Come on in, the water is fine!

Come on in, the water is fine!

History-making Jamaican American nurse gets ready for second COVID vaccine shot

BY HAROLD G BAILEY
Observer writer

Monday, December 28, 2020

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New York, USA — Just over two weeks after creating history as the first person in the United States to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, Jamaican-born critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay says she has not developed any symptoms or encountered anything unusual.

As a result she is again repeating her simple, but important message of encouragement to her counterparts across the United States and her homeland to “take the vaccine”.

The Clarendon-born, Glenmuir High School past student said she understands the fear and scepticism — from a historical perspective — why some in the minority communities, especially, are reluctant to take the vaccine.

“But unless people get serious and take the vaccine we will not accomplish the goal of controlling and eventually defeating the virus,” she has warned.

More than 80 million people worldwide have contracted the disease which first emerged in Wuhan, China. Over 1.8 million have since died. Here in the United States, almost 19 million have been affected resulting in over 330,000 deaths, among them an estimated 100 Jamaican nationals.

Lindsay advised those who have reservations about taking the vaccine to “do some research and talk to health professionals and others, where possible” to help relieve such fears, arguing that wearing a mask, washing hands and keeping a safe distance “might not be enough to get us out of the current darkness fast enough, and so it is critical to be inoculated with the vaccine”.

She expressed hopes that her action would help inspire sceptics to get the vaccine, adding that the greatest appreciation that people who are not involved in health care could show to those, like doctors and nurses, on the front line in the fight against the pandemic, was “to adhere to all the necessary protocols, and get vaccinated so an end can be brought to the pandemic”.

This was necessary, she said, recalling how chilling it was to see the number of trucks which were lined up and used as make-shift morgues in New York in the early days of the outbreak, as hospitals ran out of space to care for patients and store the bodies of those who died from the virus.

Lindsay, who is director of critical care nursing at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (Northwell Health), said that the situation had been mentally challenging and tremendously stressful for worker, especially on the front line, resulting in some leaving the profession, as they found it difficult to cope.

Lindsay migrated from her native Jamaica in 1986, telling the Jamaica Observer that she had joined the nursing profession after witnessing the caring and passionate nature of nurses in Jamaica and the respect which was shown to them, as well as certain other professionals like teachers and police officers.

She is currently pursing a doctorate in health science after gaining a master's degree in nursing, as well as an MBA.

Lindsay, a mother and grandmother, said her relatives in Jamaica were proud of her achievements. “They see how focused I have been, and how hard I have worked over these many years. They see my achievements as the embodiment of my grandmother's lessons of hard work and how it has paid off,” she said, her voice brimming with pride and gratitude.


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