It’s Hard to Dance in the Rain When You Have “Covid Arm”
The world is starting to move on, but let's have patience with those who can't just yet.
I recently heard an inspirational saying:
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain!
I’ve never been a big fan of inspirational sayings, but this one does capture a certain truth. Life often really does suck, and if you wait for everything to be perfect to be happy, you’ll literally never be happy.
But five weeks ago, I got my first Covid vaccine shot. And two weeks after that, I came down with “Covid arm,” which is a side effect that occurs in about one percent of those vaccinated.
The rash wasn’t too bad, but my arm had regular flare-ups of incredible itchiness. Seriously, I’d never felt anything like it. The only thing that helped — and the only thing that made it possible to sleep — was the antihistamine Benadryl.
But it turns out that Benadryl is a really powerful drug. And when you stop taking it, you can go through really powerful withdrawal symptoms, which include an inability to sleep.
Basically, I’d become the Little Old Lady Who Swallowed the Spider.
Only the day before my second shot did the itchiness finally subside. I asked my doctor if the reaction will come back now that I’ve had my second shot, and he said, “Probably.” (I have a very honest doctor. This is probably a good thing.)
Anyway, I’ve come to the conclusion that while it sounds nice to go out and dance in the middle of a rainstorm, it’s hard as hell to dance with Covid arm. It’s really hard to cut loose and be free and happy, living in the moment, when you want to scratch your skin off. Although a cool rain in general does sound kind of soothing.
At times, the pain and frustration was all-consuming, and it’s also given me insight into how hard it must be to live with truly chronic pain or any frustrating disability.
Meanwhile, Michael has been busy preparing for our next nomad destination, Istanbul, Turkey. He’s been applying for visas, scheduling Covid tests, printing out health forms, downloading apps, and on and on.
Traveling overseas in mid-2021 is a complicated process, but that’s okay. For the time being, travel should be hard. Precautions should be taken.
Even so, we’re eager to head back out into the world.
For one thing, much of the world needs travelers. In many places, like Mexico, there is no social safety net. If there are no tourists, some people don’t eat.
Talk about trying to dance in the rain! These folks have things much, much, much harder than I.
Obviously, we’re not traveling again out of any kind of self-sacrifice. Yes, we’re making a point of going to places that want us to come, following their guidelines, but we’ve always tried to travel as responsibly as possible.
But ultimately, we’re traveling now because we want to (and because travel is kinda our “job”). We’ve always wanted to go to Istanbul, and now seems to be the perfect time.
We’re trying to, well, dance in the rain.
Covid was, and is, terrible. But those who can are moving on — while hopefully helping out the rest of the world to move on as fast as possible too.
At the same time, after my infuriating tango with Covid arm, I’m even more understanding for those who have been affected by this disease.
Sure, dance in the rain if you can. But have some sympathy for those who are still sitting off to one side, waiting a little longer for the rain to stop.