Live on Facebook, D.C. Editor Micha Green received the first dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine at Six Flags America on March 4. (Screenshot)

By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. Editor
mgreen@afro.com

A few things about this reporter…

I generally don’t do vaccinations. I wouldn’t consider myself an anti-vaxxer, however I prefer a more holistic approach to health and the one time in my adult life I recall taking a flu shot, I got the flu. Admittedly the flu lasted only 48 hours and I felt fine as soon as it passed, but those two days were hard. I didn’t want to feel like that again.

I’m a germaphobe. Far before COVID-19, I was the one constantly using hand sanitizer and turning my nose up to the slightest cough or sneeze in public spaces. I constantly sanitized my surroundings in fear of catching someone’s slight virus, much less the novel coronavirus.

Now, let’s get to how I ended up taking my COVID-19 vaccine. My grandfather is 90 years old and has taken both shots. He seems to be doing well, and I miss him dearly. I want to be able to see him comfortably. In addition, my father lives in Medellin, Colombia. I haven’t seen him in almost two years due to the pandemic and would love to be able to fly and see him with comfort and without fear of passing on the virus to him. The final cherry on top is that my mother just moved to Chicago.  While it’s drivable from the D.M.V., it’s a long journey and I’d love to be able to hop on a plane to see her as well. Finally, I miss in-person journalism. I haven’t been able to do much on-site journalism nor in-person interviews.  

As afraid as I am of vaccinations, it was time to protect myself and the people I loved.

I was able to register for my vaccination at Six Flags America in Bowie, Maryland. While I was terrified, it has been difficult to get a vaccination appointment at all. I considered the divine favor and proceeded to drive to my 4 p.m. appointment.

When I arrived at the mass vaccination site in a large parking area at Six Flags, cars were slowly, but fairly steadily, corkscrewing to officially check-in and receive shots. I used Facebook Live to capture my experience as I wound through rows of lines and checkpoints.  

I first had to prove my reservation date, then I had to show my QR code for my reservation, which is also when I was told that I needed to wait 30 minutes after getting the vaccination because of a nut allergy and received more information on what I was getting myself into.  The paperwork I received said I’d be receiving the Pfizer vaccination, which I figured as my registration required me to schedule my second dosage appointment three weeks later.

After more waiting and two more checkpoints, it was finally time to get the shot. I didn’t feel the needle at all but I did feel the fluids filling my arm and bloodstream. It was easy and I was done. I waited 30 minutes after the injection as I had been advised, and about 26 minutes into my required self timer a National Guardsman told me I could leave.  

A few hours after getting the shot I had injection site pain, which I expected. I did not expect the amount of pain I’d be in the following morning. I teach Zumba at 6 a.m. and winced through every bit of that class with each arm lift and feeling of excruciating pain.  I caved and took acetaminophen about 9:00 a.m. so I could bear to lift my arm. The pain continued through much of Friday, but by Saturday I was feeling better- back to myself even.

Three days into my first dose my COVID paranoia has not disappeared, but I feel fine physically! I am ready for the first dosage to fully settle into my system and anxious about heading to get the second shot on March 25.

 

Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor