Covid-19 vaccine is the new Xanax!

Yes, we got our second shot of the Pfizer vaccine yesterday in Dubai! Covid-19 vaccine is available for all, for free, in the UAE. The type of vaccine will vary according to your Emirates of residence visa (Pfizer, AZ or Sinopharm). 50% of the UAE population are already vaccinated. 

Let me explain to you how it went.

For the first dose in February, we were very stressed, but Dubai organized it amazingly. From the moment I entered the building (an office building transformed into a vaccination center) to the moment I was vaccinated, only 12 minutes were gone. And there were hundreds of people doing it at the same time, thousands per day. Emiratis people are working there to make your experience perfect, they are kind, careful, It was really beautiful. It’ll hurt me to say it, but Dubai, you won that battle… dam, you’re good at this!

For the first dose, my pulse was 120 before the injection. « Are you stressed? » said the nurse. I replied « yes », but honestly this whole process of registration and finding my vaccination box was so fast, I had to run in the building, and as I do more Krispy Kreme than Pilates, my health condition isn’t that good… so, who knows.

After the shot, the nurse told be to wait 15 min in the waiting area to check if any allergic reaction. This room was filled with relief and excitement. It had been a while since I’ve seen eyes smiling like that above a mask! Social interaction, 2 meters appart, sharing a mutual emotion. 

As we went with a bunch of friends, we compared what we’ve been told and to my surprise I was the only one told not to drink alcohol for a week after the injection. She probably took me for an alcoholic when to the question « Do you drink or smoke? » I said « NO! No, no,no… Well, I do drink from time to time, you know, one glass of wine… homeschooling has been hard… ». Looking back, I can see where she got mistaken.

They say you might get flu like symptoms, well, it wasn’t my case. I did feel for 2 days like a rugby man had punched my left arm but I mainly felt: STONED. Yep, high! Probably a big part was the stress relief, I felt more relaxed than ever and fell asleep like a baby. Or maybe trolls were right about that DNA modification, and let me tell you this was a good one and I want more 😂

So, we went back for our second dose, same perfect organization, same extreme relief feeling. We took the kids with us; we thought it was a good educational opportunity. My daughter (who took the picture) was VERY disappointed not to see blood after the shot. We obviously watched too many Grey’s Anatomy. 

So, thank you UAE, thank you Dubai, thank you DHA, thank you Pfizer (proudly produced in Belgium 🇧🇪 btw). You gave us something invaluable and I won’t forget it in the future. 

I’m SO lucky, and I realize that. I know some people will hate that. In general the few people I told weren’t very enthusiastic about it… but I finally decided to share, first because I’m happy and I opened desperate diplo wife to share our life, the highs and the lows. It’s been a HARD year. My husband had to work like crazy, daily modifications of the rules, people in need of an evacuation, etc… We were not able to come back to see our families since 2019 and we’ve lived the pandemic in a country who took it very seriously from the beginning and imposed MANY restrictions. We haven’t been anywhere else than Abu Dhabi in almost 2 years! May I remind you that some kids weren’t able to go to school for a year! (While in Belgium, people are complaining about indoor sport after school not being allowed…). We were locked in for months and kids even more, they couldn’t leave the house. We were masked months before Belgium even thought about it (or found some masks), kids included. Yes, we have the sun, but guys, the sun isn’t a social interaction! Often it’s associated in people’s mind with holidays, fun and parties. This is not what we have lived. Gatherings have always been forbidden. The summer here wasn’t a « break » like it was in Europe! It was 48 outside, no possibility to go out! We haven’t seen people outside our bubble for months. 

Here, many people lost their jobs, business went bankrupt and the state didn’t give massive financial help to anyone. So, this vaccine is a little light at the end of a very dark tunnel (even darker for expats may I add… even if people will say « you chose to leave », no we didn’t chose an expat in a pandemic where borders are closed). Finally, I’m allowing myself to meet people, to start doing my job of diplomatic spouse again. Our job is based on meeting people. Many facts can’t be shared on the phone, we need to see each other face to face. And maybe someday I’ll allow myself to travel again and see the people I miss.

Second, I share because I still meet many people unsure about this vaccine (or any vaccine, others are available here) and if I can be a little influence for them to be reassured, it’s worth it! Ok I’m not Dolly Parton singing « vaccine », but who knows 😅 It will take a collective effort to erase this virus from our lives. Don’t we owe that to our kids?

(Soon to be real) hugs and kisses.