It was Saturday. I was driving in my car listening to top 40 music on my way to a CVS I had never been to before. I checked in online and then went to the registration desk.

The process was easy. I was instructed to follow the arrows and stay 6 feet behind the person online in front of me. I followed the orange arrows and saw 3 other people waiting ahead of me. The magnitude of what was about to happen started settling in. I was about to receive my first of two Covid-19 vaccinations. My compromised immune system was actually a plus in this case.

As I moved up to the next place in line, I looked to the left of me and noticed that this part of the aisle in CVS was the toy section. I saw the Playdoh and Barbie dolls. Six containers of Playdoh to a package and one Barbie doll per clear rectangular box. I thought about all the children and young people whose youth had been dramatically changed due to the pandemic.

I remembered my childhood and how my friends and I would play with our Barbies in the big Barbie doll house with the pink Barbie car and of course Ken. My how things had changed since I grew up.

It was finally my turn and the CVS employee asked me my name, birthdate and in which arm I wanted the vaccine. She took my temperature and told me to wait. Behind her were what appeared to be three senior citizens-waiting the required 15-30 minutes to see if there was an allergic reaction to the shot. One woman said she had decided to continue waiting and was now for 2 hours. I heard the other one say she and her husband had driven 3 hours so she could get the shot and would have to return tomorrow for her husband to get his. I would have liked to have a conversation with them. All that they have seen and learned and lived through in their lives. How the last year impacted them, but then…

A nurse came to get me, We sat down behind a screen that was in the aisle with school supplies. I immediately noticed the “desk” was just like the one I sat in when I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 1991. The plastic scoop seat with one wooden arm. My nerves were showing…

I started blithering on about my shellfish, peanut and latex allergies, the fact that I inject Dupixent for my eczema and would any of this cause a reaction with the vaccine. She said “no, and you should be fine”. Just like that, it was over. The shot was injected and I should wait 15-30 minutes before leaving.

As I got up and thanked her, I was overwhelmed with emotions. Thinking about the younger generations and the older generation, I felt incredibly blessed and lucky to be inoculated. Tomorrow I would return to bring my mother for her vaccine. The two of us have been quarantining together since September. I was very much aware of what I was feeling now.

Hope. Gratitude. Optimism. Thank you to all who worked on making this day possible for me. For everyone in the world who is vaccinated. For everyone in the world who will be vaccinated. For the front line workers. ??