That was the question I got asked most during a tour of the 2000 Vancouver International Marathon’s elite athlete reception that my elite running friend from Nova Scotia, Smartex Tambala, had taken me to out of his kindness. To be fair, a lot of the elite marathoners in that room got asked that as well, almost like the standard greeting to ask to start conversations, but the reception wasn’t just for the elite athletes. It was also for their friends, family, and other guests, of whom I was one courtesy of Smartex. However, I seemed to have looked the part enough at 5’2″ and about 102 pounds that the other elite athletes risked being wrong about me not being one, rather than potentially insult me by assuming I wasn’t elite athlete material. It’s been the only instance in my life where I had been presumed that way rather than the opposite. And as ridiculous as the question was for me at the time, peaking at maybe half of that mileage weekly, it stayed on my mind long enough to be a psychological itch I ultimately had to try and physically scratch.
Where were you when…? That’s the question often asked about defining moments of a generation, country, demographic, or some other group could commonly relate to. These questions, and the moments they reference, tend to each be about an event that happened not to the group, but to something that impacted the group. On the contrary, with receipt of the COVID-19 vaccine, what we have is a defining moment more definitive, and more globally relatable, and more personally impacting to us all, than any of those other defining moments. For that, the question will be a little different. It won’t be where were you when…? But rather, where and when did you… get your vaccine? And quite possibly as a follow up, how was it?
In Nova Scotia, Canada, where I live, COVID testing is free. Further, because we have so few cases compared to the rest of the world, we have been able to encourage asymptomatic testing. That’s testing for people without symptoms who may or may not have COVID, to see if any spread is potentially being done by people without symptoms. We also have “pop-up” testing labs that move around to make it easy for people to get tested. When I finally learned about the location of near me on the day it was there, with enough advanced warning to go get tested, I went for the “experience”… and now, I want another. 🙂
Have you ever had a near death experience? If not, count yourself lucky, and either take my views on faith and/or consult with someone who has to compare notes. But if you had a near death experience, did it change you and/or your life perspectives afterward? And how, if so?
Supply induced demand
Demand created by unnecessary pushing, availability, and/or excess of supply (opioids by pharmaceuticals)
Illness from withdrawal symptoms from a drug
Misuse of opioids
A chemical that binds to a receptor and activates the receptor to produce a biological response
Adverse Childhood Experience Score
Score from a test to gauge extent of adverse experiences a person had in childhood, to gauge potential for negative repercussions in their lives later
A transfer of care between two members of the health care team, where the handoff occurs in front of the patient and family