My skin is radiant. A strong indicator that the inside of my body is purring like a happy, healthy, well-fed kitten.
A year ago, my face was on the floor. Literally. The skin on my face (and torso, and arms, and legs) crumbled off of me. I left piles of skin flakes everywhere I went, which was pretty much limited to the couch and bed due to the pain and exhaustion of steroidal withdrawal.
Inflammation, burning, stinging, crumbling. This was just the surface level, a visual indication of what my body was battling below the epidermis. Topical steroids are absorbed into the bloodstream, affecting every system, from renal and pulmonary to neurological and hormonal.
The steroids come in and say, “Yo, Liver. Why you workin’ so hard? Let me do some of that heavy lifting for you [insert evil laugh here].” Once the deal with the devil is made, the blood vessels and hormones are forced offline too. The steroids say, “There’s a new sheriff in town. We’re doing things my way now.”
Soon, the body cannot function without steroids. So you either take another hit. Or you start withdrawal.
I chose the latter.
After a year of burning, crying, researching, breathing, vitamin-ing, clean eating, less drinking, minimal showering, loss of sleep, loss of pigmentation, loss of hair, loss of hope, and 22 seasons of America’s Next Top Model, my withdrawal symptoms finally subsided.
Today, my skin is so freaking beautiful. I don’t even have eczema anymore! I don’t use moisturizer anymore! That’s right, I am now one of those people who can take a shower and just dry off without slathering her skin. My pH is balanced.
What’s this have to do with getting the vaccine? Well, besides the fact that the last time I listened to a doctor I was left physically addicted to dangerous drugs, I have another reason.—Here’s where I give the dermatologist her credit due. She gave me a scratch test on my back. I was diagnosed with a gold allergy.
Ok, accolades over. Because instead of suggesting I remove the gold nose ring studding my left nostril, she put me on steroids.—I was allergic to gold and had no idea! What else am I allergic to? I don’t want to take the chance that it’s something in the vaccine.
“It’s more than a request.” My mother corrects my father 15 minutes later as they prepare to hang up the phone. “We really insist that you get the vaccine, Chach. If you want to come to the lake house in August.”
So far, I’ve been able to dodge my parents’ mandate by saying that I’m waiting my turn—I’m healthy, young, and I work from home. I’m about as far down on the priority list as possible. Even kids are above me! But only if they want to go back to school.
“Well,” my father says, “Uncle Joe says it will be available to everyone starting in May.”
“Yes,” I respond, “but Uncle Joe also has dementia.”
“Ha!” He says, “That’s just what Putin wants you to think.”
I changed the subject.
Another reason why I don’t want to get the coronavirus vaccine is because my parents told me to. “Get the vaccine or you’re not welcome on the family vacation.”
An ultimatum. Really, guys?
I’m a Damn the Man kinda girl. The Man wants me to get the vaccine. I say, “Save the Empire!”
Another reason I don’t want to get the vaccine is because I don’t want to get the vaccine.
I don’t want to schlep to Walgreens, CVS, RiteAide, or any other impromptu public stations that have been erected for poking purposes. I don’t want to take the time out of my busy, or relaxing, day to put on a mask and wait in line. (I absolutely HATE wearing a mask. Wearing a mask puts me on the spectrum. I cannot function properly. But that is a rant for another day.)
In our cities, there are more sophisticated systems than the local RiteAide. I hear the Javits Center in New York City is like a well-oiled machine. Twenty minutes in and out. Do they make you exit through the gift shop where you can take your vaccine selfie and buy more masks?
Perhaps if I felt I needed the vaccine, I’d be more motivated to mask up and roll up (my sleeve). That’s the real problem here. I am not scared, fat, or sick enough.
And now the three trillion dollar question! Why does it matter if I get the vaccine? Before you instinctively call me selfish, let’s talk about you.
Did you get the Covid vaccine?
Your body, your choice! God bless America for that.
I do not plan on getting the vaccine. Not until the boot of our corporate government shows up at my front door with a needle drawn (in which case, I’ll have to get my gun). Or, at the very least until I travel internationally where the Covid vaccine is required for entry.
My next international trip is planned for May 2022. That gives one year for heard immunity to kick in and brains to turn on. One year for more information to be learned about these new-to-the-universe vaccines that we are supposed to intrinsically trust because we have not yet noticed significant side effects after only few months of clinical trials.
Perhaps in a year, the pandemic will be over. And I will never be required to get the coronavirus vaccine.
A lot can change in a year. I’m gonna wait and see.