Chronicle of a vaccination

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A first day of school, or rather the first ever. Same emotions and anxieties, a anticipatory night dream of a negative sign. I dreamed that in the morning when I was going to get vaccinated I didn't have a mask on and along the way I became agitated because I didn't know if they would let me into the hospital and therefore allow me to get vaccinated. I tried to cover my face with a scarf, but it kept slipping, not responding to its mission.

When I woke up in the morning I carefully dedicated myself to choosing a clothing compatible with the role of vaccine candidate which I would soon go and support. I chose as a basic outfit a sleeveless one which would have allowed me not to offer, in a scenario which I didn't know how protected by privacy, an unseemly spectacle made up of suspenders and bodysuits. I only had one suitable for the purpose, I couldn't find it, I took a long time searching and as usual I got caught up in the anxiety of arriving late. I got a new FFP2 mask to face the dangers of a hospital where Covid is still circulating in a big way. I set off.

I had been missing from the hospital for just nine months, it was March 6th when I had done my last shift in attendance for the center Daphne (dedicated to welcoming and listening to women victims of violence and located at the Cardarelli hospital in Naples). Then I retired and organized the remote psychological reporting activity with a regional contact number. I knew I couldn't park inside the hospital: a large tensile structure had been installed in the parking lot for patient access to the ED. But I didn't expect the unusual sight that appeared before me. The parking lot was completely deserted and I felt a sense of loss. I always remembered it being packed with cars. Now, I counted them, there were only 4. Quite a shock.

I enter the hospital and head to the central tensile structure used for vaccinations. Unusual but very pleasant atmosphere. No queues to enter. The sense of being in an oasis, in front of that reassuring tent. Inside, a large space with three vaccination stations and many well-spaced and comfortable blue reclining armchairs for post-vaccination relaxation. The tent full of many young doctors, boys and girls, professional and well organised. Of the Middle Daphne there were 3 of us. After the administration we pinned the letters on our clothes pins with the writing “I got vaccinated(it doesn't exist with a feminine declination!), as if it were a medal for merit in battle, and we took a lot of photos. We were happy. We finally felt freed from a burden that I too had carried almost without realizing it for 9 months of lockdown on the computer, and also of splendid isolation. Well they had to politely tell us - since 15 minutes had passed - that we could go. In fact we were in no hurry to leave. Then again that empty parking lot, the car ride home.

Heavy traffic as usual, it was yellow zone day. My mood was different: the newfound desire to look at the shop windows, if the shops hadn't been closed I would have rushed inside for lunch break my first in-person shopping. Here: we must avoid making mistakes due to too much enthusiasm. With the first dose you are not immune, you are not yet armored against the virus. It takes another 20 days for the second dose, and then another 10 days must pass. Trifles! Even the first dose gives me a great sense of well-being. And in fact here, at the end of the memorable day, that desire silenced for a long time: a nice pizza in person and without anxiety as only in Naples can do it, steaming and freshly baked from the classic wood-fired oven, accompanied by a popular Peroni beer.

Elvira Reale

ps: this text should not be understood as a pro-vax campaign. Whoever gets vaccinated will know by reading it what they are facing. Whoever doesn't get vaccinated is the one who loses

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