Here it is, the end of 2020, and what a year it has been. After so many dark and worrisome days in this pandemic, it is quite a relief to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I am overjoyed that COVID-19 vaccinations have begun in the U.S.
I have been self-quarantining since mid-March, mostly only going out for doctors’ appointments. In July, I tested the waters to see if I could handle going out in public. I was very disappointed to find that there were far too many people not wearing masks properly, or at all, and not social distancing. So, I have not ventured out since then.
The darkness for me reached its peak in June. I was horribly depressed. My employer was cutting my position, so I was going to lose my job at the end of the year. I had just lost my sweet cat, Leo, who I’d had since 2004. I was in a rut, basically only eating, working (remotely, thankfully), and sleeping.
Thankfully, I slapped myself out of it — figuratively, of course — and started making some big changes. I started dieting and exercising (I’ve lost 35 pounds), I got more involved in online activities and chat groups so I could be social, and I updated my résumé and set out to find a new job (I found one in October). I also was given the opportunity to write this column.
Then, to top all of that off, I saw the news of a COVID-19 vaccine. Not only that it exists, but also that it is a vaccine I can take. Due to my condition, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, I cannot take a live vaccine. None of the COVID-19 vaccines being developed are live, and I am thrilled about that.
I know I am not first in line by any means, and that is just fine with me. I work remotely, and after making those big changes in my life this year, my mental health is fine again. Healthcare workers and other essential personnel need to be first, with good reason. What’s another couple of months or more? I will gladly wait. Just knowing that there is a vaccine will keep me going.
I do look forward to the day when I can go out shopping again or even dine in at a restaurant. That seems so trivial in light of the circumstances these days, but I really do miss doing that. I am relieved to know that there will be a way for me to protect myself that is not as dependent on others.
I know I have been very lucky during this pandemic, and I hope to continue to be so until we win the war against COVID-19. It is devastating to know that this vaccine is too late for so many people. My heart breaks every day for the lives lost, and the lives forever impacted by tragedy or the long-term effects of the virus.
I am glad 2020 is wrapping up with some positive news. We all need it, and I am grateful for it. I hope the new year brings new hope. Cheers to 2021!
Note: ANCA Vasculitis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of ANCA Vasculitis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to ANCA vasculitis.