Friday, December 03, 2021

50 mcg of Moderna Booster

Michael de Adder: 'Omicron arises — COVID-19 virus the ultimate Transformer'.
More cartoons here.

I wasn’t in a hurry to get my COVID-19 booster shot. The efficacy of my first two shots would begin to wane in mid-December, and I’d need a booster by January. I don’t intend to travel. Neither would I gallivant to meetings with overseas work visitors nor even see many friends coming into town for the festive season. Wearing a medical face mask properly indoors amongst strangers and keeping up with hygiene practices are still my best defense against all viruses. While I'll minimize social interactions, I have no compelling reason to stay at home 24/7 to avoid all human contact. We're not in full apocalypse yet.

Then Omicron exploded over Thanksgiving. Any new variant with crazy spike proteins is of concern especially if it's easily transmissible. If viruses are determined to wipe out the human race, it will evolve to dodge all our immune responses to take out a huge swathe of the population. The stock markets tumbled, USD2 trillion disappeared off global stocks; many governments were spooked — compulsory quarantine periods, travel bans and border closures are back in fashion. I was like, here we go again.

MOH’s invitation to schedule my booster shot was timely. Might as well to do it now. As more information filtered out about booster shots, and whether to mix and match both mRNA vaccines, I decided that when my turn came, I would opt for Moderna. The US public health officials wouldn't recommend one vaccine brand over another. They left it to individuals to weigh personal risks and benefits and analyze the studies put out there. Our government, on the other hand, in mid November, told us straight what to do, in that insufferable tone of 'Look, this is the best option. You can read the facts. But we have saved you the trouble and analyzed it for you. Do what we tell you to do. We know best.' It is soooooo annoying.  

TODAY's summary of which to choose

Toddled off to get the booster shot accompanied by a pounding headache caused by a severe lack of sleep the night before — thunder, panicky dog and such. Arrrrgh. The thunder rolled from 12.45am to 4am. Fuck. Then the school bus picked her up at 6.45am. I barely had two hours of sleep.

Although the Moderna booster only uses 50mcg (half of the volume of the original shots if I had opted for that), it's still a lot more than a Pfizer booster of 30 mcg. I thought I would feel it, especially with sleep deprivation. The pounding headache that began before the shot stayed with me through the day. It didn't worsen though. I also bravely took a glass of highball at dinner. 👀✌🏻 The headache subsided when I hit the bed, and disappeared by the next morning. The night after the booster shot, I had cleverly moved out to sleep in the living room when the first thunder rolled at 2am, and continued sleeping till 8am. (Dog doesn't bother me the moment I do that. She just doesn't like me in bed in the bedroom when the thunderstorm rages.) 

Otherwise, I felt fine. No sore arm, no aches, nothing. It rained all night and the whole of the next day, so the dog was anxious and stressed, and had the runs. I didn't get any exercise beyond sprinting out with her to the curb. I didn't even have to lug water to rinse the grass since the rain came down in steady sheets. The advisory told me not to exercise for two weeks. Bollocks. I'll get in pilates and gyro, and hit the gym over the weekend. 

Two mornings later, I woke up to a left arm completely covered in rashes and the upper arm swelled, the lower cheeks and upper neck and eyelids swelled TOO. Walaoeh. Okay that's not out of the ordinary. Shellfish and chicken will cause this sort of allergic reaction too. Popped an antihistamine. It subsided by the evening.  

I place my trust in science, and my own immune system. If I get a breakthrough infection, that's hardly surprising. If God decides that it's my time to die in spite of my best efforts, so be it. I'm an introvert, so it's not social events or parties I miss. Dining out for two works just fine. However, I resent being robbed of many normalcies. I would really like to go to the gym or chill out at the parks and beaches without wearing a mask. At the rate it's going, the pandemic isn't ending any time soon. It's up to us to decide how we manage our mental health while dealing with the many restrictions and chaos trailing in its wake. We can hide away at home in fear (that's already a privilege check), and be reduced to a shadow of our usual selves, or we could take calculated risks, and live. 

They handed these booklets out to everyone. Aiyoh. What a waste of paper. I declined it.
The staff insisted that I must read it prior to getting the jab. I'm like, I READ IT ALREADY LAH.
The information is on the Ministry of Health's website, and many others sources when I bother to do research. SERIOUSLY.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Nasi Kandar Lite from Straits Curry Company

The friends scored a set of nasi kandar from IG darlings Straits Curry Company (@straitscurryco). Helmed and cooked by Edwin Lee (who's a trained chef in a restaurant by day), these monthly sets ofnasi ulam and nasi kandar are ridiculously hard to procure. 

When the orders open on its Google form, they sell out within three minutes. Like WTF. If you type too slow, you ain't gonna anything. I'll try to get the nasi ulam next. The collection point is at Tiong Bahru Estate on Yong Siak Street. There's a big carpark at the park, so it was super convenient for us to pick up our order. 

Straits Curry Company recommended diners to buy 2 X Nasi Kandar Lite Set A to feed 3 to 4 persons or 4 to 5 small eaters. But we decided to get just one set instead of over-doing it and ending up with leftovers. Luckily we did so. 2 X Set A Nasi Kandar Lite are totally not for our small stomachs. Just 1 X Set A Lite was sufficient. Set A didn't come with rice, and the reminder emails also warned us about it. So the friends cooked the rice, and for fun, also prepped an extra dish of BBQ sambal stingray. That went beautifully with all the dishes and gravies.

It was nasi kandar Penang style. Ahhhhh... There were assam fish curry, daging masak kicap, ayam masak merah, kerabu taugeh, and achar timun. There were two kinds of sambalgeprek bilis and belachan. There was decent heat in all the dishes, and they were flavorful and held all the expected spices. The meal also came with papadum and salted eggs. I liked them salted eggs. Heh! The friends even prepped dessert in the form of ice-creamube cheesecake and ondeh ondeh.

We didn't even contribute to anything much! We simply turned up and ate our fill. Okay, we brought wine. At least. The refreshing and crisp Bauget-Jouette Blanc de Blancs Brut Millésime went well with the spices. Intended the Chateau Roubine’s La Vie en Rose for the friends to keep in their fridge for random drinking another night, but they finished it anyway. Hahaha.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Nice & Presentable PJs

With a dog who wakes me up at night when she has shitspolosions, I only have eight minutes to jump out of bed, leash her and run out of the flat to the streetside grass patch where she could uhhhh 'explode'. There're other nights when she wakes me up from fear of the incoming thunderstorms, or if she just need to pee or poop (solid pieces). So I still take her out. 

On some nights, she wakes me up because she was bored and wanted me awake. WALAOEH. She doesn't want to play, but she just wants to be sure that I wasn't dead. She'll politely tap on my arm to wake me. If I ignore her, she'll scratch harder. That ensures me waking up rather quickly. If I ignore her further, she jumps up on the bed to stomp on us, and goes to stomp on Daddy's face. Haizzzzz, I don't want her to wake the man, so I grudgingly get up. 

To these night wakings, I often have to ensure that my pyjamas are more or less presentable. If it’s shitsplosions, I don't have time to change. I fly out of the front door in exactly what I went to bed in. I have eight minutes. If I ignore that, I'd end up cleaning liquid poop off the floors in the estate or in the lift, and having to Dettol the heck out of the spots.     

If a thunderstorm rages or thunder rumbles without the rain, I'd have to take my pillow and blanket out to the living room or the study to sleep there, so that she'd be mollified and hang around, instead of scratching the man's eyes out or panicking. If I make the mistake of going back to the bedroom, she will persistently wake me up every hour or earlier. Then I get no sleep. I can fall back asleep quite easily, but I like to be warm. A good set of PJs would ensure that.

I usually shop at Uniqlo or Muji for PJs. Those are set at a decent pricing versus quality. Marks & Spencer keeps coming up with ugly and floral patterns that I cannot deal with. I like my sleeping clothes in plain monotones. Uniqlo does offer those, alongside its ugly ajumma versions. Muji still has the easiest-on-the-eye designs. I can re-purpose tanks and long-sleeved tops for sleepwear, but I'd have to purchase sleeping pants separately. Those require a different level of comfort compared to work pants or Lululemon joggers.