Robin Schoenthaler, MD
6 min readJan 18, 2021


Dr. Robin’s Covid-19 Updates

Vaccine Stories

After A Year of Fear, Relief is Just a Shot Away

Used with permission of the photographer Dr. Anitha Leonard

Almost every time I talk to somebody I hear about another friend/family member/neighbor who has Covid. It can feel so scary — like the noose is tightening.

But — the miracle of the vaccines is upon us.

So now almost every time I talk to one of my health care worker friends, I hear about another person who has gotten the vaccine. It’s just fantastic, an instant sigh of relief.

Tearing Up In The Vaccine Room

One of my buddies who got her vaccine last week said when she got her injection she felt such a giant waft of reassurance and relief and hope and faith it was like a religious experience.

I hear this a lot. Many of my friends talk about getting tears in their eyes, or lumps in their throats, or goosebumps, the moment the shot goes in.

These teary docs are our hard-working surgeons, steely-eyed docs, buck-stops-here super-specialists, all running through their days, carefully allotting an extra half an hour for their vaccine between patients, and then all of a sudden they are overcome with relief and gratitude for this miracle.

Almost a year of fear leading up to a shot full of salvation.

I remember an older physician telling me about working with a resident one evening early on in the pandemic. They were examining a Covid patient when she noticed the young doctor’s hands were shaking. Shaking with fear.

Just think: she and he and all these docs and nurses (and janitors and ward clerks and respiratory therapists and physical therapists and etc etc etc) have lived with that fear all these months, and gone to work anyways, and then gone home. And been afraid there, of what they might have brought to their families.

All those months of fear. No wonder they get such lumps in their throats when this ray of hope goes beaming into their arms.

No New Safety Concerns

A lot (not enough but a lot) of people have been vaccinated (>230,000 shots in Massachusetts, 10,000,000 people in the US) with no new bad side effects showing up.



Robin Schoenthaler, MD

Covid-Translator. Cancer doc: ~Three decades at MGH. Writer and storyteller: Moth Grand Slam Champion. Mom., @robinshome,