Dr. Cara Agerstrand, Pulmonologist and Director of the Medical ECMO Program at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, was one of the first health care workers in New York City to receive the newly rolled-out COVID-19 vaccine. Below, she describes what it was like to get the vaccine, and what the development means for the future of our health.
The last ten months have been completely unreal. If you were to ask me, this time last year, to imagine what we’d go through in 2020, I never would have believed it.
The complete tragedy of this pandemic was inescapable, especially in New York in the spring. We felt very blindsided by the whole thing. It was COVID in Wuhan, then in Italy, and then before you know it, it was in New York. It seemed like overnight, the world had completely changed.
At the end of March, I panicked and bought a bike in case the subways shut down so I would still be able to get to the hospital. It was so surreal, seeing these completely deserted streets, and being able to cross against the light in midtown Manhattan in the middle of a weekday. Every place in New York City was silent.
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