As of June 10, more than 63 percent of Americans had received at least their first vaccination against COVID-19. MyParkinsonsTeam members who have been vaccinated are eagerly sharing their hopes and plans now that vaccination has lowered their risk for experiencing serious illness from the potentially deadly virus.
“I had a great day,” one member shared. “My wife and I got our [second] vaccine shot today, so we are now completely vaccinated. Hope everyone can get your shots, too.”
Many MyParkinsonsTeam members are excited for fun activities with friends and family again. “It's spring break and some of our grandkids are visiting,” wrote one member. “It's been a while, but now that our family is vaccinated, at least we can gather together.”
Others are reveling in a return to normal social plans. “My two youngest grandchildren play on select baseball and softball teams,” shared another. “Can't wait to watch some of their games.”
One MyParkinsonsTeam member wrote, “Saw my sister and her husband for the first time in over a year! [My] daughter, a public school employee, is on spring break and home for four days!”
Still other members are nervous about socializing again after being quarantined for a year — and that’s normal, experts say.
“Reentering society and socializing again is going to be a process,” wrote author Clay Drinko, Ph.D., in March. “Just like adjusting to pandemic life last year, this new transition is going to have its ups and downs. Instead of having unreasonably high expectations (I’m going to host a block party and be the belle of the ball), try to take it one step at a time and be curious about how each new interaction affects you (I'm going to try to talk to the neighbor and just see how it goes).”
About half of American adults have delayed or skipped some aspect of medical or dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic. As MyParkinsonsTeam members get vaccinated, many are taking the earliest opportunity to schedule medical visits, eye appointments, dental exams, and diagnostic tests needed for Parkinson’s monitoring.
“Resting on my laurels,” one member wrote. “Yesterday, I had an appointment at Kaiser. That went well. Then in the afternoon, I had another appointment.”
“I had blood drawn and a CT scan on Tuesday and received the feedback yesterday,” shared another member. “Good news: There has been no noticeable progression since my last scan, and the blood numbers are still good.”
Other members are looking forward to personal care appointments as well: “Went for a haircut and lunch with a friend,” one MyParkinsonsTeam member wrote. “What can be better?”
As travel restrictions lift and more people are vaccinated, some MyParkinsonsTeam members are beginning to look forward to their first vacations in more than a year. Some members are hoping to travel to see family and friends, or to just get away from home.
“I'm hoping … I will be able to go on my trip to see my son [and] his wife on our trip to Yellowstone,” said one member. Another wrote, “My wife and I are planning a month-long camping road trip in July.”
Some MyParkinsonsTeam members report that they’re continuing to be cautious when socializing. “I need a haircut. I've been waiting until I am fully vaccinated, so I've got another month of being shaggy before I'll feel comfortable getting it lopped off,” shared one member.
Even after you are fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends continuing to take precautions such as:
Ensuring that you continue to prioritize your safety can help ease your mind as you get back into the swing of post-vaccine life, wrote psychologist Marina Harris, Ph.D., in May. “By following guidelines and associated protocols, combined with the vaccine, you’re being as safe as you can possibly be.”
Local health authorities may have additional guidelines in place for your state or county. Be sure to check what’s permitted before planning activities.
MyParkinsonsTeam is the social network for people with Parkinson’s disease and their loved ones. On MyParkinsonsTeam, more than 76,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with Parkinson’s.
Have you been vaccinated against COVID-19? Are you making plans now that your risk for infection is lower? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.