As of June 10, more than 63 percent of Americans had received at least their first vaccination against COVID-19. MyEpilepsyTeam members who have been vaccinated are eagerly sharing their hopes and plans now that vaccination has lowered their risk for experiencing serious illness from the potentially deadly virus.
“I’ve had both [vaccines]. Moderna. Sore arm, run down for a couple days, but all good,” shared one member. Another said, “Spent about an hour with my live wire of a grandson and my daughter. Even though she's fully vaccinated and I've had one dose, we still met up outside, masked up, and socially distanced.”
Many MyEpilepsyTeam members are excited for fun activities with friends and family again. Others are reveling in a return to normal social plans.
“I'm definitely doing better now that I'm getting out and driving again (food shopping, the gym, walking with friends),” wrote one member. Another said, “We went to visit some close family friends after we were all vaccinated.”
Still other members are nervous about socializing again after being quarantined for a year — and that’s normal, experts say.
“Reentering society and socializing again is going to be a process,” wrote author Clay Drinko, Ph.D., in March. “Just like adjusting to pandemic life last year, this new transition is going to have its ups and downs. Instead of having unreasonably high expectations (I’m going to host a block party and be the belle of the ball), try to take it one step at a time and be curious about how each new interaction affects you (I'm going to try to talk to the neighbor and just see how it goes).”
About half of American adults have delayed or skipped some aspect of medical or dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic. As MyEpilepsyTeam members get vaccinated, many are taking the earliest opportunity to schedule medical visits, eye appointments, dental exams, and diagnostic tests needed for epilepsy monitoring.
Other members are taking the time to schedule personal care appointments that they’d been putting off during the pandemic. “I had crazy long COVID-19 hair, but finally got it cut last week,” one member wrote. Another said, “Finally got rid of my pandemic 2020 long hair.”
As travel restrictions lift and more people are vaccinated, some MyEpilepsyTeam members are beginning to look forward to their first vacations in more than a year. Some members are hoping to travel to meet each other for the first time.
“Maybe next time I’m in New York, I can come visit you, wrote one member to their MyEpilepsyTeam friends. Another said, “I’m taking a week of vacation!”
Members report that they’re continuing to be cautious when socializing.
Even after you are fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends continuing to take precautions such as:
Ensuring that you continue to prioritize your safety can help ease your mind as you get back into the swing of post-vaccine life, wrote psychologist Marina Harris, Ph.D., in May. “By following guidelines and associated protocols, combined with the vaccine, you’re being as safe as you can possibly be.”
Local health authorities may have additional guidelines in place for your state or county. Be sure to check what’s permitted before planning activities.
MyEpilepsyTeam is the social network for people with epilepsy and their loved ones. On MyEpilepsyTeam, more than 95,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with epilepsy.
Have you been vaccinated against COVID-19? Are you making plans now that your risk for infection is lower? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.