NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — As we work to tell the big picture story of the Mission’s Covid-19 vaccination effort, we also want to make sure to capture the small moments. These are the moments that will bring texture and life to this historic initiative now and as we remember them. Here are some of the moments I will always remember from the first few vaccination trips.
I’ll think of Tammy, Swan’s Island EMT, managing parking in her bright yellow jacket and handing out carnations to all those who came to be vaccinated. A big smile and “thank you” from Tammy for a warm cup of tea on that wonderful windy first clinic day.
I won’t forget a Kubota 4×4 ride on Monhegan. Me in the front with Jess the EMT driving. Peggy, Sharon, and Maureen—our medical team—in the back. Bumps and laughter and racing back to the dock and the Laura B where crew and passengers waited patiently for us to finish every vaccination.
I will remember Barb on Islesford dancing from registration to waiting room to vaccine administration and back to waiting. Then finally gracefully gliding right out the door of the Neighborhood House. Victory sign waving, enormous smile beaming.
I’ll think of Dan and Christina on Matinicus. Dan joking that he cut in front of Christina because his hands were cold. Christina not being surprised when I told on him. Both clearly loving each other and so happy to receive the vaccine and our Mission vaccination stickers.
I will remember Mary and Katelyn, Cranberry Isles twenty-something EMT personnel, greeting every islander. Teasing some, more gentle with others, respectful of all.
And then there is Scott, a young Islesford lobsterman with piercing gray eyes, gently easing his grandmother Polly up with each required move. Scott, reassuring Polly that he has her “pogo stick” when he grabs the cane from where it fell.
Most of all, when I think of these first days I will always remember Douglas Cornman, Sharon Daley, and visiting nurses Maureen Giffin and Peggy Akers huddling and planning. Relentlessly. Joyfully. On Sunbeam. At the clinics. On the road. In the plane. CDC protocols, boat schedules, time, and tides to be managed and re-managed. These are the moments I’ll hang on to as this effort goes forward. These are the moments I will share when folks ask me what it was like. What an honor it is to be a small part of this historic work.
For the Mission,