Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The Vaccine with a Side of Guilt

It's taken me a few days to post this because, well, I don't like being judged. (Just wait until I post this on Twitter!) 

I am prone to feeling guilty about everything anyway but this might be something others can relate to so will risk the judging. 

Because Richard and I are IHSS certified in California in order to care for Robert, we are eligible to get the vaccine. Richard got his appointment first but I had trouble getting one (mainly because I completed the survey incorrectly!). Rachel & Matt helped me secure an appointment when more sites opened up so I got my first shot last Friday. I definitely don't feel like I should be in the same category as "real" healthcare workers but I have a letter from IHSS that says otherwise. But, you know, guilt. 

What I feel really guilty about is that Robert also got his shot. The nurse who gave Richard his shot said Robert would be eligible under the care home category (which, in California, is in the same category as the healthcare workers). We're not actually a board & care home but the nurse said he qualifies. So Robert and I had our appointments on the same day. I was prepared to hand over my IHSS letter. No one asked for it. I was prepared to answer questions about Robert's eligibility and accept he wasn't eligible but there weren't any questions. 

We both got our shots. (And Robert got a chocolate shake afterwards for being such a good sport about it.)

I got a heaping serving of guilt. I feel guilty that maybe the nurse gave Richard wrong info and Robert really doesn't qualify; I feel guilty that I believed the nurse even though it didn't seem quite right; I feel guilty that we got our shots before others who need a shot got theirs; I feel guilty as a mom getting my shot before my kids get theirs (I recognize that as run-of-the-mill, typical mom guilt).  

So, yeah, guilt. 

I don't know if anyone else feels guilty about getting the shot before others do but I'm guessing there are a lot of us. Hoping the supply and distribution of the vaccine ramps up so everyone who wants a shot can get one. 

And I can stop feeling guilty! 


Dawn Styskal said...

Trish, I felt guilty too as I got my shot before my mom and dad. Then when I posted I got my shot I had some people question as to why I got mine so soon. I got mine bc I work in a long term facility. I did not appreciate that I got questioned about my eligibility. I would not feel guilty. Robert needs it as he is compromised and you and Richard need it bc you care for him.

Anonymous said...

The last thing you should feel is "guilt." The lists of who qualifies and who doesn't does not take into account many people who are in between -- i.e. caregivers who are not certified but take care of an immune-comprised person; law enforcement who are not assigned directly to regular patrol duties; people who work with disadvantaged children on a regular basis. I kept checking lists and found that if I waited, it was estimated that I would qualify in late summer or early fall. I have made more than 500 masks - and donated to anyone who needed one. I tend to my 86 year old mother in law (but I am not her caregiver); I take weekly meals to a great grand niece being treated for cancer; I tend to my adult, epileptic daughter. I work with disadvantaged/foster children. I would not qualify until after homeless and prison inmates. I finally registered, indicating that I was "childcare" - as no other category fit my description. I do not feel guilty about it - I am relieved that I got vaccinated and have one less thing to worry about.