Blursday and other musings one day post Pfizer vaccine

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Out In Jersey magazine Editor Sam Martino
Out In Jersey magazine Editor Sam Martino

Editor’s Letter

As I write this, I am one day post Pfizer vaccine number one. And if I thought I was past blursday, it’s blursday all over again. My brain feels fuzzy, and I am tired. But honestly, I have no right to complain, because having Multiple Sclerosis gave me the opportunity to get the Covid vaccine before some of my contemporaries, so I consider this a blessing.

This past year, I have known so many that had Covid. We all have heard stories of people that died in hospitals, with only their loved ones on a screen. So, I consider myself blessed to be alive, to be writing this to you, and to get the vaccine. There are so many people that have not had the luxury of having access to this vaccine.

Speaking of vaccines, I hear talk of which vaccine people want to get. Some say, oh no I don’t want the Johnson and Johnson because it’s not that effective, or Pfizer is this and Moderna is that, please. If you are able to get a vaccine, get the vaccine, it doesn’t matter which one. Just ask the 520,000+ that have died in the United States.

If you have been trying to get an appointment for a vaccine, then you know how incredibly difficult it is to get an appointment. If you are a senior who doesn’t have a computer, it’s almost impossible to get on the list. Sure, you can call the mega center numbers, but be prepared to be on the phone for possibly hours or get a message that says they are busy and not making appointments at this time.

There have been some kindnesses happening that have astounded me and made me believe that human kindness really does exist. I have a friend who is working in Philadelphia to get the over 75 generation vaccinated. These women are working tirelessly at helping people get their vaccines, and even go so far that when needed, they drive people to their appointments.

The people they are helping would never be able to get the appointments on their own, some of them don’t own or know how to work a computer. The women doing this work are angels.

And on social media, Facebook of all places, on a page titled ‘New Jersey Covid vaccine info’ you will find men and women helping people get appointments for their families and those most in need. An angel from the page posted, “Finding these vaccines feels a little like winning the lottery every time! I have gotten 10 appointments so far (seven in Jersey and three in Texas)! Only two more to go…. until someone else asks for my help anyway.”

This has been a long year for every one of us. I find it incredibly inspiring that strangers are reaching out to strangers to help each other get through this pandemic the best way they know how, by doing the hard work and putting their skills to good use. These angels are not doing this because it’s their job, but because there are beautiful people in this world that care.

Maria Sammartino (aka Sam Martino), is a writer and artist for over 15 years. Maria started at Out In Jersey as the news editor in 2009, and shortly thereafter became the Editor-In-Chief. She has been published in the Philadelphia Gay News, The International Journal of MS Care, and other publications. Maria goes by Sam Martino because she believes that women are never given a fair shot - and doesn’t want her art or her writing to be judged based on her sex, but on the merit of the work.