My sample may be small but here's what I see happening: Many of my friends who have managed to get their arms in the way of a covid vaccination have had the aid and assistance of their grown children. Their kids became their vaccination hunters. Makes sense: Our kids have more Internet savvy, online search skills and knowledge of different platforms. They're finding hot spots where a vaccine shot can be had--and booking reservations for their vaccine-eligible parents as soon as they spot an opening. No waiting around to talk it over. Everything takes place on Internet time, folks. One set of friends had to drive an hour from their home to get their first shot and a reservation for a second one; another went to a state where their son lived. They admit they couldn't have managed the sophisticated search it took to find a slot, figure out the eligibility rules and make a reservation on their own.
Here's something else, and it's something I've experienced personally: When, despite the masking and social distancing and handwashing, we nonetheless fall ill from Covid, our kids are there to manage information, health providers and other services--from afar but with their superior smartphone skills. After my husband and I both became ill (and tested positive) our kids boned up on everything Covid--calling their medical friends, reading CDC guidelines and gathering information from a variety of sites. With their dad in the hospital and me fogged-out and sick at home, they called the hospital for updates, talked to our doctors, asked questions about our care and overnighted oxygen measuring devices. They threatened to drive down here and were coordinating that effort when I got wind of it and rallied enough to yell "No." After all, there is nothing they could do for either their dad or me that they couldn't do by phone from the safety of their homes. Or as the hospitalist doctor treating their dad told them: "The only thing you can do if you come down here is get Covid."
It was an odd feeling to have my kids calling our doctors instead of the other way around (as it was when they were young.) This wasn't them being parents who were telling us what we could or should do in the pandemic (as discussed in this post); it was them stepping up to take care of their parents who were ill and needed someone to take over for a few days.
My husband turned out to have a mild case of Covid-19 and was home in three days; I too had a mild case. But I can tell you, mild though it was, Covid is nasty. A month later we're much better but still not tip-top--not yet as fit as we were before we got sick.
We do have something positive from our experience: The comfort of knowing our children were willing and more than able to step up and take care of us--and from afar.
photo credit: Maia Lemov