We walked to the pharmacy on Wednesday for my vaccine appointment. We scheduled it because the pharmacy in question is only a short 20 minute walk from us. And I figured I also needed the exercise. You see, I haven’t been outside our apartment since Sept. 1, last year. Yes, that’s right. I have been shielding for the last eight months and, prior to that one trip out to see the doctor, I had been shielding for the previous six months as well.
First up, there was no way, given I’m in a high risk group, that I was going outside last year during the height of the pandemic when people were even more defiant about following protocols than they are now. And I had no desire to find out firsthand whether I’d survive COVID, or not. Add in that my partner was, by then, working from home, and we didn’t really need to go beyond our balcony or front door. We could order in most of the things we needed, including our groceries.
So, going outside for the first time in eight months, but knowing it was for a life-saving vaccine, made me quell most of my fears and use them instead as momentum. I double masked just to be safe, wore disposable gloves, carried a small bottle of hand sanitiser in my jacket pocket, and with my partner making sure I didn’t have an anxiety attack, we set off.