Hey New York, over the next few weeks just about everyone is going to become eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine according to the governor. Starting tomorrow morning, everyone over 30 will be eligible. On April 6th, everyone over 16 can get a shot in the arm that will help end the pandemic which has ruined the last year.
I got my first shot of the Pfizer vaccine on Friday afternoon. My arm was sore on Saturday, but not so sore that I couldn't play with my kids outside at their grandparents' house. All four of their grandparents, who missed a ton of time with my kids over the last year, have been vaccinated. My kids are going to get to see their cousins this summer and play with them. It's awesome.
We have come a long way in the last six weeks. I know this because that's about how long ago I made the appointment for my parents to drive 90 minutes to get their first shots. Back then, people were basically relying on Facebook posts about rumors about when new appointments would open up at one of the few vaccination sites across the state.
My sister-in-law said that the New York State site was updated around midnight. I stayed up and jumped on the site looking for appointments and found two for my parents in early February. I tried to book them and the site crashed. Again and again and again. Finally, after around 20 minutes of spinning wheels and 404 errors, I got two appointments on same afternoon. I cried tears of relief. My parents were going to get vaccinated. It was a different feeling from about a year earlier when I honestly wondered if I would ever see my parents in person again.
Luckily, a few months later we were hanging out on my back porch with masks on. But I didn't know that in March. Nobody knew. The parts of America that took the pandemic seriously were like a ghost town. Images of people stuck in their homes like in Italy were jarring. I spent a couple months spraying groceries with disinfectant.
Seems silly now, but it's not like my fears were unfounded. We're closing in on 550,000 coronavirus deaths in America. Our small family Christmas was canceled after my father was exposed to COVID-19 when he dropped off cookies to a relative. My dad quarantined and was fine, but we lost a family member.
Most people have a story like that and it sucks. There have been 1.85 million COVID-19 cases in New York alone. There were just under 9,000 new cases yesterday. Numbers are rising again. This thing isn't over and masks and vaccines are the best way to stop it. Everyone should own a mask. Over the next few weeks everyone should at least get scheduled to get the vaccine in New York. Hopefully, the rest of the country isn't far behind.
Please get vaccinated. Help people schedule appointments. Help people get there. Help keep people from getting sick and dying. Please. It will be awesome. It feels good and it carries an immese sense of relief. When my parents got their first shot it was just a huge weight off my chest. That's the feeling everyone should get to experience. That's what the vaccine can do. That's what people deserve after the last year.