According to guidelines, Covid patients have to wait for three months after recovery to receive a vaccine. (HT file photo)
According to guidelines, Covid patients have to wait for three months after recovery to receive a vaccine. (HT file photo)

Missing the vaccine bus to catching coronavirus

SPICE OF LIFE: When you have been in a marriage for half a century, you know that the best way to weather a storm is to lie low, pretending to be lifeless
By Aswant Kaur
PUBLISHED ON JUN 10, 2021 04:33 PM IST

The day senior citizens became eligible for vaccination, our daughter, who is a doctor, informed us that she had registered us for vaccination.

The next morning, I woke up early and got ready but was surprised to find my husband still in bed because usually he is the one who is eager to visit our granddaughters in the city. What perplexed me further was that there were no signs of anything having been plucked from the vegetable garden.

Knowing how our granddaughters love sandwiches and burgers stuffed with crunchy greens, Nanu, as they address him, has a small corner reserved to grow lettuce, broccoli, spring onions and cucumbers just for them. No chemical sprays are allowed near this patch. He tends this garden lovingly and packs the veggies for the girls an evening prior to a planned visit.

One look at his face and I knew it was time for me to brace against the impending encounter. When you have been in a marriage for half a century, you know that the best way to weather a storm is to lie low and flat on the ground, pretending to be lifeless. This was not the first time that I was standing in His Highness’ court to face the charges. The torrent of words was actually a lament. “How I wish that the children had not inherited your impatience and impulsiveness. What is the hurry to get vaccinated? This disease afflicts those living in crowded cities and not those who live in farmhouses amid green fields brimming with oxygen.” “But our age...” Leaving my sentence dangling in the air, he left the room to call our daughter to inform her that we were not coming.

Before her second call came after a week, her father was well prepared with his arsenal. He had myriad references gathered from news channels and social media platforms, whose purpose seemed to be to malign the manufacturer and cite the dangers and lack of efficacy of the vaccine. What exactly transpired between father and daughter is not clear, but I could see him wearing a smug smile which I recognise as a winner’s smile after he razes an opponent to the ground.

The third call came two days later, and I overheard my daughter telling Dad that she was coming to pick up her mother to get her vaccinated. He retorted, “So, I’ve not been wrong when I felt that you loved your mother more than me. Anyway, have patience for a few more days as Sputnik V is on its way to India and both of us will take that vaccine together.”

Sputnik V has arrived but there has been no call from our daughter. According to the guidelines, Covid patients have to wait for three months after recovery to receive a vaccine. So here we are, monitoring our oxygen saturations and blowing the white, green and yellow balloons provided to us in the Punjab health department’s Covid Fateh Kits after we tested positive for coronavirus. aswantkaur@yahoo.com

The writer is a Tarn Taran-based freelance contributor

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