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A lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is beyond grateful she is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

It’s been more than a year since Grace Lim has seen her mother, who lives in Taiwan, and if the mandatory 14-day quarantine there continues, it could be nearly two years until the two connect in person―during winter interim 2022.

Grace Lim

“If that restriction is lifted in the summer, I’ll be on the first flight to see my mom,” she said.

On March 2, Lim got her first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

She had posted on Facebook: “I got my first dose of Moderna vaccine today, and I am just filled with gratitude. I miss my mom so much and I am one step closer to being able to visit her in Taiwan. Thank you, scientists and medical people. Thank you, policy makers who pushed for a safe response to this public health crisis.”

Fast-forward to March 31, when Lim received her second shot and became fully vaccinated. In her Facebook post that day she said it seemed appropriate that she wore a T-shirt that proclaimed: Life is Good, I Like it Here and features an image of “our beautiful earth. (I’m) trying to tamp down my urge to hug all the nurses and the newly vaccinated folks in the waiting area. Thank you, science! Thank you, frontline workers! Thank you, policy-makers who push for a safe return! Many blessings on your awesome heads.”

Lim says she and her mom, who turned 85 in January, have bridged their distance chatting on Line, a free international phone/video app.

“Every once in a while, she’ll accidently video call me,” Lim said. “I try yelling Maaa! Maaa! to no avail. She doesn’t hear me until she turns her phone over and says, delighted, ‘Grace! What are you doing on my phone?’”

Lim said her mom’s limited English is marginally better than her Taiwanese. She said her mom is very proud of her daughter teaching at UW Oshkosh―“at a very famous, very important University” in Wisconsin.

Lim says she smiles and nods as her mom and her friends “cluck over how special and smart her daughter is―why ruin a good thing?”

Lim is thankful her mom is living happily and safely in Taiwan, where the tiny island country of 24 million people has held COVID-19 at bay―recording just over 1,000 positive cases and 10 deaths, as of March 23.

Lim said she felt fine following her second dose of the vaccine until late in the evening, when she got extremely cold and achy. She donned some long johns and winter socks and hunkered down with another comforter. The next morning, she was still achy―and tired.

“But I’ll take this,” she said, “knowing that getting vaccinated and others too will get me one step closer to seeing my mom again.”

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