When the elevator doors open, a commandingly warm voice greets you and hands you off to one of three medical assistants who do the initial screening. They ask the questions we have all become accustomed to: Cough? Fever or temperature? Shortness of breath? Been diagnosed with Coronavirus, or been around any one with the virus or who has quarantined because of it?
The screeners are bedecked in personal protection gear. Gloves, masks, face shields and full length Operating Room gowns. They aim a device at your forehead and affirm that your temperature is normal. Another staff member is at the stand-by. After confirming that you have been scheduled for the Coronovirus vaccination, the staffer escorts you down the hallway into a cul-de-sac where you get instructions and paper work.
What you also get is a moment to consider the moment. You have lived with a certain fear and stress since March 2020, when the Coronavirus Pandemic launched havoc and disruption into the world and into even the most minute aspects of our daily lives.
Now, you say with your mind’s voice, I made it this far. And I am grateful. And you savor the thought that in just 28 days, for me, February 18, you would return here to NorthPoint Health & Wellness for the completing 2nd dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine.
The mind remembers the joy of embracing love ones, of lifting, embracing grandkids, and shifts forward to the gratitude you will feel when you can hug the grands again. You smile.
You smile also because you stand in a space awash with smiling eyes and hearts. Eyes and hearts that see you, and recognize you, and celebrate you, and telegraph with undeniable kindness and concern, their joy at being part of your journey to prevention and restoration. These women and men, let me call them angels, you can call them doctors, nurses, technicians and professional health care workers, treat you like they are on a rescue mission, and their paramount concern is saving your life.
And while the vaccine…. the vaccination… is the point of it all, there’s something else happening simultaneously. I call it transformation. The transformation is bearing witness to and being part of the level of excellence in care and attention that affirms your right to be here, your desire to live.
You are gently guided into the next room around the corner where the person who will administer your vaccination invites you to his or her workstation. Panyia Vajthas asked which arm and when I offered the left, the painless injection was over before I could take a couple of deep breaths. So we celebrated the moment with a selfie which I posted on Facebook.
The last part of the process was a 30 minute wait session in a larger room where three school classroom rows of chairs were set for social distancing and where each of the vaccinated could get a debriefing of sorts, and further instruction on what to watch for if you were having a reaction to the vaccine, and reminders of when your return visit would be.
At the head of the room, a NorthPoint Vaccination banner provided a backdrop for the red-carpet experience you were having. You were encouraged to take a seat or stand in front of the background and take a selfie or ask someone to take a picture of you so you could memorialize this day, a day of prevention, restoration, healing and transformation.
More next week.