How the COVID-19 Vaccine Saved Our Bachelorette Weekend
30% of our group of highly cautious, vaxxed-waxed-and-relaxed women caught the virus, didn’t end up in the hospital, and have no regrets
My close friend and bride-to-be, who I’ll call “Meredith” (all names and identifying details in this story have been changed), postponed her 2020 wedding due to COVID-19, and rescheduled it for this fall. Though Meredith and her fiancé Tim live in a southern state that ranks among the lowest in vaccinations, they are scientifically-minded, CDC-guidance-following, mask-wearing, hyper-conscientious citizens who volunteered at vaccination sites and got their shots back in March.
To get a coveted invitation to Meredith’s bachelorette weekend (which was anticipated as the party of the year, at least among our wider social circle), we had to be vaccinated. (The couple are also having a vaccinated-only wedding.) The 20 women who traveled from around the country to attend had all been staying as safe and healthy as possible in anticipation of our first real group gathering in a year and a half.
48 hours after we returned home from the (frankly fantastic) long weekend together, our illusions of insularity began to unravel before our sunburns even got a chance to peel. My phone buzzed as a text came through: it was Meredith, on the bachelorette group thread.
The unthinkable had happened: our beautiful bride-to-be had tested positive for COVID.
My already anxiety-prone brain went into overdrive. Did I have it? Had I already given it to my husband? Or to the flight attendant or passengers on my two-leg flight home? I envisioned our group’s departure from the bachelorette house as a flight map, carrying the virus to every corner of the country, to husbands and roommates and aging parents and kids who would soon return to school.
As information and test results trickled in, the bachelorette group text chain–comprised of largely-successful-and-meticulous-overachievers-turned-citizen scientists–quickly began to resemble this meme: