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COVID-19 vaccination volunteers say the work is tiring, but rewarding

(Workers administering a COVID-19 vaccine at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy. Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY – Starting today, all adults are eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Local health departments expect their appointments to be filed for a while.  People currently volunteering at vaccination centers say they’re ready for another wave of people walking in their doors because the work, so far, has been rewarding.

Very few people had bigger plans for 2020 than Kyra Condie. She was supposed to have competed in the Tokyo Olympics as a climber, but, COVID-19 postponed all that. She’s still on the US Olympic team and is actively training, however, there are times when she feels lost.

She said, “On my rest days, I have a lot of extra time and I was kind of feeling lost as to how to help out on those rest days, and I really wanted to.”

Condie has been volunteering at the vaccination centers in Salt Lake County since the beginning of March and the energy at the centers is dramatically different than what some people may expect. There are days when the amount of work they do wears her down, but morale is quite high and people getting the vaccine are in good spirits.

4 tips for getting a COVID-19 vaccine appointment booked sooner in Utah

“One of the ladies described it like a massive DMV as far as how well organized it is.  It is really impressive to see, honestly,” Condie says.

Other volunteers, like Salt Lake County resident Haley Eckels, have been personally affected by COVID-19. Roughly half of her extended family members were infected with the virus.

“It has been hard to see them struggle with the illness.  It has been hard to work from home and not see my colleagues and to isolate from friends,” Eckels says. Like most Americans, we canceled our Thanksgiving plans and that was a particularly sad day.”

Eckels says she wanted to help fight back against the virus, so she signed up to volunteer. 

“This volunteer effort feels like the first thing I’m doing to help end the pandemic. Instead of just staying home and watching Netflix, I’m actually contributing, actively,” she says. 

“Oh, I’m so bored with Netflix.”


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.
  • Get vaccinated.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

 

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