On March 1, 2020, my daughter threw me a little birthday party at a local business. It was so much fun. especially since someone there was having a doggie birthday party for her pup and his friends at the same time.
Just 12 days later, on a Friday, I picked my granddaughter up after school as usual. We happily chatted as we walked to the car, and she shared her plans for the evening when my phone rang. There would be no more school for the rest of the month while the school system tried to figure out how to deal with keeping children and staff safe from this new virus known as COVID-19.
I didn’t leave my house or see my granddaughter for several months. My daughter worked at a doctor’s office and had access to information that was not being shared with us nationally. She bought masks, and other PPE and went grocery and essential shopping for me for several months.
By mid-May, I was able to see my granddaughter from a distance. I’d sit on my front porch and she’d shout to me from the sidewalk. But those visits were few and far between. We couldn’t hug and virtual hugs just didn’t cut it.
A month or two later we were able to see one another but we followed my daughter’s strict rules by wearing our masks, keeping our distance, and no hugs.
Even now, when we are in a more relaxed state, my granddaughter and I don’t hug like we used to. COVID has changed that part of our relationship, perhaps forever. We still do on occasion, but it’s just not the same.
When the vaccines started to roll out I was excited. I have 4 of the pre-existing conditions that the authorities have listed on the CDC website and I knew my group would be included in one of the earlier phases.
My son, who works at a grocery store has been risking his life since the pandemic began more than a year ago, and, as an essential worker was supposed to be in one of the early phases as well. Yet as time went on both of our groups kept getting pushed back in CT.
The current phase was supposed to include both of our groups, but one week before it was implemented, the rules changed. I was grateful to learn that on March 1, my 64th birthday, that 64-year olds would be able to get the vaccine.
Even though the vaccine won’t prevent you from getting COVID, studies show that you are much less likely to die from it if you do contract it. With my diabetes, high blood pressure, etc, etc, I desperately want to get the vaccine and be much safer. Oh, I will still wear a mask (I hand sew triple layer cloth masks) probably until the end of time as a precaution when out in public — I’m quite comfortable with them on.
My hope was that on my birthday, I could get onto the VAMS website, as recommended by my physician’s office, and make an appointment for this week. Those hopes were dashed after several very confusing attempts and promises of e-mail verifications.
When my daughter got home from work she asked how it went and I began to complain about my horrible day and how stupid the site is, how I wasted my time and that I’ll probably die before I get an appointment.
She asked to see my computer and within a few seconds, she was tapping away at the keyboard inputting the verification code that had been sent to me (that I missed in the very LONG e-mail) and then told me that there were no appointments available anywhere until the end of May.
How Do You Get An Appointment?
If your primary physician’s office isn’t administering the shots, they most likely will steer you over to the universal CDC website. vams.cdc.gov that everyone is using and jamming up, which may lead you to another page https://portal.ct.gov/Vaccine-Portal and then you can spend the day jumping through hoops, making phone calls, being put on hold, getting a message that you will get a call back in the order that your call was received or within the next 24 hours.
Do you want to get an appointment or do you want to be frustrated and moved to tears?
A doctor in the office where my daughter works told her that the fastest way was to log into your Yale MyChart account and sign up there. If you have gone to the hospital, a walk-in clinic, or another facility managed by Yale, you may already have a MyChart account. if not, create one at https://mychart.ynhhs.org
This morning at 6:30 a.m. my daughter woke me up out of sound sleep (after 4.5 hours of rest) and told me to log into my mychart account. I dragged myself out from under the covers and one dog, tripped over another dog, and made my way into the living room to my computer and logged in, but in my mental haze I couldn’t figure out how to find the page she was looking at.
She texted a link https://bit.ly/2NU7WpA that I accessed from the phone and logged in without the computer. I could almost hear angels sing as I gazed at row after row of available vaccine appointments in Milford, West Haven, New Haven, etc, Morning, afternoon, and evening. Take your pick, it’s up to you.
The first one I saw was on March 21 at 9:30 a.m. at the Yale West Campus. I Grabbed it!
I immediately received a verification text and e-mail.
I went back to the list, amazed at how many appointments were open! Then I noticed one for THIS Saturday at 9:30 a.m. I tried to take it, but the program recognized me and wouldn’t allow it. I thought I would cancel the previous one and then get my vaccine this week. But I thought better of it, by the time I canceled my appointment and went back for the other, BOTH of them may be gone, so I left well enough alone and I will be getting my first dose on March 21.
Knowing that my brother also needed an appointment I texted him the link and told him to do it NOW – it was close to 7 a.m.
At 9 a.m. He sent me a message that everything was filled up.
A few hours later, at 3:30 p.m. I checked the link again, and there were several appointments available at many locations. I let him know and he was able to make an appointment without a hitch.
If you’re not an early riser when a huge variety of dates and times are posted, then make sure to follow the site all day until new dates and times are added. You WILL get a convenient appointment at a convenient location before you know it.
Another option is https://covidvaccine.ynhh.org/ Here, you also will find a myriad of location and appointment time choices, but you have to answer some questions first. Still, it’s faster than the VAMS option AND it shows which vaccine is available at each location on a given day, Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J.
I hope that you now know that Orange Live is here for YOU and that you also will be able to get a vaccine appointment without the frustration and disappointment that so many others are going through right now. Please be sure to share this information and help everyone get vaccinated ASAP. The sooner we do it, the sooner we’ll be able to get rid of this “new normal,” put it all behind us, and get back to our lives and families.