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I finally feel part of the cool club

  • April 13, 2021
A nurse administers the first of the two Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations in Chicago.

It finally happened: I got a COVID-19 vaccine appointment!

Hi again, it’s Sara Moniuszko, and although my appointment is still days away, I am so excited to have finally secured a spot. It took a lot of refreshing the appointment website (and a few fake-out slots that vanished as soon as I clicked), but after multiple attempts, it happened!

Since the pandemic began, I’ve been writing about COVID and the impact it’s had on all of us, from quarantine baking to pandemic mental health and vaccine side effects – and now it’s my turn to take part in doing something that can help bring this pandemic to a close.

And I’ve got to admit, I was starting to feel a bit out of the loop as everyone around me – family, friends and colleagues – got their vaccinations. So I definitely feel like I’m part of the cool club now.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended putting a pause on the Johnson Johnson vaccine.get paid by your employer to get vaccinated. Many employers – ranging from grocery chains like Trader Joe’s, Aldi and Lidl to retailers like Dollar General, Olive Garden and McDonald’s – are offering time off or extra pay.

To read more about the freebies being offered, click here.

Krispy Kreme

Meet Prancer, the puppy everyone wants

No, this isn’t the “Today’s pet” section of the newsletter (that’s further down). This is a story from the week that will make you laugh.

Animal lovers around the world are asking to adopt a New Jersey Chihuahua after his foster mom shared a shockingly honest review of his personality traits on social media, writes my colleague Dustin Barnes.


Prancer, a 2-year-old Chihuahua, is one of the most coveted puppies around after his New Jersey foster mom shared a Facebook post on April 7 that touted his hatred of men, animals and children.

Today’s reads

  • Need a pick-me-up? Here are 30 cute puppy photos to make you smile
  • Here’s how Muslims are celebrating Ramadanin year two of the pandemic
  • Mark your calendars, the Oscars are April 25! Here’s everything to know about the all-star “cast” list for the show
  • Grandma’s got game! Meet this 58-year-old grandmother and video game streamer
  • Love bacon? IHOP released a new bacon milkshake, bacon waffle sundae and more
Michelle Statham, known to her TikTok followers as 'Tactical Gramma,' poses for a photo with one of her grandkids.

Today’s pet

Meet Sheldon, a 3-year-old Russian tortoise.

Sheldon snacking on some flowers.

“He has brought me a lot of peace and joy, especially during the pandemic. He is about 3 years old,” writes Dena Jackson of New York. “He is a vegetarian, who loves radicchio, romaine lettuce, other greens. His favorite foods are some flowers though… I look forward to spending time outdoors with Sheldon again as the weather gets warmer.”

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