The year 2021 as been something of a ride from the hopeful distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to the surge of first the Delta variant and then the Omicron variant in the last few months of the year.
I obtained my first Covid-19 inoculation on February 16 2021, it was Moderna. On March 19 I received by second Moderna inoculation on March 19 2021. My Moderna booster was September 13. In each case there was the expected injection site soreness and the common post vaccination symptoms for about 36 to 48 hours. The probability of a couple of days discomfort for me certainly beats the probability of a person such as me having Covid-19 and being in the hospital or worse. The discomfort clearly was better than the alternative both for me personally and for society as a whole.
A book which vividly describes the alternative is Year of the Nurse: A Covid-19 Pandemic Memoir written by Cassandra Alexander who is a Registered Nurse working in Intensive Care in a Bay Area hospital and who may be familiar to some for her other role as a writer of paranormal romance fiction. The book starts in early 2020 and chronicles in vivid detail what actually was happening in the hospital Intensive Care ward and general in the realm of medical care in the hospital. The book is very much a plain spoken account. The medical procedures are described in detail, the agony and sometimes death are described, the severe impact on the medical staff if detailed. This is a book which I recommend to those you need to be told about the impact of the first year of Covid-19. And if in reading the book the reader finds it necessary to put it down occasionally thus reading it in small amounts of the span of weeks, that is when I would suggest remembering those medical person who lived the experience day after day, week after week, month after month.
The author has a webpage about the book at:
and there is a link to a page about where to purchase the book, it seems that the ebook is available at almost all ebook sales sites.
Something which really needs emphasis is that the Covid-19 vaccine is not just for the protection of the individual, it is also and I think more importantly for the protection of others particularly those with underlying medical conditions which preclude them from being vaccinated. I have, and I suspect most people, have in their social circle at least one person who has a medical condition which prevent vaccination. And even if you do not know the person, there are many people for whom catching Covid-19 would lead to serious illness, probably with long term harmful outcomes and possibly death. So think about others and get vaccinated if you can.
In September and October there were some venues which opened up to the public after being closed for over a year. One such venue was the City Lights Theater in San Jose California. City Lights Theater stages some very fine plays. In March 2020 just days before the world premier of a play titled Coded everything went into isolation. The play written by San Jose State University professor Kirsten Brandt. In October 2021 the play was able to open at City Lights and I went. There was a mandatory vaccination and masking policy for the audience. Typically City Light Theater performances are mostly sold out however the performance I attended was only about a third of normal attendance. The play is about women in technology specifically the game creation industry. This play is really really good and very much worth seeing. The cast was all women and they gave a tremendous performance.
I was very lucky to see the play when I did because just a few days later I received an email from City Lights saying that part of the production had Covid-19 symptoms and a positive test. So the remainder of the performances were cancelled. Fortunately they had made a video of a previous performance so during the rest of the scheduled run the video could be purchased for streaming. Even though I had already seen the performance live I was so impressed that I paid to see it again via the streamed video. Unfortunately the streaming arrangement was for a limited time just to finish out the scheduled run so it is no longer available. However if you get a change to see it performed I very strongly recommend it.
Perhaps 2022 will be better than 2021, of course perhaps not. In either case we humans can continue on pursuing science, understanding the challenges of how our physical world is changing, respecting other people and with attention to being benevolent and kind.
Be happy and stay healthy.