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Tag Archives: Coronavirus Vaccine

BREAKING NEWS: I’M SUFFERING FROM PTSE—’Pandemic Trauma and Stress Experience!’

Cartoon used by permission: 249454_RGB_1290.jpg Breaking News by Rick McKee CagleCartoons com

The other day I posted on my Facebook page that I thought I had PTSD from living under the reign of Trump and Covid-19. But that is not accurate. Come to find out, I may have something called “pandemic trauma and stress experience (PTSE),” according to Dr. Gail Saltz, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine, as was reported to Nicole Karlis of Salon.com in the article: It’s not just you: Why everyone is super exhausted right now.”

For me the exhaustion started with the hope of getting the vaccine as a high-risk human. Stress, thy name is trying to hunt down a Covid-19 vaccine, especially as a senior citizen. I don’t know about your area, but my vaccine hunt was a “Where’s Waldo-like,” frustrating trip through pharmacy/hospital hell.  When the vaccine first came out, I was told by our local press (and my doctor) that I’d qualify for the top second group to be given the shot (1B) because I have several comorbidities—one of them being old age, another being gloriously chunky, and the rest of them being none of your business.

Cartoon used by permission: 249263_RGB_1290.jpg Light at the end of the tunnel by John Darkow, Columbia Missourian

When the time came for my group, I signed up everywhere there was a whisper of getting a vaccine appointment. Rumor had it that my doctor’s office might have 300 slots if I got there fast enough and kept calling and nagging them. (“Nope. Nada. No can do,” they said.) Two hospitals were rumored to have the shots but none that were affiliated with my doctors. (I was beginning to think this was a race thing because no Black person I knew had been able to procure a shot in my area.) I signed up on my county health website. (Eleanor, who?—don’t call us, ‘cause we ain’t gonna call you!) I heard about an obscure pharmacy in my town that uses the cutesy old English spelling of double p’s to describe its establishment—all I had to do was send a text to get on their list for a vaccine appointment, but apparently, they ran out of shots the day before I signed up. (They ghosted me like a Dickens specter, but never bothered to tell me that I didn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting vaccinated).  National news said one of the largest pharmacies in the land would offer millions of shots, and all I had to do was go online and sign up, but every time I logged on (day after day after day after day) every single appointment was booked.  (“W of the T of the F,” I thought, “I escaped the ghetto, certainly I can outsmart a stupid pharmacy website!”)

Cartoon used by permission: 249092_RGB_1290.png Losing It by Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune MN

With my laptop in hand and my phone by my side, I stayed up through the night one evening mainlining caffeine, pinching myself to stay awake, and watching the sequel to the Gilmore Girls. (The revisit with the girls left something to be desired, BTW.)  At exactly two minutes after midnight, I logged onto the big pharmacy website, and Eureka! There were open appointments…although it took me a lifetime jumping through all the pages of questions they demanded like, “of these gazillion addresses listed, which one do you remember as a place you might have lived thirty years ago?” (Are you shittin’ me, giant pharmacy store? I can’t even remember what I had for dinner last week!)  By the time I finally escaped their Indiana Jones death traps and clicked on “submit,” and received two dates (one for each 2-shot vaccine), I thought I had won the lottery.  (Hallelujah, praise the Lord! Thank you, Jesus!)

I bragged to everyone I knew that I had done the impossible and had gotten an appointment on the giant pharmacy website. I had done what other mere mortals could not do. My friends were so jealous.  I gave tutorials on how to go fishing for a vaccine appointment at two minutes after midnight when the pharmacy uploaded the new slots.  I was flying high!  (Note to self: pride goeth before the fall.)  Until…until the nation-wide pharmacy sent me an email three weeks later that my first appointment had been rescheduled.  (Same time—different date.)  Okay, okay…just keep breathing, I told myself—stay calm.  You’ve got your foot in the door.  They can’t abandon you now.  (Oy, I am so naive!)  Two days before my first shot, I got an email which announced that my rescheduled appointment had been cancelled and they had no idea when it would be rescheduled.  (“We’ll call you and reschedule promise.” Liars! They never did.) 

I finally did get my first vaccine (still waiting on the booster), but not through any of the multitudinous sites where I’m waitlisted.  I had to go through a backdoor channel because the sites that were supposed to do their job never got their shit together in my town.  (What a fuster cluck!)  I’m absolutely exhausted over this hunt to keep me alive.  I felt as if I were an addict trying to get a hookup.  I don’t want to hear any more news reports about Black people being reluctant to get the vaccine, because this is one Black person who had to move Heaven and Earth to get a needle shoved into my arm, and I’m still waiting for the repeat.

Covid-19 Vaccine ET: Photo Credit E. Tomczyk

Now I’m contemplating a world where I have more freedom.  I’m trying to wrap my head around reentering that world.  Apparently, that concept causes extreme anxiety too when a pandemic is winding down, if Dr. Gail Saltz is to be believed.  Where do I go first?  How far afield should I go?  Should I trust airplanes?  Should I go by car? How do I proceed?  Where will I be safe?  What should I wear?  Will any of my dress-up clothes still fit?  Should I wear one mask or two?  Will I be safe around the unvaccinated? Apparently, 50% of Trump supporters are anti-vaxxers and won’t wear masks—what do I do if I run into these Neanderthals other than beat the crap out of them for being so selfish?  What if I get sick from the booster shot?  What if…? It hurts my head.

I think I’m going to pull a Scarlett O’Hara and deal with it tomorrow—maybe sleep for a few more months.  Maybe catch up on the old Gossip Girl series while munching on a box of chocolates and Chinese take-out. YA literature pablum at 72 years old, wrapped in chocolate, accompanied by baby steps to reenter the world is all I can handle right now.  Just trying to get vaccinated wore me out for at least another year.

Cartoon used by permission: 249634_RGB_1290.jpg Post Pandemic Stress by Dave Whamond Canada PoliticalCartoons com

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a humorist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

Cartoon used by permission: 248908_RGB_1290.jpg Tomb of the Unknown by David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS . . .

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In case you haven’t noticed 2020 has been a real shit show.  I’m so traumatized that I’ve got God on speed dial, and I’m harassing White Santa Claus every hour on the hour for what I want for Christmas.  Below are a few of my petitions sent directly to the North Pole. 

Cartoon used by permission: 246820_RGB_1290.jpg Stuck at home for Christmas by John Cole The Scranton Times Tribune PA

DEAR WHITE SANTA:  All I want for Christmas is my brain back.  A 72-year-old brain is not supposed to handle a pandemic, a lunatic, racist President who is destroying our country, people dying by the thousands per week—including personal friends—families being evicted on a daily basis, me unable to see friends from out-of-town and family for almost a year, threat of a civil war over to mask-or-not-to-mask, and the curse of possibly getting COVID-19 and dying from it due to my age and comorbidities.  I wrestle with insomnia and my brain is threatening to leave home and not return until Jesus comes back or you show yourself to be real.  I’ve never seen evidence of you in my life, you know.  Remember how you never bought me one toy when I was a poor Black child—not one fuckin’ toy?  I admit I wasn’t the best kid, but I wasn’t the worst either.  You try growing up in foster homes and an orphanage, and see how you manage. Do I sound bitter?  Maybe just a little.  Well, now is the time for you to make it up to me. I want you to start giving me presents.  Let’s start with my brain: I want my brain back!

Before I entered 2020, my brain was superb! I played “Hand, Knee, Foot, Canasta” every Monday with a bunch of ladies, wrote three books, and hundreds of stories and essays.  Now my brain has turned to mush, and I’m sure it is due to stress.  This morning, I lined up behind a man in the grocery store who looked like someone I know very well, but since I’ve never had to pick him out of a lineup by recognizing his ass, I wasn’t quite sure if it was my friend or not since we were six-feet apart.  However, I prepared to shout, “Hi—Merry Christmas!” to his back through my two super-duper Israeli masks (I take no chances at the grocery store), but when I opened my mouth, I couldn’t remember his name.  WTF! White Santa Claus, I panicked!  I know this man very well—I know his wife even better, but all I could bring to the forefront of my brain was the first initial of his name: “B.”  Any minute I knew the guy would turn around, and I’d have to address him by name.  Was it Bob, Bill, Ben, Barry, Bryson, Bennett, Brandon, Beau, Blake…? As beads of sweat formed on my forehead and dripped beneath my four-ply masks, he turned around, recognized me, and I went for broke: “Hi, Brody—Merry Christmas, my friend!” My friend didn’t recoil in horror so I must have gotten his name correct.  He greeted me by name (clearly his brain is still intact), and we yelled our commiserations back and forth about how we are both soooooo over 2020.  Whew!

Cartoon used by permission: 246243_RGB_1290.jpg Christmas List by Rick McKee CagleCartoons com

DEAR WHITE SANTA:  The second thing I want for Christmas is for you to capture Donald Trump and take him back to the North Pole with you.  Put him on a strict diet of no cell phone, no social media, no fast food, no sex, no sycophants, no friends, no relatives, no money, no visitors, and no red caps.  In other words, put him in prison.  Keep him there until he repents for the 40,000-plus lies he’s uttered, asks forgiveness to all the women he’s sexually abused, and confesses to all the crimes he’s committed.  Please throw away the key.

Cartoon used by permission: 246467_RGB_1290.jpg My favorite gift by John Darkow Columbia Missourian

DEAR WHITE SANTA:  Another thing I could use for Christmas is for you to end 2020 the day after Christmas.  Just skip to 2021.  We’ve all had it with this year. This isn’t a deal breaker, but it sure would be nice.

Cartoon used by permission: 246623_RGB_1290 (1).jpg Peace on Earth by David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

DEAR WHITE SANTA:  One more thing I’d like for Christmas: please lobotomize the MAGA people.  While doing so, please clean the wax out their ears and soften their hearts to hear the true message of Christmas.  (It wouldn’t hurt to glue their mouths shut!) I’m sure you’ve noticed that they have been very bad little boys and girls for the past four years and are still misbehaving to the point of trying to engage in a civil war.  Ain’t nobody got time for that, White Santa.  They don’t believe the pandemic is real, they won’t wear masks and social distance, they’re saying that they won’t take the vaccine for the COVID-19, and they think the election was stolen from he-whose-name-I-hope-will-never-be-spoken-after-2020.  I know you tend to have a soft spot for White people, but they gotta go, Dude!

Cartoon used by permission: 246111_RGB_1290 (1).jpg All I want for Christmas by Dave Whamond Canada PoliticalCartoons com

DEAR WHITE SANTA:  All I REALLY want for Christmas is to hug my kids, grandson, and sister.  But since I can’t, please bless our Zoom times together, and grant us much joy and laughter.  I’d like to put in my “ask” for next Christmas though:  May my family and I all be together in person on Christmas 2021. Amen!

Cartoon used by permission: 246784_RGB_1290.jpg Christmas Wish by Bill Day Tallahassee FL

DEAR WHITE SANTA:  All I want for Christmas is my two vaccines.  I’m following all the rules and doing all that is necessary to keep others safe as well as myself.  These vaccines are my ability to see family and to travel.  Maybe I’ll even come visit you, Chubby Dude—assuming you’ve received your shots.

Cartoon used by permission: 204440_RGB_1290.png HAPPY BIRTHDAY by Milt Priggee Kitsap Sun

DEAR WHITE SANTA:  What I really, really want for Christmas, I don’t think you’re capable of giving me. In fact, I think even with all your good intentions, you obfuscate the real meaning of Christmas.  The real hope of Christmas is not an obese White man (no offense) who sneaks into houses via chimneys, devours cookies and milk at EACH HOUSE (Seriously? you probably have diabetes something fierce), and uses reindeer-power instead of gas or electricity to get here and there.  No offense, Dude, but I want the true promise of what the birth of Jesus means to all mankind:  peace on the Earth, goodwill to all people, no more hunger, no more strife, love and grace to everyone, no more sadness, no more sorrow, and joy to all!  If you see Jesus in your travels, please let him know that his character and name have been hijacked in 2020 to mean something other than what Christmas should be all about, and we could use a refresher course.

Cartoon used by permission: 246732_RGB_1440.png Bedtime Prayer by Ed Wexler CagleCartoonscom

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a humorist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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