It felt strange to be amidst 75 + senior citizens awaiting my first shot. On February 12th I was in Essex townhall. However, I felt at home as I could see at least 4 of our parishioners, members of the staff, helping us. I also saw some parishioners waiting in the hall.
I had been given the privilege to join the seniors because of my obligation to visit the dying at home, in hospitals and convalescent homes. I could see ray of hope in people’s eyes as they filled out the forms. They were like leafless trees in the Fall looking forward to the Spring season, eager to develop antibodies physically and moral strength psychologically. I was toying with this calculation: ‘More vaccination = more people attending Mass.’ Christopher Olender, Pharmacy manager of Nutmeg Pharmacy at Centerbrook gave me the shot.
My left arm was sore for about three days, otherwise I had no other problem. Thoughts about my paternal grandmother surfaced in my memory. When I was a boy, she insisted that I should drink three handfuls of the same water in which I would shower. Her culture should have informally inculcated in her the ‘unscientific’ mechanism of vaccination. A heaviness fell upon my heart as I considered millions of people around the world who have less or no access to any sort of vaccination.
I went to Essex townhall on Friday the 5th of March for my second shot. It was very cold and windy. Along with many people I had to wait in my car for more than 30 minutes to enter the hall. There were more healthcare professionals who came to our own chairs to administer vaccines. Since I had heard that the second vaccine could make one sick, I arranged a priest to say the Mass on Saturday morning. I did not get sick at all.
On Ash Wednesday, during the Mass, I said, “May be this is the beginning! More and more people will come to Mass as more and more are vaccinated.” I do see more people attending the daily and weekend Masses. This may be the beginning of the end of this pandemic.
Those who believe, pray; and those who don’t, wish that peoples in the world may regain health; that the underprivileged and the unprivileged may be taken care of by their governments; and that the globe may let a sigh of relief at the demise of this virus.