Post-Vaccination Visits with the Grandparents
March 24, 2021
Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Virus, this year has been unlike any we have seen before. For many families, this outbreak meant a lack of time extended family, with an emphasis on grandparents.
As the talk of vaccination flooded the country, one of the most frequently asked questions became; When can I see my grandchildren?
Throughout the pandemic, families found safe ways to communicate with their elders, whether that be through a window or over the phone but lacked much of the very important physical communication with them. Spirits began to rise again when talks of the vaccination roll out began. After a very slow kickout in December, vaccination rates have continued to rise steadily. In the United States today, over 128 million doses have been administered, fully vaccinating over 45 million people (13.7 percent of the population). While this total percentage is fairly low, it is important to take into consideration who has been receiving the vaccinations.
Because of an initial lack of vaccinations, recipients were limited to those 65 and older, as well as many health care workers. Today, over 70 percent of those older than 75 have received at least one shot, and 23 percent of American adults have also now received at least one vaccination.
Although vaccinated, many wanted a clear green light to do what they have been missing out on for nearly a year now, socializing in person. In a statement, the CDC recommends that those who are fully vaccinated (two shots of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, or 1 shot of J+J vaccine) should wait two weeks after their last vaccination shot to socialize in person. This is due to the fact that our immune systems need to restore themselves after immunization. Although COVID-19 took away the freedom to communicate with others, for grandparents and many others, this is a breath of fresh air, and weight off of shoulders.
Although this new flexibility of socialization is a step in the right direction, the CDC still advises those who are fully vaccinated against nonessential travel. For many, COVID-19 has rudely halted the yearly trips to Cabo, but for those at risk, it seems that their chance to travel once more may be right around the corner. As vaccinations continue to ramp up, it seems that there might be a new problem that people are much more excited to deal with: too many vaccines, not enough takers.
For students, the beginning of March seemed to be turning into one of the best years ever. An extra week of Spring Break meant booking flights and socializing. An extra week off from school, what could be better? The coming months proved this to be the calm before the storm.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization issued a statement considering the COVID-19 outbreak to be a World Pandemic. Citizens rushed to get back into the country, or risk being exiled for an unknown period of time. For grandparents, and those at-risk, this was a living nightmare. From then on out, it seemed that COVID was treated with the same emphasis, if not more, than previous pandemics.
Nursing homes were practically shut down to outsiders, and the lockdown put stress on families looking to visit their elders. Grandparents became ‘stuck’ in their homes, and for many, the emotional erosion went unnoticed. As more and more people get vaccinated, it is important to remember where we were at the beginning of the pandemic. It is important to remember the tight knit relationships that we had with family and friends. With safety on the forefront, we will be able to see those who we have been separated from throughout the year, and for grandparents, these will be some of the happiest months of their lives.