My Experience Taking One Of The Covid-19 Vaccines

Openly Discussing Getting Vaccinated

As many of my readers and YouTube subscribers know, here on the Big Words Blog Site, most of the content published is now coming from collaborators and customers in the form of shorter informational pieces. With multiple YouTube channels and now another blog for more literary writing, I only have time to write and publish a few pieces of my own here. While others opted for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, I took the Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine within the last month and as a scientist, I wanted to write something about it.

As described in my initial submission on the new ScoonTV publication, one of the videos on my science and technology YouTube channel was taken down for ‘violating community guidelines’. I have since been hesitant to talk about the vaccines in any way, but with this platform belonging to me, I can discuss whatever I want to. Whether or not the social media platforms allow it to be shared, remains to be seen.

As you know there was a lot of controversy surrounding the Covid-19 vaccines, in addition to the pandemic itself. When talking with a good friend, I pondered that the pandemic may have been the younger generations’ World War 2 or Vietnam, in addition to maybe the 911 attacks. That is no disrespect to anyone who lived through those wars and tragedies or participated in them, but none of the younger generations have lived through a crisis like this.

My Reasons For Getting Vaccinated

I decided to take one of the Covid-19 vaccines for a number for reasons. As described, for a period I uploaded several videos on the pandemic on my science and technology YouTube channel. In short, I honestly was not one of the individuals who was in a rush to get vaccinated. In my opinion there were some very peculiar circumstances surrounding the pandemic which I will not go into here, but to some degree, the need to vaccinate everyone did raise my antennae along with those of other people. In short, I wasn’t going to be one of the first to get vaccinated and took a “wait and see approach”.

In that regard, seeing my relatives get vaccinated with no adverse reactions helped allay some of my concerns. Other individuals who were close to me received their vaccinations was also another line of evidence for me. Ultimately, like most everyone else, I wanted to be able to move about freely without concern and get back to a level of normalcy.

Returning To Normalcy

On that same vein, the featured image for this story is from my trip to the Albany area for Father’s Day 2021. Prior to the pandemic, I made two to three trips a year to New York State’s Capital Region to visit my father via train. During the pandemic, I defaulted to making the five-hour drive to the Albany area and the eight-hour drive to Buffalo to see family. Needless to say, that driving is more work than simply closing one’s eyes, or looking out of the window and daydreaming on a train or an airplane.

Going back to the featured image, it was taken trackside next to my Northeast Regional Train in Alexandria, VA. Amtrak did not mandate its passengers to be vaccinated, though we did have to wear masks once boarded, a rule that was respected by some and not by others. The first leg of my trip from Washington, DC to the New York City area got a little more crowded than I was comfortable with. The second leg from New York City to Albany was relatively empty though. The same was true for the return trip.

What’s In The Three Vaccines?

Now in terms of the vaccines themselves, having backgrounds in Pharmacology and Toxicology, my focus was always on what was in the vaccines in terms of ingredients (active and inert). I wanted to get a feel for their “pharmacodynamics” and potential side effects. In today’s information age, there were lots and lots of rumors and theories floating around about nanotubes and microchips being injected into us. My mother told me that someone in her circle believed that the vaccines would ‘magnetize’ our bodies. It was like the hysteria surrounding 5G technology when people attempted to make it the cause of the pandemic.

While many people are skeptical about the work done of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), their mission from the regulatory context is to protect the health of the nation and to make sure that the foods and medications we take are safe. The vaccines thus had to go through the FDA for approval for “emergency” usage. To determine the safety of the vaccines, I pulled the memoranda for each of the three vaccines approved in the United States from the FDA’s website to ascertain what was in the vaccines.

The following are the ingredients contained in the vaccines. The verbiage and characterization were lifted directly from the FDA memoranda which are hyperlinked in case readers want to go and look for themselves. The “efficacy” and side effects are also characterized in each memorandum.

The Moderna Vaccine

The Moderna vaccine is an off-white, sterile, preservative-free frozen suspension for intramuscular injection. The vaccine contains a synthetic messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) encoding the pre-fusion stabilized spike glycoprotein (S) of SARS-CoV-2 virus. The vaccine also contains the following ingredients: lipids (SM-102, 1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycero- 3-methoxypolyethylene glycol-2000 [PEG2000-DMG], cholesterol, and 1, 2-distearoyl-sn-hocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate, and sucrose.

The Pfizer Vaccine

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is a white to off-white, sterile, preservative-free, frozen suspension for intramuscular injection. The vaccine contains a nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) encoding the viral spike glycoprotein (S) of SARS-CoV-2. The vaccine also includes the following ingredients: lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2- hexyldecanoate), 2-[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-distearoyl-sn- glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.

The Johnson And Johnson Vaccine

The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is a colorless to slightly yellow, clear to very opalescent sterile suspension for intramuscular injection. The vaccine consists of a replication-incompetent recombinant adenovirus type 26 (Ad26) vector expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein in a stabilized conformation. The vaccine also contains the following inactive ingredients: citric acid monohydrate, trisodium citrate dihydrate, ethanol, 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HBCD), polysorbate 80, sodium chloride.

Getting My Shot

Assuming none of the ingredients were intentionally omitted, nothing I read personally in any of the vaccines alarmed me. I chose the Johnson and Johnson vaccine because I liked the mechanism of action more (a DNA Adenovirus vs micro RNA), and I just wanted to take one shot and be done with it. I was discouraged, though, after the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was initially pulled for a rare side effect, blood clots, I believe. When I decided to get vaccinated, I could not find it initially and then one day when doing a random search online, I saw that the CVS pharmacy that I frequent at Pentagon City was, in fact, offering it. After making a reservation, I went and got it on a Friday around noon.

I was cautioned from the nurse or pharmacist that I might experience symptoms of some sort over the next 48 hours. There was the inevitable pinch/sting from the needle and then I felt a sensation in my shoulder which radiated up towards my neck. That went away quickly. I hung around in the pharmacy area for the next 15-20 minutes as instructed. I then took my complimentary 20% off coupon, purchased something and left the store. I did not expect any adverse reaction(s) as I keep myself healthy and have faithfully taken vitamins C, D, E and Magnesium since the pandemic started.

Abandoning Our Masks?

And that was my vaccine experience. I did not write this to sway anyone. Again, as a member of the science community, I just wanted to share my story. I am happy that I got the vaccine I wanted, though I saw an article on Yahoo that said that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has not rebounded from the initial pulling in terms of popularity. I do not know if this means that it will be abandoned altogether, but I hope not, especially if it has efficacy against the new “Delta Variant”.

I have not completely abandoned my masks. I honestly will have to get used to not using them again. As described earlier, Amtrak insisted on its passengers using them and at least initially and when I fly, I am certain the airlines will also err on the side of caution. For the type of mask I had, it was not that bad for the seven hour ride.

Some stores and proprietorships are still mandating mask. Interestingly, before making my Father’s Day trip, New York State, one of the most vigilant of all the states during the pandemic, lifted all its restrictions. I met up with some old friends at Latin Dance Night in Albany, and no one wore masks as they danced up a storm, respired all over the place and socialized that night.

Do you have a vaccine story? Please feel to leave some comments below this piece. Also please subscribe to my science and technology YouTube channel to hear more science-related discussions like this. I am about 225 subscribers away from the holy number of 1,000.

Resurrect Your Business Post-Pandemic Using These 4 Ways

Three of the focuses of my blog are Current Events, Business/Entrepreneurship and Organizational and Management Discussions. Many businesses were levelled by the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Crisis/Pandemic while others were able to hang on, albeit by a thread. For this who have survived and in position to rebound, it’s important to have a plan of attack. The following contributed post is entitled, Resurrect Your Business Post-Pandemic Using These 4 Ways.

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Nobody knows when the COVID-19 pandemic will end. As a result, researchers and medical experts have suggested that we exist together with the virus for the time being since it could take several months or possibly years to develop an effective vaccine. This means adherence to social distancing protocol is expected to remain a part of the new normal. But what does this mean for businesses?

A recent report has proposed that close to 7.5 million small enterprises in the United States risk closing down in the next few months as COVID-19 continues to impose enormous business challenges. However, this could be considered as one of the many setbacks faced by businesses, and you may need to gear up for a comeback. Are you wondering how? These four tips should help your business to work its way back from the crisis.

1. Create a plan for the comeback

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Lack of proper planning can only compound your challenges further, therefore, you must develop a clear strategy that will guide you towards your targeted business goals. The list must be explicit on what must be done today to achieve the results you want tomorrow. Per the current situation, businesses are more focused on survival than growth. To develop a good plan, find answers to questions such as the following; what parts of the business are collapsing rapidly due to the crisis? What part of the company can I change to adapt to the times? In answering them, think deeply and broadly, and into the future.

2. Understand the impact of Covid-19 on business culture and identity

Just as the pandemic has affected different aspects of our lifestyle, it is very likely to impact business cultures and identity. Challenges can bring people together or likewise set them apart depending on their level of trust. This moment presents an excellent opportunity to view your business perspective and how it might evolve. How prepared is your business to handle this crisis? Will the pandemic unite people or set them apart? How different will they see your business post-pandemic? Your answers to these questions will inform what you can achieve after the pandemic.

3. Do you need to launch new products?

Like “Black Swan” events, the current pandemic has increased innovation and more resilient start-up businesses than before. What opportunities does the COVID-19 pandemic present? Growing challenges present businesses with ideas worth exploring, but in doing so, you need to set priorities to avoid starting multiple projects which will depend on the same limited resources. For example, COVID-19 has led to the increasing demand for protective equipment like face masks, hand sanitizers, and HDPE gloves. Several manufacturers have therefore shifted to PPE production for health workers and the general population, to combat the virus and keep their company afloat.

4. Are you ready to execute your plans and projects?

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Finally, it would be best if you considered the readiness of your business to start projects. Is your business prepared to take on and finish up new projects? You would have to consider the significant contrasts in preparedness at the individual, group, company, and public levels. Current available resources, coupled with the speed and dynamic processes required differ significantly, and these variations play a considerable role in determining whether or not you will succeed. Training is one thing that would prove helpful as a way of upgrading your business’ human resources.

How COVID-19 Is Affecting Garages

Three of the focuses of my blog are Current Events, Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. The Coronavirus/COVID-19 Crisis/Pandemic has caused a lot of changes to numerous business sectors. One sector that has been severely impact by people social distancing due to COVID-19 is the auto repair garage business. The following contributed post is entitled, How COVID-19 Is Affecting Garages.

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COVID-19 is changing the way we interact with vehicles. Cars are an essential part of everyday life. In a normal situation, your car would be the preferred mean of transport to get to work. As more and more companies are moving their business into the digital sphere, the commute to work has been temporarily transformed, except for essential workers. Nevertheless, people still rely on their vehicles to support them in their everyday trips. From grocery shopping to necessary doctor appointments or helping vulnerable relatives, the car makes it possible to stay connected and alive during the pandemic.

Unfortunately, essential repairs and services are being interrupted as a direct consequence of the quarantine. For garages, COVID-19 creates an impossible dilemma. How do you keep people safe on the road when you can’t get the parts you need?

Pixabay – CC0 License

Social distancing means remote solutions
When most businesses are going remote, there’s a practical argument for garages to do the same. Unfortunately, as most manufacturers have stopped activities worldwide, mechanics and garage owners find it impossible to get essential automotive parts for repair and servicing. However, they can jump on the digital bandwagon to teach their customers how to perform essential maintenance on their vehicles. It is crucial to remind customers how to look after their vehicles at a challenging time, such as now. Cars that are left untouched for several days or weeks will face difficulties restarting. The battery could go flat; the brake pads could rust, etc. Basic maintenance tutorials during the quarantine can make a difference!

Many businesses are facing monetary issues
Most small-town garages are independently owned. For them, a loss of income could put their survival at risk. When you consider the costs of a lease, insurance plan, and basic business maintenance, many small companies have to find ways of borrowing money to survive. While commercial loans are typically available to businesses, banks and other money lenders may not be willing to take the risk. Consequently, garage owners need to think outside the box. Joining a credit union and taking a secured loan against an asset are some of the most popular options.

Businesses have to face unfair complaints
Unfortunately, garages still face demands for last-minute repair works. Clients who have postponed repairs or services before the lockdown are now in a rush to get their car road-safe. But, as it can be difficult to secure car parts, garages have to focus on the repair works they can make. As such, it’s not uncommon to face complaints when a vehicle is not fixed to the owner’s expectations. Automotive defense attorney William Ferreira is the first to warn mechanics and garage owners against unnecessary activities during the pandemic. Clients have to understand the risks related to the supply situation.

Post quarantine is going to be worse than the holiday rush
As soon as it is safe to go back to normal life, garages are likely to face a rush of clients. Cars that have been left unmaintained during the crisis will need servicing and repairs. Preparing your business to meet the rush will make a difference. Small garages need to start planning to face demands as quickly as possible.

In those difficult times, car specialists need to get creative to support their community safely. From offering online tips and tricks for everyday maintenance to explaining to your customers why you can’t provide full repair services, maintaining positive communication with your audience could help save your garage business.

Getting Over Covid-19: Preparing Your Workplace For The End Of The Lockdown

A key focus of my blog is Health/Wellness. With many businesses and workplaces looking to reopen, thought must be given to preparing those workplaces to protect against and minimize infection by Covid-19. The following contributed post is entitled, Getting Over Covid-19: Preparing Your Workplace For The End Of The Lockdown.

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Most people are well aware of the outbreak which has shaken the world over the last few months. Governments across the globe have worked tirelessly to stem the tide of the Covid-19 virus, and the efforts have largely been met with success. As the lockdown eases, offices and other workplaces are going to be able to open again, but this will be under strict conditions which will ensure that there isn’t an additional outbreak. Preparing yourself for this is a good idea, as having everything you need for the big day will enable you to open as fast as possible. But what exactly are you going to need?

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

This first area is one of the trickier things to cover in this post. There have been world shortages of things like personal protective equipment, like face masks and gloves, but you will need these if your employees are going to be working close to one another. Thankfully, many factories across the world are focusing on producing these resources, and this means that you still have time to get your hands on them.


Covid-19 can be transmitted on surfaces, with door handles and computer keyboards being prime examples of ideal vectors for this virus. People have little choice but to share these tools when they work together, and this makes it worth using a Covid-19 decontamination service on a regular basis to make sure that your workplace is safe and clean. Of course, this will cost some money, but it will be worth it to keep your team healthy.

New Rules & Procedures

Social distancing rules are likely to have lasting impact on society, and many people are going to struggle to break away from these ideas, even when lockdowns are lifted completely. Maintaining this within your own office can be a great idea, but you also have to think about things like regular hand sanitization. Many companies are starting to provide this to their teams when they are working. Your new rules should also include wearing the PPE which you provide to your team members. Most people will be perfectly happy to do this, even if they work in a hot environment.

Essential Staff Only

The spread of a virus is always much slower when people aren’t spending their work days together. This makes remote working a great solution to workplace outbreaks, and this is something which offices should all be working to offer their non-essential team members. You may need to provide resources like computers to some of your team members, but this doesn’t have to cost a fortune if you ask those who already have their own resources to use them for their work.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to get started on preparing your team to get back to work after the lockdown is lifted. This whole issue has put a lot of strain on businesses, and getting back to work quickly is going to be essential for many to survive.

Tailoring Your CBD Sales For Success Through COVID-19

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Despite the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic/Crisis, there is still and demand for CBD (Cannabidiol) products. The following contributed post is entitled, Tailoring Your CBD Sales For Success Through COVID-19.

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CBD sales have increased across the world in recent years, with 14% of Americans now regularly using these products. Yet, even CBD sales have taken a hit in recent weeks as COVID-19 changes lives, buying habits, and priorities.

Given that this is the first real hurdle for the CBD industry since legalization, it’s natural to feel some worry over what this means long-term. At this stage, after all, the market is still green, and there’s no true way of knowing how loyal existing customers will prove once the pandemic has passed.

Image Source: CC0 License

Luckily, as is evidenced by current front-runners like CBD Unlimited Inc., the CBD industry does stand more chance than many of weathering this storm and even enjoying boosts. That said, losses elsewhere prove that only companies who continue to put one foot in front of the other will enjoy these benefits.

With that in mind, you need to look forward and keep fighting. And, we’ve got a few of the ways you can do that for success both now and once lockdowns lift.

Perfect your online presence

Given that 70% of CBD sales take place online, the chances are that you already have an ecommerce shop. But, if you’ve primarily focused on your in-person dispensary until now, your basic online efforts won’t be enough to keep you afloat. Instead, now is the ideal time to turn to a CBD marketing agency. Not only will they be able to get your web design just right, but they’ll also be on hand to ensure that you forever adhere to local legislation, and appeal to the right people. As simple as that, you’ll be in the best position to begin flourishing in this lockdown landscape. Even better, you’ll be able to go head-to-head with your largest online competitors once all this is over.

Highlight benefits with COVID-19 in mind

While CBD sadly doesn’t cure COVID-19, it can at least address some of the issues/symptoms that relate to this pandemic on a broader scale. By changing your sales narrative to account for this, you may find that even consumers who haven’t considered use before test out your products. That’s invaluable at a time when few companies are even considering acquisition, and it could see you at the market forefront at last. Luckily, there are plenty of benefits that you can highlight in this sense. For instance, CBD has suspected anti-viral properties, as well as helping to ease potential infection complaints like nausea and fatigue. Not to mention that, outside of the virus itself, CBD can work wonders for reducing the anxiety that we all undoubtedly feel right now.

Expand your expertise

Now is also the ideal time to focus on areas of your business that allow you to expand. For instance, you could enhance your sales for the moment by focusing on things like ‘anxiety packs,’ or even just expanding your range to incorporate items like massage oils and bath bombs to tune into that consumer need. Equally, you could follow in the steps of CBD companies like Beam, who are expanding awareness for their brand using free Instagram live workouts/meditations. Honestly, the more innovative you are, the better chance that you’ll be able to achieve the sales you need. So, have fun with throwing some ideas around, and test them out to see which best capture your audience’s new concerns.

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Stretch, release, and stay beaming ✨ Take care of each other and we’ll be right here with you too. #bettertogether

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Show your support to healthcare workers

Now is also the time to show your support for our much-needed health care workers. Public awareness has shifted very much towards provider support as doctors and nurses put themselves on the front line. As such, CBD companies like Beam have also decided to offer up to 50% discounts for all medical professionals, with a further 10% of their net profits going to Greater Boston Food Bank. This effort greatly helps the community, but it also highlights your company ethics in a way that few people could argue against. While you should, of course, do such things out of kindness and nothing more, that’s certainly not going to harm your sales along the way.

A final word

This is a hard time for every industry and, despite being medicinal, CBD is no exception. The fact is that consumers are distracted, and ultimately buying less due to loss of income, etc. But, as some of the best CBD businesses on the market right now are proving, that doesn’t mean you can’t still expand and grow during lockdown. Simply start by implementing these tips and feeling their benefits.