For The Daily Beast
Rachel, a 35-year-old therapist in California who has been working from home since March, was standing in line to get a COVID-19 vaccine on Friday when a man approached a nearby volunteer and asked a question. The answer shocked her.
“He asked if this was the line for first responders,” Rachel who spoke under the condition her last name be withheld because her employer prohibits speaking to the press, told The Daily Beast. “The volunteer said something like, ‘It’s not your time yet.’”
In California, first responders are in Phase 1B for vaccinations—after people like Rachel, who works in mental health. Instead of being excited by the prospect of relief from pandemic hell, she was suddenly overcome by a rush of anxiety.
“I was thinking, ‘You’re a first responder. You should definitely be here. Not me,’” she told The Daily Beast.
In short, she added, “The system is super fucked.”
Phase 1A of California’s vaccine allocation plan includes all health-care workers—not just those who are seeing patients in-person—and many of those same workers can’t understand why. It’s a national problem, experts said, one playing out against a backdrop of canceled appointments, supply backlogs, and flagrant line-skipping by young people.
Only in this case, it’s all being done under the auspices of following the rules.
“We’re just valuing the fact that they’re in health care and not thinking about how many people they’re exposed to,” Anna Rappaport,a nurse in Northern California in her thirties and a cancer survivor, told The Daily Beast.
Rappaport has received both of her two coronavirus vaccine shots, she said, but even with her medical history, had her doubts about the process. (continued)