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Vaccine dreams and waiting for some release
The thing about pandemics: they've been my personal apocalyptic fear since childhood. Growing up, we were always told about my grandfather's eldest brother, Harold, who died of the Spanish flu during Vancouver's third wave: January, 1919.

Here is an old pic from the archives: my grandpa is the baby on the table, Harold is the one with the fair hair looking intently at the camera. Of all his brothers, he was the writer, and when I started to write poetry in elementary school, Grandpa would always say "my brother Harold used to write poetry, too."

The Spanish Flu was a vicious virus one that went after the young and healthy and made their already active immune systems go into a deadly overdrive, something called a cytokine storm. My great uncle just 16! fell into that cohort. Here he is, surrounded by his brothers just a few months before he died. The family had just moved from Winnipeg to Vancouver and were testing out their rain gear. Maybe they were going to send the photo back to family in Winnipeg. I love their cheeky expressions.

They say that my great-grandmother never recovered from his death. As a parent now, this is something that I understand, but even as a child, I remember imagining how devastating that must have been.

Here we are 100 years later, a new pandemic, but this time science has given us this vaccine. When we were finally able to get G his vax, I started to feel the emotion and gratitude bubble up that had been weirdly absent when I got my own. There is something I can do to protect this kid. And we are so fortunate.

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post #1554
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