Yesterday (Tuesday 18th May 2021) it was announced by the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board that everybody over the age of 18 can expect their letter of invitation to be vaccinated arriving by the end of this week; with the aim of all first-dose appointments taking place before May 30th.
This incredible step is sure to be reassuring to many young adults across Wales, who were not predicted to be eligible to receive their first dose until the end of July. For students, this could mean that they will be vaccinated before going home for summer break, or that they will feel safer in Cardiff over the last weeks of this unprecedented term.
It feels to some like a light can now be spotted at the end of a very long and very dark winding tunnel. With this optimism in mind, we asked our contributors who are yet to receive their COVID-19 vaccine what they are looking forward to the most about hopefully being offered their course of vaccinations in the near future –
What I’m most excited to do first after getting my vaccine is going to gigs again. Live music was a huge part of my life before lockdown, both on the stage and in the crowd. Every weekend was spent watching my friend’s bands or gigging with my own, and honestly this nightmare won’t be over in my mind until I’m packing equipment into the back of the van with my ears still ringing from reverb and bass.
It has been a real tragedy to me to see venues empty that I know would have been spilling with music and people on a normal Saturday night, or to speak to fellow musicians who have struggled with the lack of musical drive that lockdown brought. But that has only reminded me of my readiness to get back into the music scene as soon as I have the chance to. Every day is one step closer to getting my vaccine, and getting behind the mic.
My family has been stressing over me getting this vaccine since early February. They were hoping that as a daughter of a member of hospital staff I would be prioritised over others from my age group. Sadly, it didn’t happen. So when I came back to Cardiff in early April and heard that I can get on a standby list – they were the happiest people in the world. And then a lot of my friends got the jab before me – because I missed my phone call.
I still haven’t got vaccinated as of yet – but when I do, I won’t go crazy. I will still wear a mask because the first dose doesn’t guarantee safety. We can still get ill – which is a reason not to forget about safety measures.
Right after my appointment, I will call my mom and my grandma. I will ask them to tell my grandpa who is currently recovering from a stroke he had while getting COVID-19 treatment in a hospital. He will be super happy. Next, I will post the number on my social media – so that we can start living a new ‘normal’ life again, curing our freshly discovered social anxiety. Once I am done doing my fair share of spreading the word I will plan a road trip around UK and pretend that everything is fine again!
The first thing I’ll do when I get the covid vaccine is visit a coffee shop. I want to sit in a seat by the window, with a steaming cup of coffee, just watching life happen outside. I want to take a book and lose myself in a fictional world, all the while hearing the buzz of real life all around me as people move on with their lives.
Most of all I want to meet up with the people I love for breakfast. See my friends without all the planning and timid trepidation waiting with bated breath to see if it will rain and we have to cancel. I want to sit in a cosy, quaint little coffee shop while we catch up on the past year of each other’s lives whilst planning many more meetups to come. Holidays to Greece, hiking in Snowdonia and long nights in Live Lounge. For me, all of these plans start in that first meeting and I can’t wait for it to come.
My friendships and family ties have been made so much stronger since the pandemic with the movement onto the virtual landscape making connection across the globe all the more simple. But I think it’s about time I get to celebrate this slight shift back towards normalcy with friends, in real life, over a cup of coffee in a coffee shop.
How Does It Feel Having the Vaccine?
Our Features Editor, Cait, has received her full course of the vaccines thanks to her line of work. When reflecting on being invited for her dose she said –
“I understand how anybody with health-related anxiety may be nervous about attending their vaccine appointment, but the relief you feel once you know you are as protected as you can be from COVID-19 is immeasurable. Since receiving the vaccine I still practice social distancing, and I still cannot imagine not having to wear a mask. I find it difficult to imagine a time where these things are not ‘normality’, and having the vaccine has not changed my attitude towards these safety measures. However, it does feel like a weight has been lifted a bit, that the end is in sight, and that in the smallest of ways we have done our bit towards hopefully reducing the transmission of COVID-19 in Wales.
But, even with the vaccine, I am still full of excitement and anticipation for the day that live music can return and we can fill grassroots venues and concert halls with everybody that we love safely.
If you are a student living in Cardiff, and you have missed your vaccine appointment then you can call the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board re-booking line on 02921 841234.”