An experiential defense of vaccination
It finally caught up with me. After successfully evading the Corona Crown for all the pandemic, after dodging every risky situation, a PCR found me positive.
Mind you, I already felt sick. Headaches, fever, body pains. The works.
‘Ok’ I thought ‘we should be alright. We are not at risk since we have all the vaccine coverage. This will just take time’. I learned experientially about the importance of vaccination through the application of mindfulness.
Just to be clear about something, before we begin: I’m not any kind of qualified medical doctor or practitioner. I’m not a medic, nurse, or specialist in any biological science.
I’m also not any kind of untraditional practitioner of health, like a Reiki devotee or a crystal healer.
My work is mainly as a Strategy Consultant, with a specialization in Mindfulness as a tool to generate both systemic and personal change in corporation and their workers.
I found interesting, as both a meditation practitioner and teacher, how to apply my awareness to the process of my sickness and healing.
There was a very interesting correlation between the experience of vaccination and sickness.
This is just a personal and singular experience, but I found it helpful to document it.
I have three vaccines which followed a pattern.
After the first shot, I returned to work. Slowly, a general feeling of dullness dawned, followed by headaches and body pain. I found out that I couldn’t continue working, not in any useful way.
I went to bed to read, thinking that I’ll be up soon. Then, the fever came.
I had a pretty strong fever until the small hours of the morning. After that, I could sleep. I felt tired, but nothing else.
Second shot. I did this on a morning. By midday, I felt headaches. I went to my bed, fearing the repeat of the first.The fever came right on cue. I struggled, trying to distract myself, but I had to wait for the fever to break.
Third shot. ‘Ok, Fede’ I thought to myself ‘you’re slow, but even you can learn’. I had the shot, then went straight to my bed. Fell asleep as soon as I could. Slept through the fever. Woke up feeling refreshed.
Then, COVID came this week. I found out that it behaved the way it was supposed to. It was the experience of the vaccine, but amped up.
Every day, the same pattern: wake with headaches, mucus, body pain. Fever started mounting towards the end of the day. If I fought against it, I couldn’t sleep until the fever abated. If I tried to relax and sleep as much as I could, I just sailed past it.
Lying on a bed is easier said than done. My body, at least, hurts once the twelve hour mark is past. With mindfulness of posture, and small stretches, when I could do them, I managed.
Our thoughts are the main thing. All those questions. When I’m going to feel better? Should I call the doctor again? Do I have to lie here feeling bad?
This is where mindfulness comes into play; to help both manage our expectations and to relax on the experience.
On the expectation side, yes, we’re going to feel sick. But that’s what we can expect, isn’t it? By framing our expectations against our experience of the vaccines and seeing a similar pattern. We can be sure that this is not going to kill us. It’s not a bridge that we haven’t crossed already; it’s just that the intensity’s a little higher, nothing more.
On the experience itself, mindfulness can help us to manage those things, like posture, that we can manage and relax ourselves to those things we cannot. I don’t think that anyone can be fully comfortable during COVID fevers, but one thing that mindfulness teaches is to be comfortable while being uncomfortable. We need to relax into the pain and the fever.
Is it a good time? No, not at all.
Will it pass soon enough if we relax? Yes.
I did what I could. I took the strategy of my third shot iteration and reused it for COVID. I slept as much as I could, going to sleep at non-regular hours; just when I felt the fever rising. And it worked like a charm: I woke up refreshed and soon I was back on my feet.
The experience taught me more respect for the heroes of this pandemic: the scientists and immunologists who created a vast array of vaccines in a short time. Of course, I know that testing has proved them in a laboratory setting.
Still, it amazed me to see how well they prepared me for the actual thing. Not only did they create defenses in my system to not fall to the virus badly. It trained me on how to take the best course of action if I were to be infected.
So, this is my brief, mindful conclusion: if you still haven’t fully vaccinated… please do so now! I know you might read many people telling you about their personal experiences. This is mine, and I’m telling you, not only for yourself but for everyone else: this works.
And if you’re already have, please join me in thanking all of those who made these vaccines possible for all! The unsung heros of these years. Thank you!
#mindfulness #covid #meditation #vaccionation #experience #yoga