Today is the day that NY opened up vaccinations to the next group. The 1b group. The group that includes those over 75 years of age. The group that includes my mom, my aunt and my uncle. NY has a site where you fill out a short form to verify that you are actually in the 1b group and then it will reveal where you can schedule the vaccine.
I got on this morning and it took me a bit to figure out what I was supposed to do. The scheduling was not available until eight. When I did finally get the list of sites, the closest one was 64 miles away from my mom’s house. There were three others which were even further. I tried to call the one that was closest. For some reason it was listed as a realty company. Do they have a giant parking lot? So many questions. The line was busy. I took a breath and gave up. I figure that at some point over the next few days, closer sites will become available.
One of the health systems has information on their site for places in Riverhead (the largest, closest town to us). It almost looks like you can make the appointment. But you can’t. It is only listing today’s date. It says there are four available appointments. I actually had the site up and it looked as if I could have scheduled a shot for 6:45 this evening (it was like six). I briefly thought about just doing it. But there is no way that would have worked out. If it was just me. If I could have just jumped in my car and gone to get it, I would have but I am not 1b and would have had to convince my mom to hightail it out of her house. It did not seem feasible. So I let it go. And there have been no more posted.
I have been monitoring the sites all evening but so far nothing. Another local health system did send my mom (via me) an email saying that she was in the 1b group and that they would be “offering the vaccine to eligible patients over the next few weeks”. That made me feel better. But I am still going to try to schedule it myself.
I am also trying to schedule for my aunt and uncle. They are also in the 1b group. I told my aunt that if a vaccine drops in her lap, she should say yes. I may set up an account for the health system for her as well since that seems to be the way they are communicating. I feel like we need to have all avenues open.
I know some people who have received it. I know some people who may be considered “essential” who feel like maybe they are not. They feel a little guilty about it. Maybe they should. Or maybe they shouldn’t. I don’t know. I only hope that there is a way for folks to schedule without having to do it online. I am certain there is a large population out here that is not set up to do it. And while the process is vaguely reminiscent of trying to score tickets to a hot show, it is so much more. So much scarier. Some days it all just feels bad. Today may have been one of those days.