Nerdy Girl Sarah Coles reflects on her 1st COVID vax and TNG’s 4th Nerdyversary.


As we celebrate our 4th #Nerdyversary, I have been reflecting on the joys and privilege of writing and working with Those Nerdy Girls.

I have met many incredible women scientists and clinicians, learned a ridiculous amount, and shared my love for science and medicine with each of you. But I also got to work through my fear, sadness, and uncertainty that consumed my life as a family physician navigating the pandemic. It was a heartbreaking and terrifying time, steeped with fear that I would get sick or spread the illness to someone I cared deeply about. I changed my hospital scrubs in my backyard to avoid bringing in any virus, washed my hands so many times they were raw and cracking, and made do with makeshift personal protective equipment. I had patients die and witnessed so much suffering. It is a feeling that will stick with me forever. But through all of it, I had our community with Those Nerdy Girls to bring science forward, share our experiences, find calm in the chaos, and enjoy a little humor along the way.

In the spirit of our 4th Nerdyversary, I wanted to share a post that was especially meaningful to me. In December of 2020, I received my first COVID-19 vaccine. It was a momentous occasion. In that post, I talked about how scared and tired I was from caring for patients in the hospital and clinic throughout the first year of the pandemic, my trust in the vaccine safety system, and my hope and joy at receiving that first vaccine. I remember crying and texting with my colleagues pictures of our Band-Aids and the overwhelming sense of relief and optimism we were feeling. It had been a very long time since I had felt optimism.

I’m not going to lie; I was a little worried about sharing that post! I was nervous about backlash from people with fear and anger around the vaccine. There was already so much mis- and disinformation surrounding the mRNA COVID-19 shot. I didn’t know if I had the emotional energy to handle any negativity that might get flung my way. But instead, I was flooded with messages of love, support, and kindness. I was stunned and moved by our community’s generosity of spirit. I continue to feel this every day as I watch us grow, expand our science communication, and build a community informed by science and bonded by compassion. I have rarely felt prouder to be a part of something than I am to be a Nerdy Girl.

If you would like to read my original post, you can find it here.

And, finally, to each of you: Thank you for being a part of this and sharing this adventure with us. Happy Nerdyversary!

Stay safe. Stay well. And Thank You!

Sarah Coles, MD
A Nerdy Girl

Link to Original FB Post