Giving thanks for ‘the fence at the top of the cliff’

Dr. Tamara Sheffield from Intermountain Healthcare poses for a portrait outside Utah Valley Hospital in Provo on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021.

Dr. Tamara Sheffield from Intermountain Healthcare poses for a portrait outside Utah Valley Hospital in Provo on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021. | Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News

The story behind the COVID-19 vaccine is almost too good to be true; fortunately, it is true

Feb. 3. March 3. Nov. 12.

This Thanksgiving, those are the dates in 2021 I’m giving the most thanks for. Nothing else really comes close.

They are the days I received my COVID-19 vaccination shots.

They set me free.

Like the rest of the world, I went on lockdown March 11, 2020, the day Rudy Gobert sent us all to separate corners. I was in the category described as “vulnerable” — over 65, with a compromised immune system. In my case, a left lung blocked by a diaphragm muscle that stopped working 13 years ago when a bout with the flu knocked out my phrenic nerve. No one needs to tell me what viruses are capable of.

So I masked up and hunkered down. Luckily, my job allows for a good deal of autonomy. My office is wherever my laptop is. I had that going for me. I also had a family that went to the grocery store, the hardware store, the drug store, and in general protected me like domestiques protecting the lead rider in the Tour de France. I wouldn’t see the inside of our neighborhood Smith’s for a year.

Still, it reeked. Not only did it restrict getting out, seeing people, socializing, but there was this pesky little realization that if you caught the virus you might die.

When I heard America’s doctor, Anthony Fauci, proclaim that a vaccine could be developed within a year, I jumped on the Fauci bandwagon before I could even pronounce his name. A lot of people liked to dissect everything Fauci said, argue about it, attach conspiracy …read more

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