Fully Vaccinated + Approvals of Olympic Trials!

I have never been so grateful to say I am fully vaccinated. *Insert Happy Dance Here!!

April 5: Received Vaccine #1 in Phoenix, AZ

April 26: Received Vaccine #2 in Phoenix, AZ

May 10: Two weeks post-vaccination to become fully effective.

May 13: End of two week quarantine return to Canada (Including x3 negative covid-19 test results)

What’s Next?

This is a question I have been hopeful to begin answering since March 2020. Currently as a fully vaccinated individual, the short answer is continued patience and resilient focus.

The real ground-breaking change requires a majority of folks to be vaccinated. So yes, for now I continue to socially distance, wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, and stay safe while I wait for a majority to receive full immunizations. The current precautions are done with the relief if I am to catch the virus, my body will be able to tolerate the infection. During my two week quarantine upon return to Canada I had two weeks of alone time to wonder what comes next? First was hope at all of the possibilities. My thoughts concluded the big-picture emergence from covid-19 will be gradual, with most change occurring on an individual basis. The little things: shops will start to open, sport facilities will host games, music will fill concert halls, event invitations will slowly trickle in, I’ll get to snuggle nephews and meet my new niece. Borders may open, travel bans will lift, schools will be able to host students, families can gather, and hopefully a lot more. It is exciting to have so many things to look forward to! Estimating timelines of these are another can of worms that time will tell.

The next upcoming change? Today Athletics Canada announced their approval from provincial and municipal health authorities for the go-ahead to host the 2021 Olympic Trials in Montreal. Plus the 2021 Tokyo Olympics are still a go. Of course both will be heavily modified, likely no spectators but hope for a startline feels like a step in the right direction for what is coming next!

Step One = Get vaccinated (Check!)

Step Two = Run fast, train smart, compete to my full potential. Perform on demand

Like every other athlete, we are trying to make safe plans in an unfamiliar landscape but I believe we are all itching to get back to competing safely + regularly. There are many unsung heroes making an effort to innovate and accomplish “covid-safe” races and if you are among them, I hope you receive this huge thank-you from me! Domestic races are likely on the horizon and after an Arizona rust-buster race, I have a competitive fire patiently waiting to unleash on a start line. With today’s Trials announcement, it looks like:

Canadian track is back in business (covid-style)!

Stay Tuned!

#CovidCampBubble #FullyVaccinated #TrackTime

#AdreaMade #TeamAlger #BusinessofFast

Operation Vaccination:

When the pandemic began, my top criteria to feel comfortable with travel outside of my bubble was to be vaccinated. Fast forward to the one-year anniversary of covid-19 lockdown and it feels like my hometown community is further from the finish-line than when we started. The number of local cases is at its highest and the city I’m proud to call home is the global leader in active covid-19 variant cases; plus these variants are now affecting those my age. There is a fear mentality in my community as the main vaccine (that is inconsistently) available is the Astrazeneca which has the unfair reputation of “death by blood clots.” Healthcare workers are not all vaccinated, our community is craving connection, and we are entering another lockdown, with no clear end-date in sight.

Despite the gloom of the one-year anniversary, the stars seem to continue aligning for my athletic journey. The 2021 Olympic Games are still scheduled to happen, Nationals/ Trials in Montreal are scheduled, and if Canada can flatten the curve, there is a small chance for a partial national race series in Canada. Additionally, I received confirmation I can travel/ compete as part of my work to become an Olympic Athlete, and a huge thanks to Sask Athletics and Sask Sport for finding the funding to facilitate camps and training this year. Before the rush of Canadian’s headed South to the American border for races, I also found out, if I was willing to travel internationally for a camp, I could potentially get both doses of the publicly available Pfizer vaccine while abroad. The travel would come with a price tag, but it is allowed.

Would you, do it?!

My answer is yes. I did. I made the decision to travel for warm weather training with the hope I would also come home vaccinated. Plus, I would alleviate the stress and worry of future travels that are expected in my role as an athlete. I told my family, and my team at work. The decision was made quickly, and we found a way to make the training and quarantine time work. With many mixed emotions, I boarded a solo international flight, hopeful, excited, afraid, and sad to be leaving the cocoon of comfort my covid-19 bubble has provided.  

I’ll admit, being in an international airport was overwhelming and I felt immense culture-shock upon arrival. I saw more people that I have seen in the last year combined. Folks were still wearing masks, hand sanitizer is readily available in most places, but many people (who want one) have already received their first vaccine in Arizona. The mentality is not fear of getting covid-19, it’s more along the lines of what was your experience when one get’s covid-19. This was very startling to observe and overhear this casual dialogue from passer-by’s. The luxury of travelling solo made distancing easier, and I was able to go straight to my accommodations where I could isolate, sanitize, lysol my bags, and shower before settling in.

Upon receipt of my first vaccine, I was surprised at the relief I felt. I didn’t realize how important reaching this benchmark was to me. I understand until a majority are vaccinated, a covid-19 lifestyle of protocols, mask-wearing, bubbles, and more will be expected but the relief and hope that replaced some of the fear and stress built up from the last year made my decision worth it. Who knew a small card my name, dates, and vaccine administration could bring such joy! Other than 24-hour stiffness in my arm, I didn’t experience any other symptoms and was able to resume my training block as planned. Win-Win.

There is still a lot of collective work to be done to flatten the curve, but I am grateful to share what feels like a day of progress in the completion of Operation Vaccination! For now, back to my bubble, training, work, and races to continue preparing the next steps of (fingers crossed) the 2021 Summer Season!

Stay Tuned! And Stay Safe!