Thank G-d for the Vaccine

Back in March, when the pandemic had not yet lost its terrifying novelty, a couple of aging boomers posted a YouTube parody of the old Simon and Garfunkel hit “Homeward Bound.”

“We’re sitting here in isolation waiting for the vaccination,” they began.

Excellent rhyming.

Back then, the question was how long this would last.

Nine months, later the length of a baby’s stay in the womb came the wonderful news. Not one but three vaccines–if you count the Sputnik, and as a privileged elder, I got to jump the queue.

Today, January 1, 2021, I was scheduled for my first dose.

Yippee, I never thought the day would come when I’d look forward to a shot, but here it was.

Outside, the afternoon sun shone, the sky was a bright blue on a springlike December afternoon.  To make things even better,  I found parking in front of the Kupa building in the heart of Geula, where spaces are as rare as diamonds.

The waiting room was crowded with others-I guess you’d call us all seniors though I still feel like a sophomore.  A few wore worried looks, but most were as thrilled as I was to put this accursed virus behind them.

After a relatively short wait, it was my turn.

I didn’t think I’d feel much except a stab of pain, so the wave of strong emotion came as a surprise. Not fear but awe and gratitude that I’d lived to reach this milestone.  Fighting back the tears, I recited the shehecheyanu blessing—those ancient words about being kept alive to see this day said it all.

“I’ll also say a blessing, too,” added the nurse, a Russian immigrant in a pom pom beret, and while squirting the Pfizer serum into my forearm, she invoked the name of the Higher Power we call Hashem.

I squeezed my eyes closed, and it was over in a non belabored breath.

No pain and please G-d tremendous gain.

Jab number 2 is scheduled for late January. After that, I can embark on my long list of delayed activities, including having a  professional haircut.— I’ve been DIYing it since March to disastrous results and flying to the US to visit my parents’ graves and greet a new grandchild.

Though the doctors say, I’m 60 percent immune Israel is tightening the lockdown. To paraphrase that boomer couple, “I’m sitting here in isolation though I’ve started the vaccination.”

I haven’t heard from that couple. I wonder how they have fared, but if they want to write a new parody, I’ve got just the Simon and Garfunkel melody.

It’s called the “Fifty-Ninth Street Bridge Song,” You may know the refrain.

“Dadadadada feeling groovy.”

That’s how I feel right now.

Reprinted from The Times of Israel Blog 

Carol Ungar is a prize-winning  author who writes from the Judean Hills.