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How to Be Patient During the Vaccine Rollout

Six things to keep in mind as you cultivate patience and humility during this waiting period.

Getting the Covid vaccine
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Patience is a virtue. And knowing that something game-changingly helpful like the coronavirus vaccine is on the horizon also makes patience a challenge.

When I quote the Book of Ecclesiastes, I usually turn to the famous verse, “To everything there is a season.” But today, there’s another verse that’s on my mind, Ecclesiastes 7:8: “The end of a matter is better than the beginning of it; better a patient spirit than a haughty spirit.”

The beginning of the “matter” of the pandemic was a surreal cyclone of emotions—things to learn and new ways to live. And, if all goes well, the end of the matter will be the eagerly anticipated day when enough people have received the vaccine that the virus will have run its terrible but complete course.

Throughout these months, I’m sure we’ve all had moments when we thought we had things figured out. I know I have—around routines, behaviors, the best-fitting masks, meal prep hacks and new ways of moving our bodies. Many of us have confronted the virus directly, either personally or as friends, colleagues and family members have been sickened or died. We have all had to learn in the most painful way that our hopes and plans alone are not enough to get us through this terrible time.

But with “a patient spirit,” as Ecclesiastes invites us to have, we can find our way toward the end, toward the next step, toward the gradual and eventual return to a version of normal in which we can move through our days in the way we’ve yearned to do—together with others.

So as vaccine plans continue to develop and expand, try to keep these things in mind to cultivate patience and humility.

1)  Know that your patience is an opportunity to do your part within the larger community.

2)  Remind yourself that each passing day is one day closer to the place you are eager to arrive.

3)  Talk to trusted friends, family, clergy or counselors about your feelings.

4)  See yourself setting an example for others, modeling both patience and humility.

5)  Learn what you need to about how the vaccine will be distributed in your community and set a realistic expectation for when it will be your turn.

6)  Hold steady in following public health guidance such as mask-wearing, social distancing and minimizing indoor time with anyone who does not live in your household.

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