A week ago, I had the chance to visit Male’ not for leisure but to get my first dose of vaccine.
I was so against this vaccine because I firmly believe that I don’t need it. However, when half of our team already got their first dose and there were talks of ‘vaccine passports,’ I thought I’d just take it. Anyway, it’s a do and probably die. At least if we die, we all die together. I know. My thoughts are really harsh. But that’s the only consolation I can give myself. At least, if something goes wrong with this vaccine, I am not alone.
I was quite excited that day when we hopped into the speedboat; not because I was to get my dose but because I would be able to step out of the island for the first time since the lockdown. The last time I was in Male’ was a year ago, when masks weren’t part of our daily lives yet. It was just a thing in the clinics and hospitals.
I was so happy to be able to walk for more than five minutes, I felt the strain on my legs. But that only meant I was able to use them for walking instead of swimming. I felt like a mermaid, who finally got her legs once again.
We were briefed by our manager to not mingle with people nor roam around Male’ (because all of us really longed to see the city and for sure a lot of the locals have friends and families to meet and they’d go shopping, etc.,). But it’s difficult not to be close to people when walking on narrow sidewalks.
It took us around fifteen minutes to walk from the jetty to the vaccine center and once there, we all waited for our turns. Social distancing was maintained.
The nurse explained the type of vaccine that I was getting. Covishield from Oxford-Aztrazeneca, manufactured in India. The expiry date is on April 2021. Once injected, we had to stay in a waiting room for fifteen minutes before we were allowed to exit the center. I was the last to leave. When I went out, I saw everyone, eating ice cream and carrying bags of goodies. (People, didn’t the manager brief us about not mingling with other people?!)
We walked back to the jetty. I felt my head spinning not because of the vaccine. But because it was the first time in a long time I’ve seen a lot of cars, motorbikes and human beings passing by. It was too loud and chaotic for me. I felt dizzy.
When we arrived back on the island, one of our colleagues already felt body pain. Miffy got a fever. I ate Magnum. I didn’t feel a thing. I slept before midnight.
I woke up at half-past three in the morning, shivering to the bones. I adjusted my AC from 24 to 26 degrees celsius, put on socks and another shirt. I tried to go back to sleep but I couldn’t. At fifteen after five, I made my coffee and read a book. I took shower and went to the office at around fifteen after six. The resort host on the night shift was surprised to see me.
I went out to see the sunrise. I haven’t seen it for a while. The sky was peach. The egg yolk-of-a-sun has just risen.
My mind was so active, I was able to write an essay before heading to breakfast at eight. I was making jokes that they must have injected drugs instead of vaccines. Then at ten in the morning, I dozed off, woke up at half-past eleven with a bit of headache and body pain. I took two 200mg Advil tablets, had lunch and I was sweating all over. I took shower, listened to an episode of the CNLD podcast, and slept again only to wake up at seven for dinner. I went to bed at around nine and felt so cold. I was shivering to the bones. My friend woke me up at half-past eleven to bring me some chips and pancit canton. She left at midnight, I listened to another episode of the CNLD podcast and dozed off again.
The next day, I woke up at around eight, rejuvenated but I still felt the pain on the bones; that feeling like a steel bar hits your bones at random times.
Most of us felt the pain and a few got fever but no other horrible side effects than those and I am grateful for that.
Talks about the vaccine are still ongoing and a lot of people are still against it. It’s not impossible for the ‘vaccine passports’ to be required soon since the reality behind this pandemic is slowly revealing itself – one huge business. In fact, one Thai Hotel Chain has highly recommended to the Thai government the requirement of ‘vaccine passports’ so they can open up the country for tourism.
If you still haven’t got your dose, I hope my post didn’t scare you. If you already got yours and experienced some strange side effects, feel free to share.