OK, boomers. A gentle suggestion.
Stop posting your vaccination shots on Facebook.
We get it. You're relieved. But now you are just making all the uninoculated people feel bad. Remember, there's a fine line between "selfies" and "selfish."
Why not use the 20-minute wait after your inoculation to give thanks — to pray, or meditate, or whatever it is you do to express introspection?
After getting my second Pfizer shot last week, my main emotion was relief, followed immediately by a feeling of humility.
If COVID-19 has done anything, it has made it brutally obvious that we are all mortal. We serve at the pleasure of our maker — or on the knife edge of fate, if that's what you prefer to believe — and any day could be our last.
Still, there are very few things in life that offer as much relief as being delivered from the plague. Maybe seeing your children born with all their fingers and toes, but that's about it.
After my second shot, I felt like I had been let out of a cage.
Before that, I briefly had my cage rattled on Tuesday as I pulled into the inoculation tent at Enterprise South.
"We're waiting for more doses," said a friendly medical staffer, leaning in to talk to me through the driver's side window of my car.
"OK. Do you know if it will be minutes, hours or days?" I said, smiling.
Immediately, I felt embarrassed. I didn't mean to be impatient, but it came out that way.
"Minutes," he said cheerily.
And indeed it was only minutes, and then I was on my way.
On the drive home, I got caught behind an accident on the Thrasher Bridge. To my right, in bumper-to-bumper traffic, a driver, frustrated by the wait, appeared as if she was about to climb through her windshield. Any time the car in front of her would move the tiniest bit forward, she would lurch her big Lexus to within a few inches of the car's back bumper.
"Gee, lady," I thought to myself. "Does being 6 inches closer to your destination really make you feel better? Didn't COVID teach us to cool our jets?"
I hope that patience is one of the residual virtues of this time in our lives. Still, impatience is a hard impulse to shed.
I've noticed for instance that I'm impatient with the trees in my backyard. For the first time, really in my whole life, I've been watching the seasons change. My work table at home faces a back window looking directly at several 70-foot-tall hardwood trees.
During regular times (read pre-2020), spring foliage seemed to just sort of happen spontaneously. Now I realize that the process takes weeks to unfold. The birds and squirrels seem to know the rhythms, but I don't.
Still, just the act of looking out the window has helped me learn patience.
So, as things turn regular again — and then wild — in coming months, let's not forget the quiet and solitude of COVID time, when the cadence of modern life slowed down to match our heartbeats.
In time, of course, relief will turn into release.
In the meantime, let's remember those countless times in the past year when we looked out our back windows and honestly didn't know if we would make it to spring.
Email Mark Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org.