When I got the vaccine, I was expecting an emotional experience. Instead, I felt something strange I hadn’t felt in a long time—optimism. I had a sense of calm and relief seeing how many people were getting vaccinated at the same time as me.
Dealing with the pandemic has been exhausting. Of my four sons, three are teenagers (one has asthma), and my six-year-old Nolan has severe special needs. On top of that, my husband is a pharmacist who travels to vulnerable fly-in First Nation communities. Until we’re all vaccinated, my family can’t return to any semblance of normal life.
If Nolan caught COVID-19, no one knows how it would affect him. He has a rare form of epilepsy, various neurological problems, and is non-verbal, so he wouldn’t be able to tell us if he had trouble breathing. It’s an unsinkable fear of mine. Before being vaccinated, my husband had fears, too, of getting close to Nolan and passing on the virus. It’s a weird feeling to be scared to hold your child.
We’re battling this together as a family, but it’s difficult. My older sons know we’re Nolan’s protectors, but they’re still teenagers with their own lives and priorities.
I hope everyone considers not just themselves, but those around them who aren’t eligible for the vaccine yet, like Nolan. We have so much to fight for collectively, and if we work together and get vaccinated, we can all get our lives back sooner.