Two Sundays ago my wife and I were scheduled to receive the first of our two Covid-19 vaccinations. The shots were to be given here in Barre City, at Spaulding High School.
As we left our home and headed to the school I remember wondering why the Kinney Drug Company was using a high school to administer the vaccinations. I was sure that our local Kinney pharmacists and other employees would be manning an office or booth in a hallway to give the shots. Surely, I thought, they could have just done that from a corner of their store’s pharmacy counter.
It was not until we were approaching Spaulding High that I had any idea just what a massive undertaking this local effort in the covid battle was. Large outdoor and even electronic signs directed the cars. We rounded the corner to the school’s parking lot which was full of cars. Closer to the school, at the gymnasium entrance, there were groups of people who were being politely organized by officers from our local police departments. We learned that the people there for the vaccine were not just from the area, but from all over Vermont.
It was soon our turn to enter the school, and we were directed into the most organized and smoothly-operating temporary clinic that I could ever have imagined. The familiar gym area hallways of Spaulding High were now well-marked walkways with evenly spaced standing areas to promote social distancing in the line of people. Signs showing the way to go were everywhere, as were what must have been dozens of friendly, even jovial attendants from Kinney’s.
There was a basketball court-sized reception and registration area and another marked pathway that led around the massive gym’s center curtain to the other court, which was now filled with waiting pharmacists and other helpful attendants. There was even a seating area to be used after our inoculations with folks in masks and gloves, wiping down all table and chair surfaces.
I wanted to take this time and this column to give a heartfelt thank you to the Kinney Drug Store employees, who I later learned had come from as far away as New York on that winter Sunday to vaccinate many hundreds of the people of our state. The Kinney’s folks were abundantly kind, friendly, patient, and showed the ultimate in caring professionalism. Many thanks also to the friendly police officers who stood in hallways and out in a cold parking lot to direct us.
From the first directional sign on Ayers Street through the totally organized and efficient vaccination process and even to temporary street signs showing the way away from the school and to the major routes out of town, this entire operation was a class act.