion with a lavender fragrance fills the room. “Do you like? My husband bought all this for my birthday?”

               Davis laughs, “Trendy Lady! What brings a manager like you to this peasant’s office? We can’t even get a proper desk.” He lightly shakes the table so Trinity can hear the squeaking of the table legs below. “Leads have to share this table. Does the front office not fit your expertise?” He teases.

               “Boy stop! You know I’m one of the guys!” She nudges him on the right shoulder causing him to accidentally make a pen mark error on his paperwork. He looks at her with wide eyes then looks normal. “I’m sorry…but in all seriousness. Did you read the email HR sent this morning?”

               “Yeah, it’s crazy, man.”

               “Listen, I submitted an anonymous report about three weeks ago on my birthday.” Davis’s attention is now fully focused on Trinity as she continues. “No one is in here, but just to make sure no one hears me…” she powerwalks to the door as her heels clap against the floor with each step then closes the door shut. She gracefully walks back towards Davis. “After we went out for lunch on my birthday, I was sitting at my desk and started to cough. I had a dry cough that did not go away.” She pauses. “Let me ask, did you feel sick or anything over these past two weeks?”

               Now is not the time to be honest, Davis. “No,” he replies.

               “Well, I believed I had COVID. So, I submitted an anonymous report to HR, left, and got tested. Since I am the Lead Business Accountant for this place, go me, I requested to work from home until I got tested for COVID. Well, two days later my results came back, and it confirmed, I was positive. I’m scared I may have been the one to cause this outbreak.”

               “Who all have you been around?”

               “It’s crazy, Davis. You know I’m very sociable. Most of the guys came to my office to wish me a happy birthday and gave me gifts before we went out for lunch. Antonio and the guys stopped by for a minute. I couldn’t get anything done because some stayed and talked. It was enough time to spread it around.”

               “And mask?”

               “They all had mask on, I did off and on. You know how I am. I was going to tell you to get tested, but since you’ve been here this whole time and did not get any symptoms, I guess you’re fine.”

               “Let’s keep this between you and me. No one has to know…What about your husband?”

               “He got tested and came back negative which is odd because we sleep together every night. So did my two little girls, Gracie and Angela. The girls still went to school while I stayed locked up in the bedroom for two weeks. At least I had my streaming shows to watch.” She laughs. “But then this morning I saw this.” She pulls out her phone from inside her business suit jacket and shows Davis a breaking news video from the local news channel.

               “Hi! I am Tracy Griffin coming to you live with breaking news outside of the city.” Tracy Griffin’s name appears on the screen in bond white font. The subtitle under her name reads ‘Recipient of the 51st Annual Black News Reporters Award.’ Her face has an extra coating of light brown makeup to match her skin tone. Her hair is dark brown and permed. “The elementary school located southeast of the city has been closed due to a COVID outbreak. We spoke with the school nurse, and she reported thirteen students came to her with what resembled COVID symptoms during normal school hours. It has been reported more students are developing symptoms as I speak. District school leaders are scrambling to find a solution.”

               A break in the video goes from the news station to an outside interview with an older black man standing in from the elementary school. He wore thick, black-framed bifocals. Dressed in a beige suit with a white button up shirt and a matching beige tie, he begins talking with his mouth covered by a green mask with a printed red apple slightly tilted on the right side. His name appears in a bold black font inside a red box with the news logo on the left side as Superintendent Charlie Powers, and the subtitle below his name reads The County District No. 1 Head Superintendent. He says with a raspy voice. “It was a tough decision. We do not know if these children have confirmed cases of the Coronavirus at this present moment. Our board had an emergency meeting this morning and decided it is with best interest if we shut down the school and send our children home. We also informed all parents of our decision through voice-activated calls. We are sorry. In the meantime, education must continue. We will move to virtual learning effective tomorrow. All children are encouraged to get on their computers and learn from home.”

               The screen goes back to the news station with Tracy Griffin. “We will keep you updated on the latest information we can gather. God bless that school. Now, let’s go to the weather with our chief meteorologist, Justin Cowburger! HI JUSTIN!” The phone screen turns black.

               As Trinity puts her phone away, Davis looks down in disbelief. Super spreader!

               “Our children go to that same elementary school.”

               “Right!” Davis replies. “Just don’t say anything. No one knows how this virus is spreading. These are just guidelines and recommendations the ‘experts’ feel that are safe. Let’s just play this out.”

               “Davis, you really are that guy! I feel so much better talking to you because you’re so laid back.” She looks at her smartwatch. “It’s almost time for me to go. Hey Davis! Thanks again for everything. I am so sorry for all of this…by the way, that expensive wine you got me for my birthday was fantastic! My husband loved it just as much as I did! How did you find it at the grocery store?”

               “Yeah, see my wife recommended it!”

               “Well, she has great taste! If she’s anything like you, we must meet each other. It’s funny how in four years of working together, we only met once. That was at the company Christmas party three years ago, and nothing since then.” She puts her hands on her hips and stands straight at 5 feet, 8 inches, but with high heels on she stands an inch short of 6 feet. Her coke bottle shaped body straightens.

               “Schedule never seems to sync, my best guess. Ok, Trendy Lady! It’s time for you to go. I’m trying to get out of here soon.”

               “Ok, bye Davis!” She smiles, touches his shoulder, and walks out the door. Without looking, Davis listens for the clapping of her heels against the floor fade away as she walks out the office and shut the door behind her.

The plant closed for three days. Over its course, Davis got tested again and constantly checked his personal email awaiting negative test results. He also checked his work email for any updates about reopening the plant. I’ve had it once, no way I can get it again. In the meantime, his family quarantined upstairs while Davis remained downstairs. He did his fatherly and husband duties by cooking for his family and leaving food at the master and son’s bedroom doors. The food was left in paper plates since it is easily disposable and minimizes the risk of possible contamination. He also left medicine and vitamin D with water for them to take daily.

His family’s main form of communication during those two days was through video chatting on their phones and personal laptops. To also pass the time, he connected his video game console to the downstairs TV playing online multiplayer with random people. One day, he formed a team with some guys he played with in a match. They would become online friends.

               Three days after the plant’s closure Davis receives an email at 10:39 am from the 24-hour pharmacy where he got retested for COVID. He opens a page from the click here link. The page quickly opens as Davis begins to scroll to the bottom of the page to find his results.

Based on your second test results, your sample has tested negative for SARS-CoV-2/2019-nCoV confirming no match for the COVID-19 virus.

               Davis stops reading and screenshots the page. He forwards it to HR through email. Later than day, he receives a call from HR telling him the plant will reopen tomorrow only for lead operators who have negative test results. Even though it will be Saturday, he is expected to go to work for a few hours to restart reactors and review paperwork before the shutdown.

That night, he drinks the remaining amount of expensive wine he purchased for his wife a week ago. His family’s health has improved, but for safety purposes he makes them quarantine for another day. Davis begins washing dishes when he sees “Breaking News” flash across the TV screen in bold white letters with a bright red background.

               “Hi, I am Tracy Griffin reporting to you live with some breaking news out of the town. The mayor has issued a state of emergency as COVID cases have soared over the last two days. Since I reported about the outbreak at the local elementary school three days ago, the town has witnessed its numbers double according to the local hospital.”

               The screen switches to a recording of the mayor standing in front of the local hospital with the town’s sheriff standing to the left of him and his wife to the right from earlier that day. They all were wearing white mask with the town’s green emblem on the right side. The name Mayor Ellis Major appears across the screen in bold black font inside a red rectangular box with the news station’s logo on the left side on the screen below him. He is an older black man in his late sixties. He was bald at the top of his head with gray hair on the side trimmed low. He wore thick black bifocals. “Right now, we are declaring a state of emergency for our town. The numbers are too high to continue our day-to-day outdoor activities. We have issued a curfew from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am. All public businesses, i.e., grocery stores, library, restaurants, fitness centers, any businesses where crowds congregate will be forced to close at 7 o’clock pm, no questions asked whatsoever. For now, we are looking to reopen under a modified curfew in about two weeks. If you work or travel for work during those hours, you will be safe, but please have an approved signed letter from your workplace with you because our police force will pull you over and will make you go back home if you are out and do not have this letter. Thank you.”

               The screen switches back to the news station with Tracy Griffin. “We will keep you updated with more breaking news once as we gather more information. God, bless that town…OKAY! Now, it is time for the weather with our chief meteorologist, Justin Cowburger!” When she turns to the left, her facial expression is surprised! She immediately begins to laugh. “Justin! Is that you dressed in a snorkeling suit!?!?”

               “Why yes, it is, Tracy!” Justin says off-camera. The camera pans over to the green screen containing the weather map of the major city and its surrounding cities and towns of its metropolitan area. Justin, a skinny man with low-cut blonde hair is dressing in a black snorkeling suit with snorkeling goggles placed on his forehead. A blue snorkel pike attached to the googles rests on his right shoulder. “Whow!” He empties a fin containing water onto the floor. “Have you seen our ratings lately? We have to do something!” Tracy is laughing hysterically off-camera. “This snorkeling suit is synonymous with the powerful system that’s coming our way from the mountains in the next few hours. Our sister station is reporting torrential rain right now as I speak and looking at some of the images…COWBURGER! It looks like you can barely see what’s in front of you! If you are going out before 7 am you will need more than an umbrella and raincoat. You might need a snorkeling suit like the one I have one right now! (My brother makes these; you can purchase from his online beach shop.) Right now, it is 11:07 pm, and the skies are clear with no stars. However, around 3 am that system will come through bringing enough rain for fish to swim in! I’m talking a foot. A perfect time to reflect from the reflection of yourself on a window. No lightning activity has been detected on our satellite radar, just a downpour. Now, this system will move out of our viewing area around 8 am tomorrow. If you are traveling, please be careful.”

               He looks out the kitchen window to see a few raindrops on the outside window. A small raincloud covers the full moon that shines brightly in the night sky. More raindrops begin to hit the outside of the window. He listens for the calm, soothing sound of rain splashing against his house. As the minutes pass, the rain is light and constant with no signs of a downpour. Justin is terrible at his job!

               Suddenly, Davis’s thoughts are interrupted by his wife, Dayla. “DAVIS ANDERSON YOUNG!” He turns to the stairs to see his wife standing tall at 5 feet, 8 inches on the last step with her hands on her hips. She is wearing a pink, silky nightgown that shows her hourglass-shaped body. Her jet-black, wavy afro behind a white headband exposes her perfect hairline with a widow’s peak. The light from the top of the stairs reflects off her light brown skin. “DID YOU NOT GET MY TEXT AND CALLS?!?! THE TV IS TOO LOUD! TURN IT OFF AND GO TO BED!” She turns around and stomps up the stairs.

               “Well, she’s back to normal.” He grabs his phone lying face down on top of the kitchen island. He enters six numbers on the passcode screen to unlock the screen and notices his phone was on silent with eight text messages notifications and a missed phone call from his wife. He swipes two times to the left and presses the TV remote app with his thumb. From inside the app, he presses the power button that turns the TV off. Then, he closes the app and opens the home security app. He scrolls down to find on-screen light bulbs. He looks for the “Living Room Lights” and presses the yellow bulb until it turns black. This causes the lights in the living room to turn off. He does the same with the kitchen. Then, he sets the security alarm to activate from his phone. He walks over to the couch in the living room and lays down on it. Before he falls asleep, he sets a work alarm for 5:00 am then puts the phone down on the living room table. The soothing sound of raindrops from outside calms Davis as he dozes off to sleep.

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I’m positive

Story written by: Preston A. Thompson

Your COVID-19 Results Are Now Available is the title of an email Davis Young nervously reads from his phone. The email notification appeared on his screen shortly after clocking in for work at 6:00 am. He could have opened it then, but his work bro, Karl Stanley, was walking beside him talking about his weekend and how his ninth-grade son scored twenty points, two assists, and one rebound coming off the bench for the high school varsity basketball team. “I’m tellin’ ya, Davis!” Karl said. “My son spendin’ one year in college then he’s going pro! You heard it here first!”  They both laughed.

Davis is hiding in the last stall inside of the men’s bathroom. It is a routine he does every other day since being promoted to lead chemical operator. He hides in the stall to escape the mental demands of being a lead while staying on the clock for pay; however, today is different. Not only is he hiding, but Davis has been waiting for his Covid-19 test results since getting tested two days prior. 

Davis presses on the “click here” link found in the middle of the email which slowly loads a new page. A drop of sweat rolls down his forehead entering his left eye. The sting felt from his eye does not bother him because his focus is on the anticipated Covid-19 results. On this day, the 5G coverage is producing weak signals on smartphones throughout the job site while the WiFi is down for a scheduled monthly security maintenance. A company-wide email was sent by IT reminding all employees about downtime from 9:30 am to 10:30 am. 

The time is now 10:41 am according to the digital clock with red numbers above the men’s bathroom door while Davis’s phone reads 10:38 am. “Typical IT!” he says to himself out of frustration.

                The link from the email finally loads a new page with Davis’ test results. He skims through the top to verify his personal information then scroll to the SARS-CoV-2/2019-nCoV Results paragraph at the bottom. Suddenly, Davis’s attention is interrupted when he hears the urinal flush several stalls down. From the stall’s door small opening below, he sees a man’s black suede shoes walk towards the sink and stop. The squeaking turn of the faucet handle then noise of water rushing out of the faucet echoes in the bathroom for five seconds then stops. The black suede shoes bypass the paper towel dispenser and hands-free hand sanitizer heading out the exit.

               He barely washed his hands! That’s how this thing spreads, a lack of personal hygiene. He looks back at his phone. Ok. Back to the results. 

               Davis finds the SARS-CoV-2/2019-nCoV Results paragraph again and begins to read:

Based on the test results, your sample has **** 

A text notification from his wife interrupts. He quickly presses the notification with his thumb, and the page instantly switches to the text app.


Good morning husband! I love you and hope you have a wonderful day at work! Dinner will be ready tonight! Your favorite!

Thank you, Honeydew! I love you too! I can’t wait!!!

Davis slightly swipes upward to see all opened apps and clicks the email app to enlarge the page. He continues reading:

Based on the test results, your sample has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2/2019-nCoV confirming your match for the COVID-19 virus. Please follow****

               Davis cannot read anymore for the word “positive” was all he needed to see. A tear falls from his eye as he reflects on the people he been around last week.  His family, wife, twin boys, friends, and coworkers could all be affected. He thought to himself about the mask mandate and admits he does not wear it properly especially when being around the same people. He barely maintains the recommended social distancing of six feet out in public. Thinking to himself how he thought he was invincible, but only followed safety guidelines just to protect the interest of the public. Despite the rise in daily new cases reported on the news, he did not know anyone personally who had the virus. Davis believes he is the first amongst the people he knows to be positive for COVID-19.

               NO! He says to himself. No one will know I have Covid! I feel fine…no symptoms…I’m asymptomatic. I will go back to work and go home like normal. This will all be over in a week. Davis flushes the toilet, walks out of the bathroom stall, puts his hardhat on, puts on a mask he had stuffed his pocket before entering the bathroom, and goes back to work. 

Davis has a successful workday completing every task given. Before going home, he stops by the local grocery store to buy his wife her favorite bottle of wine. In fact, he wanted to splurge so he bought a more expensive wine hoping it could cover any suspicion his wife may have about him. At home he helps his twin boys, David and Daniel, with homework, sets the table for dinner, eats, and talks about his day. He does not mention his positive test results for Covid or getting tested two days prior. That night he tucks the boys in bed and then sits downstairs with his wife drinking a glass of the expensive wine.

“Honey,” said Dayla. “This wine is wonderful! It’s not my usual. How did you find this one? I love it!”

Davis shrugs and takes a sip of wine, “A coworker told me about it.”

Dayla guzzles down the remaining amount of wine left in her glass. “I love it! Tell that coworker he has great taste.” She thinks. “What’s the special occasion? You only buy expensive things when something good has happened.”

“Honeydew! I wanted to be different, spontaneous. I thought about you all day at work and wanted to make you feel better. I love you so much. You just don’t know how crazy I am about you! All the guys at work get tired of me talking about you and our family. Even Antonio gets tired of me.” He begins to laugh.

Dayla’s heart is filled with love. She leans over and kisses him on the cheek. “You are a wonderful husband, now let’s go to bed.”

A little after 2:00 am, Davis wakes up to look at his wife. She is sound asleep. Her face is in total bliss while snuggled under the comforter. That was a close one! The nice gesture I did makes her unaware of what is going on inside my body. I better get my rest. The alarm will sound at 5:00 am. When I wake up, I will delete the email and go to work like normal.

               Davis’s phone alarm sounds at 5:00 am for him to get ready for work, but Davis wakes up to the worst headache he ever had. I forgot that red wine gives me a headache. As he gets out of bed, he begins to have feelings of his body burning from the inside. Mucus rushes from his nostrils and breathing begins to feel like a cheesecloth was placed in his throat overnight as he stands up. Am I having an asthma flare up? As he turns and walks towards the master bathroom, exhaustion begins to overtake. Each inhale radiates pain from his lungs as the exhale temporarily soothes it. Davis is experiencing the symptoms of COVID that he remembers reading from online articles when it first made headlines in the United States.

               What is wrong with me? Staggering to the bathroom, he looks back at the bed to see his wife still sleeping in a blissful state. Once inside, he lightly closes the door and begins to catch his breath. He stumbles to the medicine cabinet below the bathroom sink and grabs a thermometer. He stuffs it in his mouth waiting impatiently for a reading. 101.9!!!  The shower he takes, dressing in his operator’s uniform, and even walking down the stairs exhausted him. I must stay strong! I can make it…this will all be over in a few days.

               During his commute to work Davis stops at the 24-hour pharmacy near his home to buy ibuprofen because he once read it can lower a feverish body temperature. Sitting outside the pharmacy parking lot he takes two pills with a drink of bottled water. Halfway to work he feels his body temperature return to normal, but the exhaustion remains.

After parking his car in the farthest parking spot away from the work building, he painfully gets out of his car. He takes a long look at the crescent moon in the sky wondering if he should continue keeping his illness a secret. Although the early morning outside temperature is warm, Davis is having body chills as he stares at the moon and stars above. He slowly walks towards the employee’s main entrance. With each step energy is rapidly draining which causes him to breathe heavy. He pauses midway to catch his breath putting his hands on his hips for balance. When he gains a little strength and slightly normal breathing, he continues his walk towards the entrance. There, he is met by a security guard standing behind a glass barrier with a small hole in the middle. This is part of normal protocol before entering the worksite. She holds a non-contact infrared thermometer between his eyes through the opening. She squeezes and holds the trigger until it makes a beep sound then draws her arm back through the hole looking confused at his temperature reading from the mini screen. “This thang ain’t worth the money they spent on this.” She looks at him with a straight face. “It’s reading 99.9 which is too high for you to enter…hold on.” She begins to shake the thermometer a few times then slaps it with her other hand. “Put your head down, Davis, and let me try this again. I swear!” Davis lowers his head as she reaches her arm holding the thermometer out of the glass opening towards him. This time she places it on the left side of his forehead, squeezes and holds the trigger until she hears the beep sound. She draws her arm back towards her, reads the temperature, and smiles. “Ok, 99.1. It’s a little high but normal. I will let you go. I swear, this thang been reading everybody’s temp a little above 98.6 lately, but management said if it isn’t above 99.5, then it’s ok to let employees pass. You may enter. Have a great day, Davis.”

               Davis thanks the woman and walks through the doors still hiding the bodily pain he feels. The sound of the reactors makes his headache worse while the bright lights shining from the rafters hurt his eyes. Davis drags his feet across the floor. His steel-toe boots are feeling heavier than before. Sweat pours from his head wetting the top of his uniform as the muscle aches intensifies and breathing becomes heavier and even more painful.

               I need to call off, this is ridiculous. I cannot go on like this. I need to end this game I am playing and get help. He suddenly realizes his own plan. No! I cannot. My wife would kill me if she found out I tested positive. Then the secret’s out on how I may have contracted the virus. But this is the price I must pay.

               Each second at work feels like minutes to Davis as he tries to maintain a normal posture. Operators and managers have been coming in and out of the workshop he leads unaware of his illness. Only one operator, Antonio Thomas, knows about his positive COVID test. Antonio and Davis have been best friends since third grade. They call themselves “work bros.” He helps Davis by diverting any attention Davis receives to himself. Antonio even does double the workload. 

During lunch break, both join two other work bros at a table away from other employees in the breakroom. The round table is in the far corner wall beside a soda canteen. Each guy removes their mask and places it respectively in front of each other at arm’s reach.

               “Don’t feel bad man,” Lamar Keith, Davis’s best friend since tenth grade, who also was his best man in his wedding nine years ago, “we tested positive, too.”

               “Yes.”  said Antonio Thomas. “When I felt sick, I told only you three about it, and that’s it. Not my wife, momma, children, only you three because we were in it together.”

               Karl has a look of concern. “Yo Davis man! You good? Don’t even trip. We are going to get through this!”

               Davis looks up from the table appearing sicker than this morning. “I’m ok man. It’s just…I don’t understand.”  He takes a deep breath then lets out a faint exhale. “How am I…sick…but” he lets out a soft painful cough on a napkin, “but you aren’t?”

               Their conversation pauses as they hear high heels clapping against the floor. With each step walking towards them, the sound gets louder. Mrs. Trinity Walker, the company’s leading business accountant, walks past the men to the soda canteen. The “beep” sound echoes to the table as she presses its buttons to get a soda. She takes out her husband’s credit card and inserts it into the canteen card reader. She presses “No Receipt” on the screen, turns around with the soda in hand and waves at the guys.

               “Hey guys!” Trinity cheerfully says. “Hey Mrs. Trinity!” the guys simultaneously respond back.

               Trinity makes eye contact with Davis. They both smile. “It’s that guy!” she points at Davis in a two-gun draw pose. Davis points back, “I am that guy, Trendy Lady!”

               “Ok, have an enjoyable day! See you around!” She smiles, lightly touches Davis’ shoulder, and walks out of the breakroom. The echo of her high heels clapping against the floor with each step fades away.

               The guys turn back to the table and shrug their shoulders. “I guess we are asymptomatic.” Lamar says. “We have no mask on right now. Don’t want management all in our business. We can’t spread it to each other. The spread happened man, that’s all to it.”  He looks at his watch. “Break time over. Come on Davis, pull yourself together. Remember, no one knows about this. We could potentially lose our jobs for breaking safety protocol the Friday before last!”  They all laugh as Lamar pats Davis on the shoulder. Each man puts on their mask and heads back to the workshop.

               “Hey Antonio! When you get back, cut the CV Reactor up to forty. Make sure the temperature is higher than 200 degrees C. I’m depending on you, my dawg! I will be back there in a few…And, can you work on Mixer-20? I don’t have the strength to tighten the screws today. Thanks man!”

               “No problem! I’ve had your back since eight!”

               Davis’s energy decreases as he fights to keep a normal posture during the final four hours of work. Constantly looking at the clock, he begins to think about his family. My family has no symptoms, but why am I keeping this a secret? They need to quarantine…I know what I can do! When I get in the car, I’m going to tell my wife they need to quarantine because one of my operators will be out sick with COVID and could have spread it to us. Sounds like a plan!

               Indeed, it did sound like a plan; however, Davis’s brain fog caused him to forget to call on his way home.

As Davis parks his car in the driveway, he is met by his twin sons, David and Daniel, rushing out of the house to greet their dad. Hmmm…this is odd. They normally don’t meet me at the door. Why must everything go wrong? Nervously, he gets out of his car. “Sons!”  I guess I hug them. Sweat pours down his face and onto his already drenched operator uniform as his sons hug him with one to the left of him and the other to the right. His wife walks out the door adding on to his nervousness. Davis removes his mask as Dayla kisses him on the lips, “Baby! You are a sweaty mess!” It is hot outside during his encounter with the family. Thank you, Lord, for making today a hot day!

               “What can I say?! This is what money looks like!” He nervously laughs. The family walks through the front door with Davis going in last. He looks around at the neighbors’ homes. There is no activity going on at any of the houses. He looks at a few cars parked on the side of the road two houses down from where his family lives.

               “Come on, daddy!” His twin boys say from inside. “Coming!” Davis replies as he staggers walks into the house and shut the door behind him.

Davis began to feel better, but the symptoms remained. His breathing hurts more with each inhale and subsides after each exhale. To his surprise Dayla has not noticed any of his symptoms. That night Davis falls into a deep sleep. He gets up and repeats the process for the remainder of the work week. Davis has never been the self-examining type, but over the course of the following three days he pays close attention to his temperature and symptoms as well as taking the ibuprofen 30 minutes before getting his temperature check at work and 30 minutes before he arrives home.

On Friday, Davis’s health improves dramatically. He has no pain when breathing, the sweating decreased, and his strength improves gradually. He begins to feel normal, but what amazes him more is that no one noticed his symptoms. Yo! I’m really that guy! Thank you, Lord, for blessing me through this! I know it is a sin to lie, but no one asked so I did not tell. Keep me and my family safe during these challenging times. Next time I promise to be careful. No more gatherings without wearing a mask for me. And I might consider getting the vaccination.

               Davis walks into work on this beautiful Friday with a smile on his face and added confidence. He puts on his operator uniform as he looks at his reflection in the mirror. “I am Davis the Lead Operator! I am bigger than COVID!”  He does a little dance as he walks out of the men’s locker room.

               “Davis, my guy! I see you got that swag back!” Karl says.

               “Yes sir!” He replies. “No more symptoms! I’m that guy!” They laugh and fist pump each other.

               Davis walks to his production department and begins working on the broken mixer. It sucks Antonio cannot fix this thing. I asked him several times this week, and it never improved. Oh well, he’s my dawg!  The managers need to spend money on improving our equipment rather than fund golfing trips with clients. Suddenly, his phone vibrates and sounds. He picks it up to see a message notification from his wife. “What does she want?!” He clicks on the text notification which immediately opens his text app. Using his thumb to swipe upward through several text conversations headings, he presses on the heading that reads Honeydew with a picture of his smiling wife on the left side.


Davis. This morning the boys and I could not get out of bed. David soaked his bed with sweat, and Daniel has a temperature of 101.3.  I am having body aches and my stomach is in so much pain. I am taking us to the ER right now because I have a little energy. In the meantime, you need to warn your management that we may have come down with COVID. You will need to get tested and quarantined until we know our results. This pain is terrible. I am so sorry, and I love you dearly!

               As Davis closes his phone leaving the text message on read, his heart begins to pound and sink to his stomach. Terrible thoughts of losing his family from COVID complications flood his mind. He tries to imagine them overcoming the virus while blaming himself for being selfish. What have I done? What did I expose my family to? What about the kids, what about their friends in school, what about their friends, family members, what about my wife, what about her elderly family members? How many people did I expose? How many lives have I forever changed? He sits down on a bench near the lead operator’s office feeling deeply depressed and concerned about the drama he may have caused. 

Covid Health Pandemic Vaccine

Why I Decided to Get the Covid Vaccine

Written By:  Preston A. Thompson

Before you start reading, I want to make this very clear.  By no means do I intend to use this blog to persuade anyone into getting the Covid vaccine.  I firmly believe your decision is your decision, and you must decide what makes you feel comfortable.  This is my story about why I got the Covid Vaccine.  It was not an easy decision. I remember when the Covid Vaccine was first introduced in early 2021 I thought to myself, “Nope! Not me!” There was not enough time between when Covid-19 first made headline in the US to that moment to introduce the official vaccination without mention of trial results. Did Pfizer and Moderna follow the procedure, or did they rush their vaccines just to get the world back to some form of normalcy?  It takes time to introduce new medicine to the market, and this felt like it was made overnight.  Is there enough research about the long-term effects to the human body should I get the vaccine? Can I get Covid sick from the vaccine?

               If that was not enough the people around me had their doubts, too.  We often said we will refuse the vaccine during our watercooler discussions.  The threat of possibly losing your livelihood just because you refused to get the vaccine loomed over our heads.  What really bothered me was every time I logged into Facebook (or any other social media app), watched the news, or any outlet that talked about Covid-19 the main target was getting the vaccine.  I could not escape it.  Doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, scientist, vets, etc. talked about how we should trust the vaccine on TV.  “It’s your shot” and “Let’s end Covid.  Get the vaccine” were the everyday slogans circulating all over.  I became annoyed with them.  I began thinking this was a staged attempt to get us with trust issues in medicine to be test studies for the vaccine.  I would go to Facebook and Instagram to see friends whose group became eligible for the vaccine post photos of their vaccination cards (or arm getting the shot) with captions talking about how they trusted science and got the vaccine, and now it is your turn to end Covid by getting the shot.  These posts even came from friends who barely post on social media.  It all felt rehearsed and coerced.

               Around Spring 2021 I had a gradual change of heart.  My wife began to talk positively about the vaccine and how the benefits seem to outweigh the doubts.  As the number of vaccinated increased by the day I started to feel more confident about getting the vaccine.  Many of the vaccinated reported they had no major symptoms during the first dosage while the second dosage of Pfizer and Moderna caused half of the vaccinated to feel a low-grade fever and slight fatigue that lasted for a day.  In accordance to CDC guidelines, state and local governments were allowing the vaccinated to gather with other vaccinated without wearing a mask.  Laws that mandated mask requirements in public places were easing up.  Then, the people around me began signing up to get their first dosage.

               Now the ball was in my court.  What should I do?  Should I get vaccinated or not?  Decisions, decisions.  On one hand I get the flu shot yearly with my wife and never caught the flu, not even a slight body temperature raise.  On the other hand, there just wasn’t even research and time to fully trust the vaccine.  I would hate to watch TV twenty years from now, and an infomercial asks “In 2021, have you or anyone you know taken the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson Covid Vaccine?  You may be entitled to a lawsuit!”

               After weighing out my options I decided to get the vaccine.  A nearby clinic had plenty of Pfizer Covid vaccines available, and slots were available for days.  So, why did I change my mind and sign up to get the covid vaccine?  My answer was I do not work from home, and work consists of different households all gathered under one facility.  I travel from home to work to home to repeat the cycle until the weekend.  I was thankful throughout the pandemic I never exposed my wife to the actual virus despite being the one to go out into a socially distanced society daily while wearing a mask.  I always took the necessary precautions every time I step outside our house or allowed package carriers to drop packages or groceries to our door even though those precautions are not guarantees to prevent the spread of Covid.  I would be devasted if my wife got Covid, and it turns out I was the direct cause of it.  Maybe the vaccine will work to reduce the spread or maybe it will be a waste of our time as the virus picks us apart one by one.  Either way, I took my chances and got the first dosage of the Pfizer vaccine on the first day of Spring.  I wanted a peace of mind that I was protecting my body against this virus.

               The line was long at the clinic on the day of my scheduled vaccine appointment, but the shot was quick and easy.  I followed the standard procedure of waiting 15 minutes after the shot to ensure I had no allergic reaction.  No symptoms were noticed, so I went home.  I monitored my health while practicing social distance for the next two weeks.  No symptoms were noticed as I went to get the second dosage of the Pfizer vaccine two weeks later.  After this dosage I had only a tiny raise from the site where the shot was administered.  I practiced social distancing again while monitoring my health for the next two weeks.  I am pleased to say during that time I had no symptoms of Covid.  No headache, low-grade fever, body aches, fatigue, etc.  I was now fully vaccinated, but still practiced all precautions to minimize becoming a spreader.  The daily numbers were decreasing as the vaccinated increased but being fully vaccinated made me feel as if I was doing my part.  Sure, there is no guarantee I am immune from the actual Covid vaccine, but I hope if I was exposed to it my body was prepared to fight it off with no spreading to my family and community.

               Why did I decide to get the Covid vaccine?  I wanted to do my part in protecting my family and giving my immune system a chance to fight off the vaccine should I become exposed.  There is no actual cure for viruses, but I saw getting the vaccine like practicing before a game.  Practice does not guarantee you will win the actual game, but practice prepares you for it.  It is an inactive form of the virus made by science which means should you get exposed your immune system may do its part or nothing.  Since science is controlled by humans it has its flaws, but I am training my immune system to recognize the actual Covid vaccine and respond to hopefully decrease my chances of getting the worst symptoms.

               Why did I decide to get the Covid vaccine?  I started to feel more confident about the positive results than the possible negative.  If this vaccine is the cure, then I wanted to be a part of the solution.

               Why did I decide to get the Covid vaccine?  I wanted to have a peace of mind about being vaccinated.  I thought to myself we have been receiving vaccines since infants that protected us against virus we do not stress much about today.  What makes the Covid vaccine any different?

               This is not a post to promote getting the vaccine, but if you are still undecided, I encourage you to weigh your options.  Just when we thought this pandemic was coming to an end, the delta variant began to cause Covid cases to rise.  Now, the FDA wants to push boosters to anyone who is fully vaccinated.  Unfortunately, the unvaccinated are getting hit with worst symptoms from the Delta variant according to reports.  It appears this Covid virus will continue to mutate with time claiming more victims as the days progress.  We are approaching two years since the first Covid case was reported, I would love to see this pandemic come to an end so we can all gather like we did before 2020. 

This decision was not easy, but I did it for my wife, my family, my coworkers, my community, my life.  When this virus has finally affected its last host and the CDC says we can all go back to life before 2020, I will be here to celebrate just like the rest of you.  I want my normal life back, too, that includes no mask, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings, but I must also do my part in slowing the spread of Covid by following CDC, state, local, and my own household guidelines.  As I close this blog, I want each of you reading to remember to take care of yourself and the people around you.