New Hartford, N.Y. - It has been one crazy week for the new COVID vaccine rollout, not only in our area, but across the country.
Today, one New Hartford woman calls the process 'beyond frustrating', but after getting through to schedule an appointment for a second time, she is urging people to keep trying to get through and to be patient.
Joanne DiNardo says she remembers last March when her life and the lives of everyone else who works in education changed, "I remember being sent home that day...I remember coming home and hearing that the malls are closing and it was so surreal to me."
DiNardo is a teacher's asssisant at Columbus Elementary School in Utica. She says she misses being in the classroom with the kids, as she continues to help teach kindergartners virtually through a computer screen, "They’re so cute, and you just wanna come out and you just want to reach through there. We do virtual hugs."
DiNardo says she believes the science regarding COVID, and believes the key to ending the pandemic is the vaccine.
She says she was one of the many people who finally got through to schedule a time to get the vaccine this week, only to be told her reservation was cancelled, "I got an appointment to get the vaccine through MVHS and it was for last Wednesday and then all of a sudden I get an email saying that there was a discrepancy, or a lack of communication as they called it, between New York State, Oneida County, the Department of Health and MVHS, that they ended up booking appointments for vaccines they didn’t have. They did send another email out that they would notify us when one came in and we could be first on the list but in the meantime I kept looking. The problem is the confusion and trying to find one, because there’s no one place."
Ever since Wednesday, she says she has been trying to make another appointment, "All I can say is to just ask everyone and anyone you know. You have to have people to reach out to. I put it on Facebook, I texted everyone that I could think of to send me links, to send me information because the more people that know that you’re looking for it, the better chance that you have of getting it because there is not one place to go to, there just isn’t."
Three days later, Saturday morning, she got through on Oneida County's website, "This appointment that I made is for February 4th at SUNY POLY."
DiNardo says it's easy for her to say since she got through, but she says although this process is frustrating, just keep trying to get through.
DiNardo says she sympathizes with the state not receiving the amount of vaccine from the Federal Government that they had thought they were getting, and also sympathizes with all of the local government officials who are trying to deal with this brand new situation, "You don’t know where to go and everyone is blaming everybody else, but I can’t put blame on any one person. Whoever thought that this would be happening ever in our lifetime? And I can’t say that it’s anyone’s fault, it is what it is, but it is frustrating."
She is just hoping with the vaccine, and all of the frustration of getting it, ultimately will mean a return to normal life.