It’s official; UH has decided to move from soft opening to full opening starting Monday, Jan. 31.
Regardless of how you feel about the Omicron variant and newer strains developing as we speak, you will be required to physically be in class, unless otherwise stated in your enrollment. So what now?
The state of Texas has made mask mandates illegal. UH, as a public university, can not force you to mask up. However, common sense and common courtesy says you should. Make it fun. Order a set of pretty masks to match all your outfits, whatever it takes to make mask wearing a daily habit for a little longer.
Wash your hands and sanitize often. This is your excuse to go crazy at Bath and Body Works with their cute little mini hand sanitizers. Do it. It’s for the greater good.
Lastly, get your booster shot. If it’s been more than five months since you completed the initial pair of COVID vaccines, you are eligible to get a booster. Scientists have done the impossible by cranking out these vaccines at the speed they did, something that had never been seen before. But the vaccines are still new. There’s no way to know for certain how they’ll hold up long-term, nor have they been fine-tuned to be as long-lasting as the vaccines for polio or chicken pox. It’s reasonable to assume that their power has waned. If you want to keep the protection you’ve enjoyed, getting a booster is the next step. Luckily, H-E-B can help.
The University of Houston has partnered with H-E-B Pharmacy to bring the vaccine to you. The event was advertised via social media and email newsletter. You signed up for a timeslot, then showed up on January 26th to M.D. Anderson library at the specified time.
I did just that, arriving two minutes late to my 11:40 a.m. appointment in true Latin American fashion. I showed up to the library as instructed, then had no clue where to go. Luckily, there was a huge sign leading up to the honor’s college stairwell. I climbed up and was greeted by a nice lady who took my temperature, then by another who asked me if I had been out of the country recently or if I was experiencing any COVID symptoms. After that, I checked in, provided my social security number, and was ushered to a table.
The whole process took no time at all. My nurse was sweet, and we bonded over how God never intended for the people of our home countries (Mexico for her, El Salvador for me) to experience this cold weather. Then she put a sticker on my vaccine card, pushed some juice into my arm and presented me with a H-E-B sticker. Yay.
I sat with my fellow coogs in a waiting area for 15 minutes, facing a floor to ceiling window that overlooked Butler Plaza as soft jazz played in the background. Yes, it was nice. I would really enjoy being able to take advantage of such a beautiful room in the future.
And just like that, I was done. It didn’t hurt, and I’m not anticipating any bad reactions based on how my previous two vaccines went.
I have a very heavy semester ahead of me, and my 40 hour work week is about to go up to 60, seeing as I’m starting another internship in March. Later in the year, I hope it will be safe enough to start going to festivals again. The biggest wrench you could throw into my plans is COVID-19. I don’t want to catch it, and if I do, I can’t afford to have it put me out of commission. I need to be able to work remotely and call in to class via zoom, whatever it takes to ensure I don’t fall behind. The booster promises me a degree of protection I am happy to take, and I strongly suggest you get your shot too.