One year ago today, I ventured out of my neighborhood for the first time in six weeks. New York City had locked down for COVID-19, but I decided activism couldn’t wait any longer; I didn’t want the former guy to become a lifetime dictator with the help of a pandemic. I met up with activist friends to do several banner drops around town, but I was nervous! This was back when surgical masks couldn’t be found, so I made due with various scarves, bandannas, neck gaiters, as well as heavy-duty reusable masks I found on sites that sold motorcycle gear. The top hat was added by request.
The streets were deserted, meaning I had nothing much to be scared of. Even Wall Street was empty.
Even though I was obviously safe, I was still jittery about taking public transportation. So, shortly after the Babadook photo above was taken near Mt. Sinai hospital, I walked home instead of proceeding to our final stop at Times Square. That’s how I missed this moment.
Last April, I didn’t imagine we’d be fortunate enough to have a COVID-19 vaccine in under a year — nor did I imagine people would decide a deadly disease was a hoax while the prevention of the disease was the true danger. For the record, I got my second Pfizer shot this March 26, while wearing the same cold-shoulder top I wore for the first shot.
Everyone reacts differently, but I had no negative response to the second shot at all, after having a few days of sleepiness from the first injection. I’m a big fan of vaccines! I had my childhood vaccines, of course, and get a flu shot yearly. What can I say? The likes of polio, measles, and double-lung transplants don’t seem that fun to me. The COVID-19 vaccine is free, and it is now easy to get in New York City no matter what your age or profession — you can even walk into any state-run vaccination site without an appointment starting tomorrow. (The state-run sites include the very efficient Javits Center, where I went.) You can also schedule appointments here.
That said, don’t be surprised if you still see me out and about wearing a mask. I’ve gone a year without catching a cold, and I’d like to keep that up. Turns out I’m not nostalgic for my pre-pandemic exposure to other people’s gross germs!