Hello, my name is Ben Moore. I’m an autistic adult, and I’m writing to you, the reader, to explain what the process of going through a worldwide pandemic (and getting the COVID-19 vaccine) have been like from an autistic point of view. Keep in mind that my view and experiences living through these turbulent times will not match the experience of every other autistic person out there.
At the start of the COVID pandemic last March, my life wasn’t at its most serene. I was hospitalized for non-COVID related issues when the first cases started appearing, so I was kind of frightened that I might catch it, and that it would only compound my health problems in the moment. Thankfully, that did not happen, even though patients with COVID were being quarantined on the floor directly above me.
Afterwards, my experience in the pandemic has been much like everyone else’s – trying to maintain social contact in a socially-distanced world, and re-thinking how we go about our lives in the new era of online learning and meetings using applications such as Zoom and Microsoft teams.
When I first heard via the news that Pfizer and Moderna were developing mRNA-based vaccines to the coronavirus, I was excited and hopeful. Finally, I could look forward to life “returning to normal” once herd immunity were reached. I felt this optimistic leading into the morning of my appointment for receiving the first shot.
With the prick and jab of the small needle, my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine was a success! I went home, and after a few hours, and persisting for a couple of days, were a minorly sore left arm (the arm I got poked in), and a tad bit of general fatigue. That was it – nothing too bad! Compared to my first shot, there were no observable aftereffects post-second shot.
Now that I’m vaccinated fully, and the state’s mask mandate has been rescinded, I’m looking forward to meeting up with all of my friends at the ABC – the Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center – once again, so that we can continue to laugh and grow together.
One last thing I’d like to say is, if you’re autistic – and even if you aren’t – getting the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine isn’t scary, and it doesn’t hurt. Please, if you haven’t gotten in your doses, please do! If not for yourself, then for everybody else who, for whatever reason out of medical necessity, cannot.
May we all soon embrace each other with open arms once again!
Ben, I enjoyed reading about the COVID experience through your eyes. Thank you for sharing your insight and perspective on this important topic and reminding us all the importance of being vaccinated. Glad you are back at ABC with all your friends. There always seems to be a lot of laughing and fun going on there! Oh, and you are a great writer. Thanks for contributing to the Autism Blog where your perspectives as an autistic person are deeply valued.
Outstanding essay. Thanks for sharing your experience, Ben.
I agree with Katrina Davis’s comment above.
Great essay, Ben – and a wonderful way to encourage others to get vaccinated!