So I got my second vaccine shot Monday and it wrecked me by Monday night. My wife is an RN and fortunately when patients cancel she is able to distribute that unused vaccine to family and friends, once its opened it has to be used. We are lucky in that regard, the vaccine itself? First shot my shoulder was very sore. Second really knocked me out, shivering, flu like symptoms. I was warned this would happen but it literally took me out of action on Tuesday which is the day I usually write Wednesdays and Fridays posts for this blog.
Its late Tuesday night as I write this (about 1:30 AM so technically Wed morning) I still feel like shit. Im glad I got the vaccine and glad my family has the ability to have access. Believe me I am not discounting this given how many people want it and cant get it. I will survive of course I just need to sleep but cant I am so cold.
To be blunt this blog has been in a rut for a month or two which is mainly because I have been in rut. I am, for lack of a more eloquent phrase, having a shitty April. Lots of small things have happened that have contributed to me being unhappy and depressed. Now this vaccine effect has kicked in and I’m blah. I will have an opportunity to write on Thursday which is good news and hope to pull myself out of these doldrums.
Go figure, the guy who writes a blog that has hundreds of posts on anxiety, stress and depression is depressed…..
Just a couple of good nights sleep, that’s all I need.
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So the next phase is upon us, a vaccine. Its great news for millions of vulnerable people who are susceptible to covid and its complications. It’s also great news for those who chose to live in fear for the last near year. I am not trying to minimalize the impact of covid but to say that it’s been driven by fear I don’t think is going too far out on a limb. People are free to believe whatever they want, I encourage people to question conventional narratives. I don’t think it’s ever prudent to follow blindly, I believe strongly you should always trust your instinct. My instinct? I don’t trust government and I certainly don’t trust the media.
What about you? I concede fully just because I feel a certain way that doesn’t mean I am necessarily right. Or more accurately what is good for me might not be good for you. I’m cool with that, lets meet in the middle. So we are at the great spot in this pandemic where we have a vaccine. Yes, it’s because of the government push that we are here, Trumps government to be specific. Presidents rightfully or wrongly get credit when things are good and things are bad.
I know you probably don’t want to hear that, it’s just like my conservative friends don’t want to hear that Obama is largely responsible for the U.S. increasing energy independence. I am getting side tracked here though…. So a vaccine is here, produced in record time and approved in an equally speedy way. Can you trust it? Can you trust a process funded and pushed by a government you might not believe in and a process expedited that normally takes years?
How anticlimactic I know. We don’t really know what side effects (if any) might occur with this vaccine. Will we be required to take it? How will this requirement be enforced? Where will you fall in to the line of recipients? There are still a lot of unknowns and that can drive anxiety through the roof. I know some people have been feeding on the fear and anxiety for months now. Logging on every day to get their hour by hour update on covid cases, sanitizing their hands because they touched a key board that brought them to a site that discussed covid (I know its hyperbolic, forgive me….)
You are going to be fine, you will survive this and in time, if you want a vaccine you will be able to get it. It’s likely that annually you will be getting this vaccine now. Hang in there, even if you have been consumed with fear over covid, anger at others for not taking it as seriously as you do, relief is on the horizon. This should be a time for you to reflect on what you want the next 6 months of your life to look like. How will you personally come back from the covid crisis? Will this be a battle cry for you? Maybe you will start a blog about some aspect of your experience?
The vaccine is here, don’t succumb to more fear and anxiety about its availability or how many people can get it when. You can’t control that yet, and in time it will be widely available and you will be able to get it if you chose. You’ll then be in a great position to take up the banner for the next fight, should it be mandatory or not? Rest up, the covid wars aren’t over yet. The business of fear is to profitable.
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We spend a lot of time on this blog talking about anxiety. Anxiety is becoming more mainstream but let’s face it, most people out there either don’t have it or don’t admit to having it. Enter Covid-19. Regardless of where you fall on the nuances and issues around Covid, it has impacted the globe. It’s everywhere or has been everywhere and for those of us with Anxiety it’s been horrible.
Well we aren’t alone, there are more of us now with anxiety than ever. Found a good article here that talks about google searches for panic attack and anxiety have spiked during the pandemic.
From the article: “Researchers tracked how often people looked up phrases including “panic attack,” “anxiety attack,” “am I having a panic attack?”, and “anxiety attack symptoms” using Google Trends data, and analyzed how often these phrases were searched for in the U.S. between January 2004 and May 2020. After adjusting for variables such as population growth and increased internet use over the past 20 years, the researchers found that these anxiety and panic attack searches reached an all-time high between mid-March and mid-May.”
Not surprising to many of us I am sure. The article goes on to illustrate increases in anxiety medication along with other interesting statistical data specific to the pandemic period in the U.S. (March 15 – Present). It’s interesting to see how things are shaping up for this period of time. 2020 is truly going to be one of the worst years in recent memory and we still have an extremely toxic presidential election to get through.
If you have anxiety issues, take heart in the knowledge that you are not alone, not by a long shot. The silver lining here is more and more people are entering into the conversation and seeking help. This helps drive the narrative going forward as we live in a capitalist society, demand will dictate supply.
My hope is that on the back end of 2020 we look back on one of the most stressful anxiety filled years since the 60’s that we have more tools to address mental health issues going forward. We have to try and find as many positives as we can.
No it’s not a good thing that anxiety has spiked, there are people really suffering out there. Let’s hope when we come out of this (and we will) that more awareness = better outcomes of all.