COVID-19 · medical · slice of life

Mile Marker 25 of the Marathon

I’m not a runner. However, I remember watching the NYC Marathon regularly as a child and as a young adult living in Manhattan. While I never yearned to run so much as a mile in PE class, I have some basic knowledge about marathons. I know there are 26.2 miles in a marathon and the runners look more energetic running up First Avenue than they do running into Central Park.

While I haven’t done the exact calculations, but if the past 20 months of the COVID-19 pandemic were a marathon, then as of today our family is finally at mile marker 25. Why? Because we were able to get our kids vaccinated today!

Tears welled up in my eyes when Isabelle received her vaccine.

Here’s a funny story about how today’s vaccinations went:

We took the kids to a local pharmacy where Isabelle had her flu shot last year. She remembered the pharmacist as being “a good shot giver.” Since Isabelle gets weekly allergy shots, she was confident going into today. Ari allowed her to get the first jab since he was starting to get cold feet. Isabelle took her vaccination like a pro. The pharmacist fist-bumped her once the needle was out of her arm.

Ari began to panic when it was his turn. He didn’t want to remove his sweater. He worried it was going to hurt. (He didn’t cry during this year or last year’s flu shot so we were surprised he was getting antsy.) The pharmacist was reassuring and patient with him. Once we got his sweater off and had his arm cleaned off with alcohol, the pharmacist told Ari, “If it hurts, you can hit me at the end.”

I sat down on the chair and had Ari climb into my lap. I held his wrists gently so he wouldn’t move his arms when it was time for the injection. The pharmacist told him, “Look at your sister,” but Ari chose to watch the needle plunge into his skin. He didn’t cry or flinch. And in a 1-2-3, it was over!

“Did it hurt?” the pharmacist asked Ari.

“Yeah, a little,” Ari replied.

“You can hit me then,” he said.

I was shocked when Ari slapped the pharmacist’s forearm. I didn’t think he’d do it, but he was invited to do so twice... so I can’t blame him! Thankfully, he didn’t hit him with malice. In fact, the pharmacist chuckled.

After we donned our coats, I gathered the kids near to me and Marc. Together we recited the Shehechyanu blessing quietly before departing from the pharmacy because this was TRULY A HUGE MOMENT! We walked down the street and got the kids sweet treats before heading home.

Just as NYC Marathon runners know the final 1.2 miles are going to be a slog, we are more confident now that we will cross the finish line of this pandemic since we’ve made it this far. We’ll continue to take all of the safety measures we’ve been taking this entire time so that we can cross the finish line.

Head over to Two Writing Teachers on Tuesdays for more slice of life stories.

10 thoughts on “Mile Marker 25 of the Marathon

    1. Thrilled 2/3 of your crew will get it this week.
      As you know, Ari’s on the low end of the age range. He’s had a runny nose all day. We barely go anywhere indoors and when we do, he wears a KF94. Therefore, I think this was a side effect of the shot.
      Both kids said their arms were achy yesterday, but both were fine by this morning (& couldn’t believe I was still asking about their arms).
      Hoping it goes smoothly for your girls!

  1. KIds always surprise us. I’m so happy that you can breath a bit easier now that your little ones are vaccinated. Your comparison to a marathon served as a great metaphor and I loved how you began and ended with it.

  2. As someone who has personal experience with marathons and mile 25’s, I can FEEL the tugging emotions of exhaustion and relief. It has been an incredibly long haul we’ve had, and it is taking all the reserves and resilience we’ve got.

    SO VERY glad that Ari was able to get vaccinated! And I’m not going to lie. Your story about the “hit me” kind of made me smile. =))

  3. I like the idea of a mile marker for this pandemic. I keep thinking, “IT’S GOING TO GO ON FOREVER!” I am so grateful you put it in perspective. HOORAY for Isabelle and Ari!

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