As of June 14, 2021, more than 64 percent of Americans had received at least their first vaccination against COVID-19. Many myRAteam 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'm so relieved to have gotten the vaccine,” one member wrote. “This has been such a long year with the pandemic.”
“Today I was able to get out for the first time in a year,” said another. “I’m very tired now, but I’m very glad I could do it! All vaccinated now!”
Many myRAteam members are excited for fun activities with friends and family again. “Yesterday was a good day. I got to see all of my family for the first time in over a year since we're all vaccinated. We had a cookout and it was wonderful,” said one member.
Others are reveling in a return to normal social plans. “I am fully vaccinated now and I feel good! I get to travel now to visit my brother and my new nephew,” wrote another member.
Still others 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 myRAteam members get vaccinated, many are taking the earliest opportunity to schedule medical visits, eye appointments, dental exams, and diagnostic tests needed for RA monitoring.
Others are scheduling personal care appointments. “Lockdown is being lifted now gradually, and I even got my hair cut drastically today, feels much better,” one member wrote.
As travel restrictions lift and more people are vaccinated, some myRAteam members are beginning to look forward to their first vacations in more than a year.
“I am ready to get this done and recovered so I can travel in late June and late July,” said one member. Another wrote, “I am dreaming of the day we can travel again and see the rest of my family. I also look forward to resuming our retirement plans to travel.”
Most myRAteam members report that they’re continuing to be cautious when socializing. 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.
On myRAteam, the social network for people with rheumatoid arthritis and their loved ones, more than 154,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with RA.
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.