Clinic Trials

I started working in our local vaccine clinic back in March. I don’t think I’ve ever posted here about that experience; I’ve filled a paper journal though!

Today is my last scheduled shift. I might pick up shifts on weekends to come because while vaccination isn’t the ONLY thing needed to get out of this half life living, it is a NEEDED thing. As a single person who lives alone, I want us to move past this stage of recovery. I need us to.

Part of why I haven’t posted much is we sign that we won’t speak to the press haha and what if the press reads my blog, what if what if, and then they say according to this public blog, here’s what’s happening at clinics (woah, stop those conspiracy thoughts, there’s nothing like that happening at the clinics). Anyway, I overthink things as a hobby.

But as a psychotherapist who’s very interested in humans and how they be, working at a vaccine clinic is actually fascinating. As a psychotherapist with moderate ADHD who is genuinely and affectionately interested in people, there’s a lot of opportunity to observe, think, corelate, theorize, predict, wonder, and marvel. All while doing my job, fear not, fear not. It actually improves job performance. When it’s your job to process people through any point of the system, it’s good to build and refine theories on how they will react. Smooths out their experience.

Anyway, I think I’ll do a series of blog posts about what I’ve thought about while screening for COVID symptoms, searching for people in the COVAX system, and providing people with their vaccine receipts.

I’ll end this one with my reasons for why I started working at the clinics. One reason was I did need a source of income. I also needed a legitimate reason to get out of the house; my walls were closing in too much. I needed to relearn how to be near people, especially strangers and crowds of them. I wanted to be part of the COVID battle. I wanted to experience donning and doffing PPE for work. I wanted my dog Valentine to learn how to be OK with my leaving the house for several hours and learn that I always come home. I wanted to be INSIDE the system to see it from the inside and better understand what was going on. I wanted to be PART of something.

I have done all this. Truly my only reason to continue is I live in the worst region of Ontario for COVID cases, we’re possibly heading into a new wave of our own, and we are at risk of not re-opening until months from now. I know they can always call in the Army to work the clinics. Until then, they need staff to do the work and I am already trained.

got my second shot two weeks ago, Pfizer

Pandemic Year 2, Day 6*

(also known as St Patrick’s Day, 2021)

One year and six days after the proclamation of the COVID-19 global pandemic, I was immunized against the disease. Most days in that time period felt like an eternity. It is an incredibly short time to develop test and roll out a vaccine against a novel disease though!

But Kate! You’re not THAT old! It’s true. I wouldn’t otherwise qualify, but I have accepted a position as a part time admin clerk at the vaccine clinics and immunization is required prior to starting. I’m guessing that’s so people don’t go catching COVID AT the clinic!

But Kate! Didn’t you just quit a perfectly good job because you’re crazy busy with the end of grad school and everything? True, true. I did. There’s a few reasons I applied to the vaccine clinic job. One is I need to practice leaving the house for longer periods on a regular basis and this seems like the safest way to do that. I also need to get used to being in a room where there are bunches of people all talking or moving around and just doing the things people do. It’s been over a year and being near groups of humans is dizzying. I want to reacclimatize to in-the-flesh humanity before sitting with it in the therapy room.

Valentine also needs some practice. He has no idea that humans normally spend long periods of the day away from the house. He’s never had to try to not pee or to stay entertained for five or six hours on a regular basis. I’m going to be concerned at first and I don’t want to start sitting with clients post-internship, wondering how my dog is doing. I want a more sure footing than that.

And up to now, my experience of the pandemic has been hiding from the pandemic. It’s been the right thing to do because outside of dog walks and groceries, I don’t have a lot of reasons to leave the house. I don’t know what it’s like to wear a mask for more than half an hour or so. I want a more active role in the story. I want to be a part of getting vaccines into willing arms. I want to be sitting up close to watch the coming dawn.

*a friend posted about Year Two of the Pandemic and is sank in hard and real. She goes by the day we were told to go home alone and stay there; I’m going by two days prior when they deemed COVID-19 a pandemic. I found an ugly online clock to count by. Do you know a better clock?