Another in a Series of Articles About Hunter Students Dealing with the Shutdown at Their Campus
While I was eating breakfast — and, honestly, only half paying attention to class — I went to the New York State’s Covid Vaccine website to check if I could get an earlier appointment. I already had one but it was for the end of April and I was anxious to get the vaccine as soon as possible. So, I thought why not see if there are any new appointments available, and when I refreshed my page for the second time, multiple appointments appeared for vaccination sites that had just opened up on Long Island.
They were all quickly becoming unavailable, taken by other vaccine hopefuls, but I thankfully moved fast enough and got an appointment for that Sunday, March 21.
However, the appointment I managed to get was for a site all the way out east at Stony Brook University’s Southampton campus. I was so excited that I did not care that It was 65 miles away from my hometown of Hicksville.
That Sunday, I woke up early and got myself together and headed out the door at 10:30 a.m. My appointment was not until 12:45 p.m., but according to Google Maps it was going to take me an hour and a half to drive there.
Photos by Niamh McAuliffe
The check in began at a large row of desks where I confirmed all of my medical information, then I followed up with a doctor for a medical evaluation and I was finally put into line to receive my vaccine. I was called over to the last station behind a partition where I excitedly chatted with the doctor and an assistant about the vaccine until all of a sudden it was time – and it was over in a flash.
At the time, the vaccine was still restricted to a small group of people: The elderly and people with special conditions, like myself. Today, it is available to everyone in New York and is offered in pharmacies everywhere.
It is now late May as I am finishing up my assignment. A little less than two weeks ago Governor Cuomo announced that SUNY and CUNY will require vaccinations for all students attending in-person classes in the fall. [Chronicle of Higher Ed article about vaccinations whether we like them or not.] I was hoping this was coming because I will be a senior in the fall, and I want to finish my education in-person, the traditional way of an open campus that was the promise before the Pandemic unleashed havoc on America.
Hunter hasn’t decided, as I’m wrapping up this article, about how classes are to be taught in fall, 2021, nevertheless, I see this as the step in the right direction and a real sign that I and other students could be returning to what student life was like, or might have been like, before we ever heard of the Coronavirus.
Niamh McAuliffe can be reached at NIAMH.MCAULIFFE78@myhunter.cuny.edu