May 19, 2021

Reactions to the COVID-19 Vax Differ Widely. Duh.

A courageous column about the most important issue ever. Yes, that’s what I’d enjoy writing

By Ed Goldman

If you’ve submitted to one or two anti-COVID vaccinations, you’ve probably had one or more of these reactions:

1. Zero discomfort of any sort.

2. A headache and/or mild fever—causing you to believe, once the unpleasantness passed a day or so later, you now had superpowers.

Edgy Cartoon

Furry With the Syringe On Top

I experienced some achiness and fatigue after my first shot. Neither was alarming, however, since, as someone with arthritis who also gets too little sleep, it seemed like a normal day.

But at least four of my friends (yes, that number has more than doubled in recent years) warned me that my likely reaction to the second shot would be nothing less than sob-inducing.

I’d probably suffer (a) intensely vibrating chills, (b) the kind of migraine headache that would have people say of me afterward, “He’d seemed sort of despondent lately” and (c) a spontaneous rash on my right ankle —or on both ankles, since I’m ambidextrous (except for my left hand).

One friend tried to reassure me by saying, “When it happens, just remember it means the shot is working.” Of all the panic attacks disguised as consumer alerts, this proved by far the worst thing I was told. 

It started when the nurse who administered my shot was so skilled that while I thought she was still rubbing a drop of alcohol on my arm, she was actually injecting me with the Pfizer serum. When I told her so, she was thrilled—and may have asked for a letter of recommendation or an affidavit, but my memory gets a bit sketchy when I’m behaving like a bwave widdle soldier.

After I got home, and for the next several hours, I didn’t experience any symptoms of a negative reaction. In fact, I detected a dollop of euphoria requesting entry into my psyche, which at first made me think this could be the previously unrecognized (and as of this moment, branded) Pfizer Epffect. I could almost hear Mary Poppins singing:

“A hypo of medicine makes the sugar high expand
The sugar high expand-and
A better high than planned.
Just a shotpful of Pfizer and your mood pfeels back in hand
In a most delightpful way.” ☂️

I’ll admit that around 2:30 in the morning I started experiencing some troubling weariness. But as I crawled into bed, I reminded myself I had just imbibed a few vodka martinis to congratulate myself on having been a bwave widdle soldier—and that it was, after all, 2:30 in the morning.

I talked it over with a dear friend the next afternoon (when, let’s be clear, I had just awakened) and she said, half-jokingly, “Maybe you didn’t really get the vaccine.” I half-chuckled—but (again, let’s be clear) suddenly excused myself a few moments later to bolt to the bathroom, tear off my injection Band-Aid and examine my arm with an intensity similar to when Dr. Van Helsing checks out Mina Harker’s neck for puncture wounds in “Dracula.”

Sure enough, there was a single tiny puncture mark just above my bicep, meaning either I’d been successfully inoculated or had been the nocturnal victim of a vampire with a missing fang. (For younger readers: This fang might have fallen out due to the vampire’s advanced gingivitis. I urge you to floss.)

Not long ago, President Biden, Dr,. Fauci, the CDC and a podiatrist I met in a Starbucks line gave me and a number of double-vaxxed seniors permission to wander around maskless outdoors—provided we take certain precautions like never attending an indoor marionette performance, a wedding reception held in a janitor closet or a Capitol Hill insurrection (the latter would be okay if I brought along two forms of identification and wore a hat with moose horns).

I think they’re calling this the New Normal. Maybe. But both of my ankles are beginning to itch and I need to floss.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).

Yes, Virginia

A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela

President and CEO, Golden Pacific Bank

photo by Phoebe Verkouw


His Holiness Dalai Lama believed, “It is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.”

He may as well have been talking about climate change—which is killing us. Literally. We each have a personal responsibility to act now.

The whole universe, even the smallest of us, is profoundly connected.

Let’s face the stark truth: The crisis of climate change plunges those who are the most vulnerable into an even deeper pit of vulnerability.

But just as we’re all connected as human beings, the poor and abandoned are connected to those who strive for gain—at the expense of the poor and the earth.

As successful people, we have a deep obligation and responsibility to take care of our brothers and sisters. All deserve food and water and a way of living.

For corporations, the time to act is now. Let ESG (environmental, social, and governance) issues dominate our Board rooms and our collective thought process.

I am in awe of all living things and I know each of you who reads this is, as well. We need to change our habits and work and make real changes for our common good. Ecological conversion is more relevant and urgent than ever.

Every little thing you do, every choice you make, please do so with introspection on how it affects our planet and our neighbors. Reinvigorate the conversations about what is real wealth.

The crisis of climate change is real today. And as one of my favorite (though anonymous) quotes has it, “My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.” Let’s all connect to ensure there’ll be a “there” there when we arrive.

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