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Hailing the Helpers

Wed, 03/24/2021 - 19:00

As the availability of Covid-19 vaccines improves, we should take a moment to acknowledge the volunteers who have so generously helped get shots into so many arms. This comes at a risky time because the dual effects of pandemic fatigue and a sense, rightly or wrongly, that its end is in sight have led to many people letting down their guard.

At East Hampton Town’s temporary vaccine clinic in a former school building on Stephen Hand’s Path, volunteers have made it all possible. These have included medical professionals lending their time, ambulance crews on standby, and people from all walks of life directing traffic, checking names, and providing technical and data-entry assistance, among other essential tasks. A sign-up form can be found at People able to help on very short notice are especially needed; so far officials have learned that a fresh batch of vaccine is becoming available only at the last minute.

Caution remains key in stopping the virus. At the moment, Suffolk County has had an increase in daily positive cases, with the all-important seven-day average indicating that Covid-19 continues to spread. Last year at this time, the county was on a pronounced downswing; now the numbers are staying well above 500 a day and moving upward. This means that even if you cannot volunteer at one of the vaccine clinics, you can be a helper by continuing to follow safety protocols, including limiting gatherings and wearing a mask when outside the home. Full vaccination remains months away. Until then it is up to us to do our part.

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