On November 22nd, I received my third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, this time Moderna. It’s seven months after my previous dose in Denver. As I said last time, nothing special happened, but I like to look back on these months later.
It’s much easier to find an appointment on the website now, and the shot was at a Target/CVS within walking distance from my Airbnb.
I originally booked a booster and flu shot for Friday the 19th at a nearer CVS, cancelled when I re-checked qualifications in Texas, then re-booked once the FDA authorized.
On their website you can see which locations are near you and (though I didn’t see it at first) which brand vaccine they have. For a while I’ve been interested in getting a Moderna shot because of research in the US and UK about mixed brands improving immunity.
This time I could walk to a CVS inside a Target in Houston. I wore my Alaska T-shirt, shorts, and a black KF94 mask.
It was easy to find the pharmacy section. The pharmacy tech asked for my vaccine card, double-checked that I was looking for Moderna, and directed me into a nook with a little waist-high swinging barrier and curtain (I called it “cute” but it was a bit weird). After a few minutes, the pharmacist came in, asked about allergic reactions, handed back the vaccine card, and said I should expect similar side effects. He then gave me the Moderna shot. It’s a minor sharp jab like any other shot and isn’t anything to compare here. After the flu shot, I was directed to a chair outside the nook.
After ~12 minutes, the first pharmacy tech told me I could go. During my time I didn’t hear anyone coming in for their booster. I used my $5 coupon to buy a potato peeler and can opener for my Airbnb. Then got a poké bowl for dinner.
It’s been a busy seven months. I left my old job and started a new one. I traveled from Colorado to Oregon, Washington, Alaska, New York City, and Texas. Not every business reopened, but the regulations have gone away. I don’t follow the latest movements in cases and case-fatality rates anymore.
My go-to joke is ‘post-Covid? I’m still adapting to living in a post-Tiger King world’. More seriously, thanks to the vaccine, it’s been easier to eat indoors, see movies, get an airport pickup from my Airbnb host, and travel without thinking ‘oh no I shouldn’t do this’.
My mom returned to teaching.
When my grandma passed away in the summer, I could fly and meet with my family without worry or strict New Mexico entry rules.
I think all of those are real steps toward normalcy. Some things haven’t really changed back… I’m still working from home and isolating myself a lot. The poké place was actually my first time eating inside instead of takeout or home-cooking since I arrived in Houston.
In March I’ll be making my first international trip since January 2020 for an ML conference in Prague. I’m also watching vaccination rates in Malaysia and Rwanda for future tech outreach.