Tomorrow marks two weeks since my second covid vaccine. My partner doesn’t get his until next week and then there’s two weeks to go until his reaches full potency, so I’m not even considering leaving isolation yet. But I figured that since there’s a lot of misinformation out there that I would share my own experience. I am not a medical professional, so there are things that I may get wrong, which is why I’m going to focus on my own experience.

Are you magnetic?

Beyond my magnetic personality, I’m really not, and neither is anyone else. There’s a long history of people claiming to be magnetic, but previously it was mostly used as a demonstration of phenomenal cosmic powers. Apparently, somewhere in the Southeast region of Asia, there was a man who could lift an entire mirror with just his chest. Turns out, that power went away just through the application of baby powder (talcum powder around these parts) onto his skin. This does not happen to anything actually magnetic. I encourage you to try this with your fridge magnets.

I am also still operating in a 4G network, much to my dismay.

What side effects did you have?

I tend toward really strong immune reactions to vaccines. Last season’s flu shot laid me out for two whole days. It was not pretty. Still prettier than influenza though, which is why I get the vaccine every year.

For the first covid shot, I had a sore arm for a few days and I was really tired for about a week afterward. For the second, I got a much stronger reaction. My arm was, expectedly, really sore. Sensitive to touch levels of sore. Also pretty unsurprisingly, I got a fever the evening of the next day, lasting into the following day. What surprised me and caused me the biggest discomfort, was just how sore the lymph node in my left armpit got and for how long. I don’t remember them ever getting anywhere near as sore. Although the times they would usually get sore, I’ve been so sore all over, that I just might not have noticed. That was the part that I really hated. I could have happily gone through life without knowing exactly where my lymph nodes are.

Would you do it again?

In a heartbeat. If they decide that booster shots are needed, I will be first in line to get one with the full knowledge that I will probably feel even worse for the week after that. There are a few reasons for this.

  1. I’m obese. Even though I’m generally healthy and actually in pretty decent shape as far as my respitory system goes, obesity is still a thing that is a risk factor for severe disease. I don’t want that. 
  2. Dying of covid is easily one of the worst ways I can think of dying. You end up drowning in your own fluids, for days, often medically paralyzed and on your stomach, in your own filth, in the worst cases for days. In the worst instances, you wind up on increasingly invasive forms of added oxygen for weeks or months, even. Covid attacks pretty much every organ in your body, not just your lungs, which is bad enough. So even if you do survive, you might wind up needing an organ transplant even if you have no risk factors to begin with. I want to have nothing of it.
  3. I’m friends with the brilliant Cassie Alexander. She’s an ICU nurse and also wrote a memoir of her year as a COVID nurse (Year of the Nurse, it’s great, you should read it). But I had second-row seats to watching it happen live. I can’t do much to help her or her colleagues on this continent, but I can get vaccinated. So that’s what I’m going to do. No amount of discomfort is too much to make their jobs even a little easier. 

So yeah. Vaccines work. They reduce the number of infections, they reduce the number of hospitalizations, and they reduce the number of deaths. But they don’t work 100%, which is why it’s so important for everyone to get one. And even more so to protect the people who medically cannot get one.