Lifestyle | Essence of Independence Day: More Liberating, Getting Vaccinated

Schedule for the Vaccination

The Philippines has just celebrated its 123rd Independence Day from the colonization of the Spaniards. It is also more than a year, like the rest of the world, that we are experiencing a pandemic following minimum health safety protocols. I quite have felt the essence of the independence day as I have received my first jab of vaccine this month - indeed, it is liberating!

The past few months, staying at home, wearing of face mask and shield when going outside for errands, maintaining safe physical distance and constantly sanitizing or washing hands has been practiced. Not perfectly executed, though, but those are the practices that can somehow cut the cycle of infection talking about Covid-19. Honestly speaking, doing it is really boring... Especially, we, as human beings, really want to socialize; talk and touch with our families and friends. It is really hard to refrain doing the things that were used to do. It has also become a moment for persons like me who are extroverted introvert back to become introvert. Yeah, that's a bit hard. Somehow, the healthcare professional in me understands it very well as I also master about infection control, we just need to abide for now.

Even as a healthcare professional, with senior citizen parents, I have chosen to stay home with them. Yeah, the journey is not that productive and a clear manifestation that I have violated my own philosophy of keeping myself productive. Well, safety weighs heavier than the other things I have in mind. So, few months ago, I have tried to make myself more connected online - not for work really - but to divert my attention, keeping myself mentally active and maintain my sanity. I have very minimal revenue to zero but still paying out social securities and bills. Yeah, that is hard as I am just emptying my savings and a few to none revenue. I love to bake - that has been part of me after I ended my contract for an NGO work - somehow, my literal bread and butter. However, I  have to stop because I am afraid that my exposure outside the house will be a threat to my parents, especially that whenever I go out, my father usually drives the car for me. I also love to talk with peers, but talking has become an online thing. I also love to attend events for my blogging and also support my friends. Everything has been diverted to my YouTube Channel, JoyoftheWorld, luckily monetized along the way as I have maximized my time in the platform.

Yeah, to earn, in any way, is not very easy these days. Having a YouTube channel is not also an assurance that you will have a payday monthly. Everything will really depend on your channel activities and audience. Days of today are really rough but we have to go with the tide and eventually find an island of hope and opportunity.

Yes, I have found that hope with the vaccines coming in the Philippines, a country that is not producing vaccines and simply constantly negotiating to have supplies which the whole world needs. With the country having more than 100 million citizens, there is going to be a very long queue for the vaccination, but still there is a hope to be vaccinated. Then, more and more vaccine supplies arrive in the country with medical frontliners and senior citizens receiving jabs of vaccine first. Yes, with my family inclined as healthcare professionals, they too have been among the firsts being vaccinated; it has played as game-changer and something liberating that this episode in the world will end soon. Also, it has become another branch of approach to fight against the disease.

My senior parents with comorbidities have gotten their first dose of vaccine last May 2021. It has given me a sigh of relief that at last, the needed protection for them is already in them. So they just waited for their next schedule to be fully vaccinated. Luckily, few days after the independence day, they have gotten their second dose. They are now fully vaccinated!

Somehow, that moment has gotten me to wonder, when will I get my first dose? Yes, I am a healthcare professional but not a frontliner, part of a workforce who is not working... Oh dear God, am I going to be on the final leg of those who will be vaccinated? But, who would have thought that I will thank for being a person with bronchial asthma that can be triggered by cigarette smoke, smog (pollutants), and even pollens. Yes, too much exposure with my triggers will really make me sound like a newly born kitten.

I really took chances to be vaccinated through walk-in as I really am clueless how the prioritization will proceed. I have friends who have tried to walk-in on some vaccination sites and then accommodated. Oh bad luck on me, walk-in has become elusive for me, but I have gotten myself listed for scheduling in the coming days or weeks. 

Few days after listed, I have an overflowing joy after I have received a message about my schedule for vaccination. I will remember that day, June 8, my day of liberation from fear of when to get my vaccine. As a healthcare professional, I know how vaccines work and I am an advocate of vaccination that has followed certain steps of bureaucracy.

But... But... But...

Even after being vaccinated, we have to maintain our guards like the face masks and shields, practice washing of hands frequently, and safe physical distance. Only a few have been vaccinated, herd immunity has not been reached yet. So, when there is a supply of vaccines in your area, don't be that reluctant - it is a social responsibility to protect others because we are all suspect carriers.

I know that we have different perspectives talking about science of vaccines. For me, vaccines work and glad to have read about the Philippines has successfully ended polio again after re-emerging few years back. Yes, it will also do the same for this pandemic. Yes, I will really suggest that everyone should be educated about the vaccines and be vaccinated because for me, being vaccinated is really liberating!

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