Today is my COVID Vaccine Immunity Day: marking two weeks since I received the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. It’s the point when the CDC says you have reached a level of immunity that will allow you to resume some parts of your normal life.
I feel like celebrating. I’m reminded of those old TV ads that would run after a big sports win:
“Now that you’ve won the Super Bowl, Phil Simms, what are you going to do?”
If you remember the commercial, you know the answer was always “I’m going to Disneyland!” (or Disney World, depending on where you live).
So how am I taking advantage of my newfound status?
I’m going to Costco.
So over online shopping.
I’ve been fortunate. I don’t have a job outside the home that requires public contact, so I’ve been able to stay home for the last 13 months and use Instacart and Amazon to get groceries delivered to my doorstep.
Having this kind of technology during the pandemic has been a godsend. I try to imagine how I would have managed if COVID had occurred 10 or 20 years ago, when online shopping was less sophisticated. (I’m especially grateful that my kid is all grown up and I didn’t also have to cope home schooling.)
But using an app to purchase groceries has its drawbacks. If I am at the store getting ingredients for two or three recipes I plan on cooking this week and something isn’t there, I can see what IS available and decide how to adjust. Or pick up something that will work with a different recipe that wasn’t in my meal plan. You can offer substitution instructions to your Instacart shopper, but I invariably ended up with items I didn’t expect – such as a packaged pound of fresh ginger instead of one item, or a pack of 3 dozen Francisco hot dog buns instead of Francisco French bread rolls.
I am grateful to all the shoppers and grocery store workers who have been risking their health so I could stay home. I gladly paid the service charges and tipped them well.
And then there’s Amazon
And don’t get me started on Amazon, which doubled its profits in 2020 because of the pandemic.
I feel like I was personally responsible for a lot of that. When I did my taxes last month, I was struck by the number of Amazon charges we made over the course of the year. And after reading reports of how they are said to treat their employees, I want to kick myself a little every time I place an order with them – just because it’s safer than shopping in person.
I’m afraid Amazon has become too big to quit them entirely, but now that I’ve got a little bit of vaccine immunity, I’ve decided to only use them as a last resort.
COVID has made the mundane exciting.
It’s a little ironic that the things I want to do most after achieving immunity are so mundane. The first thing was to hug my daughter, which I did a couple of days early because it was her birthday. Shopping for groceries – in person – was the second.
Before the pandemic, I considered visiting Costco more of a necessary evil than something to savor. I hated navigating past the other shoppers (especially at the ends of the aisles, where the carts would all clump because someone was handing out samples). I was bored standing in the long checkout line. And if there are no boxes available, you may have to make several trips back and forth to unload the car.
But I really hate paying full price for paper goods and cleaning products. And over the course of staying home and cooking most days of the week, I learned I cannot live without Kirkland chicken stock and diced tomatoes.
So today, I’m going to wander through the physical aisles of the store instead of a website or app, read labels, and make shopping decisions without the assistance of an intermediary. I might even enjoy a short conversation with a checker or greeter as I make my way through the warehouse. And when I stand in that inevitable checkout line, I’m going to be patient.
At least, for today. No one knows yet how long vaccine immunity will last or if we’ll need annual boosters. At this time, they’re guessing “at least six months.” I’ve got a lot of living to cram in to that time.
Have you had your COVID vaccine immunity day? What was the first thing you did? If you’re still waiting, what do you plan to do? Let us know in the comments!