For weeks, the main topic of all my conversations with friends and family has been the COVID-19 vaccine and to be or not to be a recipient of the vaccine.
The controversy is which vaccine will be here and which one to take. The two-shot vaccination arrived first, but I thought and talked with friends about whether I should wait for the one-shot vaccine.
But, when my daughter Samantha visited me to help me unpack she asked, “Mom, should I try to register you for the vaccine?” I instinctively said “yes!”
After two hours and many grunts and groans, Samantha got me an appointment in one week in the Bronx, only 20 minutes away from Bayside.
On the designated day, I made my way over the Throgs Neck Bridge and, a few parkways later, I arrived at the school where I was going to get my shot.
When I drove up, I noticed there were gates to guide the lines, but there were no lines! After reaching the entrance of the school, with only two people in front of me, a guard confirmed my registration number and asked me to proceed inside.
There were guards wearing signs saying what languages they spoke and the corridor leading to the cafeteria had spots on the floor indicating where I should stand. I slowly weaved my way through the school’s winding passageways to the open doors of the cafeteria.
A guard greeted me and directed me to table 8, where a grey-haired lady was sitting. I asked her what she did and what brought her here today. It turned out she was a retired Manhattan doctor of internal medicine who had volunteered to administer the shots. I was shocked to learn that the majority of the people in the open space cafeteria had volunteered to aid the few Board of Health employees.
After I introduced myself as being in the news business, my” doctor” told me she’s a blogger who often writes about her socialist beliefs and she offered to share her blog with me. I didn’t want to insult her or make her uncomfortable, so I said I would read her work.
But, I did give her a little talk about my business and why I’m a capitalist who employs almost 250 people! She smiled at me and silently took out the vaccine from a bin below the table. I asked her if it needed to be refrigerated and she assured me it was safe.
As I looked around the quiet room, I noticed about 50 tables that had more workers than patients. My “doctor” told me how she waited four hours doing nothing because of a computer glitch. She finally was told they found her assignment and she should take a seat at a table. It seems computer glitches and navigating the programs for registering are blocking seniors, who are often computer challenged like me!
Within minutes of receiving the shot, which took only a few seconds, I was directed to the “recovery” room in the school’s gymnasium.
A kind gentleman greeted me at the door and helped me register for my second shot. He navigated the computer program so I didn’t have to have my daughter grunt and groan again!
When I left, there was no line outside, sadly no people getting the vaccine, but still dozens of workers waiting for people to arrive.
Hopefully, with a new presidential administration, a new day will dawn with vaccines available for all the people who desperately want it and need it.
Here’s to a new day!