According to what the vaccine form said, my second shot appointment date was to be July 22nd. Imagine my surprise when I got a text almost a month early from Brittany O’Daniel, vaccine rollout volunteer (and co-owner of Sandbar Hotel and restaurant) notifying I was eligible for shot number two much sooner.
As I read her text stating that I could answer yes, or no, to a 9:30 am appointment the next day, it sent some unwanted thoughts through me.
- I was not mentally prepared.
- I was not physically ready.
- I must not get hung up on other people’s side effects or lack of, for shot two. More people I know had them than not and the last person I spoke to mentioned a bucket came in handy.
Not wanting to miss the opportunity I quickly slammed the door on the above anxiety-producing ideas and asked if I could get a later option. Thankfully the answer was yes, as a walk-in. I was grateful, as that would allow for me to better prepare.
Being a single girl I wanted to make sure I had everything I might crave after my shot so I would not need to bother friends. Also being a single girl who does not like to cook, my fridge was not full enough – hence needing preparation.
Having learned what I felt was missing from my get-well supplies for shot one, I decided to get a bit of extra fruit this time around and also tapped into my craving center while shopping. I already had papaya and a couple of limes but decided more variety was in order. The afternoon before, I walked across the road to get a 1/4 piece of watermelon, and some mini plums. I skipped the limes, and as you can see by size comparison in my picture below I fared better in town. On the left are from across the road and on the right at Back St. Fruit Market.
I also ended up buying an extra avocado which was perfect for a before the vaccine meal addition. As for the main staple of my grocery shopping, I would time my walk so I could get what I needed quickly afterward, and head home.
On my way to town, I left enough time to allow for my walk to be minorly distracting. I took comfort in the view instead of thinking about the vaccine roller coaster I was about to take an unwanted joyride on. Weather-wise, it was a beautiful June day with highs of 88° F/ 31° C and lows of 81° F/27° C.
As I neared the edge of town, I heard a rare sound, a lawnmower. I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures of the gardener at the Phoenix Resort and once again lose myself in something other than where I was headed.
When I arrived at the Lion’s Den around 11:30 am, I had no wait time. Instantly one of the intake women gave me a quick spray, collected my ID, and welcomed me to take a seat.
Pretty much as soon as I sat down the other intake girl, my friend Karen Brodie was calling me over. As she went over my first shot experience we briefly caught up on life. This time it was a different woman who administered my dose, and the needle hurt. In the after-shot waiting area, they handed me my Tylenol and notified me I had to get my vaccine card stamped at the Poly Clinic. After waiting the required 15 minutes, I was free to go.
In case the side effects clock started ticking, I had a short fast lunchtime grocery route planned. First off I headed to the lagoon area and was minorly surprised there was no fruit and vegetable stand set up that day. The big market day with several vendors happens early Tuesday mornings but usually, there is someone set up on the other days. So I backtracked on Ambergris St. and rounded the corner to the Omega produce store. There I bought a grapefruit, four limes, a beet, cucumber, and one zucchini- cost about $4.50 BZD. Next stop the ultimate in easy single girl cooking – $20 BZD for a golden rotisserie chicken 😀
As I turned the corner onto Caribeña Street to head out of town, I saw Belizean meat pies listed on the chalkboard of My Secret Deli, so I grabbed a couple to add to my recovery food options.
Although I had not traveled far, since my shot, I could feel slight dizziness setting in. Knowing my body well, I knew I had just enough time to finish my last three stops and get home. Ritchie’s for the best price on Nescafe Dolca coffee on sale at $5.99 a jar. Then it was across the road to Caye Mart for the best pricing on La La light, box milk right now, at $1.95 BZD. My last frivolous stop was Tans Mart for Fruit Loops cereal with our national bird the toucan on the box and some chocolate M&Ms. Note, those last three stops had nothing to do with my recovery kit. After all, my side effects were not going to last forever and my desire for coffee and sweets would need satisfaction again.
By the time I made it home and put my groceries away, my body was ready to rest. The roller coaster had started and I had no choice but to relax into the ride and do my best to make myself comfortable.
As it turns out that ended up to be binge-watching the last two seasons of Project Runway Australia and up to and partway through season 4 of Sex and the City. I was super tired so fell asleep and woke up often. I would catch the beginning and end of the shows and miss the middle – that happened all night.
If you are planning to, or have already cut the cord on cable TV, the latest version of Cinema HD APK is a great option. While this app is free and does not require a VPN, I still recommend one for other apps. Of course, being in Belize, surfshark was a no-brainer for my first choice. It has great reviews and no device limits.
Back to AstraZeneca’s side effects…
The morning after my second dose, I had a slight bout of nausea and the same short broken sleep cycle all day. I also experienced strong extended headaches and the Tylenol that was given gave me no real relief, nor was taco tip # 29 near the bottom of the previous article, but I used it anyway. This time around the symptoms had also taken my appetite away, I was happy to have a good fruit choice and avocado to get some easy light nutrition.
By the second day after my shot, I was mostly better, just tired from extreme sleep disruption so I took it easy. By late afternoon my appetite was coming back – bring on the meat pies 😀
The third day after shot two, and I just had minor low energy. As much as I did not really want it, I am glad I got the vaccine and thankful my side effects are pretty much over. As far as the island goes, we still have a ways to go before we reach herd immunity. Help stop the spread of Covid, and if you haven’t been vaccinated yet please consider it. Our cases are low on Ambergris right now, around 20 by my count from the daily reports.
Updated Belize Covid info
As of Sunday, July 4th our regulations are changing slightly again. From Thursdays to Saturdays, curfew will start one hour later at 11:00 pm and last until 4:00 am. From Sundays to Wednesdays it remains 10:00 pm – 4:00 am.
As far as the “Covid rules” go, masks are still mandatory in public places with a few exceptions like driving or exercising. There is some grey area though, as it is clear people are itching to get back to “normal”. Bars are not supposed to be a focus and are only supposed to serve a few drinks with food being the primary reason for people to be there.
Outdoor restaurants are allowed to have 75% capacity. Those without outside areas are allowed 50% capacity if they have fresh air options.
Planning a trip? Check the CDC’s key information for both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travel to Belize – COVID-19 on the Belize page.
For Belize based information, click through on the BTB Belize travel COVID-19 update page.
For local news, Island COVID-19 cases are on the rise; people are urged to get vaccinated. According to the San Pedro Sun article – “Some of the people testing positive for the virus work in the service industry (restaurants, water taxis, tour operators, gyms), while the rest are tourists.”