Thursday, May 06, 2021


The Same Respect

I’m Lucy. I’m 21 years old; I’m a senior at UConn. In the beginning of the pandemic, I worked at Big Y until I began serving with the AmeriCorps. I am a part of the ConnectiCorps cohort that increases volunteerism to aid Connecticut’s struggling nonprofits. My service site is Community Health Center (CHC).

I am eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine through my work at CHC. After weeks of searching for available appointments, I finally found one in my hometown of Old Saybrook. As soon as I got to the tent where vaccines were being administered, I felt like I was being interrogated.

I was asked at least five times, “What do you do for work?” I informed them each time what I did, only for them to belittle my work within earshot. I was also continually asked why I have not received a vaccine from CHC, as if there was not just a national vaccine shortage.

After condescending looks and lots of shaking heads at my answers, my vaccine card was taken and I was directed to leave without a vaccine.

As someone who has worked in person throughout the pandemic, has been yelled at for a lack of toilet paper, and goes into work every day to take a workload off of salaried employees so they can continue fighting this pandemic, it was hurtful to be met with such a patronizing response from the town I have grown up in.

I posted this on social media and others my age responded with exact experiences. We should be encouraging eligible young people to get vaccinated by being more welcoming to their willingness to contribute to creating a safe and healthy community. It would be nice to treat young people with the same respect that is expected from them.

Lucy Marinelli