Are you experiencing FVH?
Any person, regardless of age, can experience Frequent Vaccine Hesitancy. Sometimes this is temporary, and sometimes FVH is a more persistent condition. A lot depends on the underlying cause (or causes!) of FVH. Here are just a few:
- Fear of needles (everyone has this, except maybe heroin addicts)
- Lack of trust in pharmaceutical companies and public health agencies (many people have this, some for good reason, and some because they get their facts from celebrities like Jenny McCarthy)
- Uneasiness about Bill Gates and that whole microchip thing (much less common, unless you get your information from sketchy posts on Facebook)
However, the most overwhelmingly common cause of FVH is anxiety about negative side effects. Who wants to willingly sign up for an experience that potentially involves fever, nausea, fatigue, and muscle aches? It’s understandable, but I have been fully vaccinated, and boy do I have some news for you. Has anyone told you about the incredibly beneficial, powerful, and unexpected side effect you will undoubtedly experience immediately, and which intensifies for approximately 24 hours, and thereafter becomes permanently a part of you? My guess is no, since it is not quantifiable and not very science-y. But I have experienced this potent side effect myself (twice), and trust me, you definitely want it.
At the very moment of receiving my 1st vaccine it happened. I felt something that was a bit unfamiliar, a new sensation. I looked at the nurse who administered the shot, and as our eyes met, I saw a twinkle in her eye and an unspoken acknowledgement passed between us. I smiled at her, and although we didn’t say anything, I could see that she knew what was happening. It was just this: the lifting of a burden, a letting go, the feeling of an end to a l-o-n-g difficulty. And this feeling grew. After leaving the pharmacy I wanted to celebrate! I had such a nice rush of enthusiasm for the sunny afternoon before me, a desire to dance around in the parking lot, and basically a feeling of release from an invisible jail.
What I was feeling was hope.
Hope (noun): the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best
And the cool thing is that this HOPE kinda stuck around, showing up in surprising ways. For instance, the next day after Vaccination Day, I started to look ahead to the future, and to think about making plans. I was dreaming and scheming again! Of doing stuff like traveling, which even though it has not been expressly forbidden, has certainly been anxiety-provoking and fraught with peril. And on a smaller scale, I thought about things like going out to lunch with friends, or a leisurely shopping expedition, or…hello!…GOING TO THE MOVIES. At first it was quiet and subtle, I didn’t even realize that there had been a shift in my thinking. I had become so accustomed to NOT getting an idea along those lines and NOT entertaining such plans, that it felt remarkable. And that, my friends, was just the first shot.
After the 2nd vaccination, as you can imagine, I was over-the-moon. I now had such a buoyant sense of accomplishment, and even though it far outweighed any true effort on my part, was delicious none-the-less. And then do you know what I did? I GOT OUT MY CALENDAR. To put some actual dates to my plans and dreams and schemes.
And I wasn’t afraid.
Happy for your exit back into reality! I am confident you will do fine. You too are a survivor.
Thank you so much Timm, for both reading and commenting on this article about hope. I think about you and your family every day, and am following your situation closely. I wish I could be of more help, prayers are ongoing.