I got the COVID-19 vaccine. And I feel guilty

I got the COVID-19 vaccine(vakˈsēn). And I feel guilty(ˈɡiltē)

By Arjun Sharma

A pinch(pin(t)SH), a jab(jab) and a push. Just like that, it was over.

When I received my first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, there were no cameras or reporters. It came without any bit of the pomp(pämp) and ceremony(ˈserəˌmōnē) that accompanied the early shots of politicians(ˌpäləˈtiSHən) I saw on television or read about in the news.

After signing a stack of papers and flashing my hospital ID, I was led into an antechamber(ˈan(t)ēˌCHāmbər) where a security guard peered at me through a small circular(ˈsərkyələr) window. From there, he got an okay, and I was shepherded(ˈSHepərd) to a slightly larger room with a single clerk(klərk) who sat behind a desk. She asked for those papers, my health card and for me to lower my mask to confirm my identity. I was momentarily(ˌmōmənˈterəlē) stunned(stənd). I hadn’t willfully shown my face to a stranger since I was in New York city last March. I had this weird feeling of being naked(ˈnākid). She was unfazed(ˌənˈfāzd).

At a small cubicle(ˈkyo͞obək(ə)l), I watched the nurse’s hands move with deft(deft) skill. The ball of cotton(ˈkätn) and the bandage(ˈbandij) were laid(ā) out. A swab(swäb) was soaked(sōkt) with alcohol(ˈalkəˌhôl) and applied(əˈplīd) to my shoulder, the wetness(ˈwetnəs) quickly disappearing into a cool vapour(ˈvāpər). Lastly, into a needle(ˈnēdl), he drew up a fraction of a millilitre(ˈmiləˌlēdər) of clear, iridescent(ˌirəˈdes(ə)nt) liquid(ˈlikwid), flicking(flik) the bubble(ˈbəb(ə)l) of air from its point.