Joan Pennington, 73, gets the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at her home. "It's gratifying," Pennington said. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org

I read with disappointment Gov. Ned Lamont’s decision to abandon the CDC’s risk-based roll-out of Connecticut’s pending COVID-19 vaccination stockpile.  As a 59-year old woman who enjoys the creature comforts that come with white privilege (including excellent health insurance), I denounce Governor Lamont’s change of course as discriminatory, reckless, and just plain lazy.

My 58-year old husband (also a Connecticut resident who enjoys white privilege) and I have spent the entire pandemic working from the comfort of our white suburbia home … relying on Black and brown essential workers to shop, bag and deliver groceries to our doorstep so we don’t have to risk our own health and safety. Until the pandemic, I never knew the name of my white UPS driver (Harley) who continues to deliver toilet paper, toner cartridges, and copy paper so we don’t have to set foot in a store.

And recently equipped with a NIOSH-approved N95 mask and Purrell (all delivered by Harley), I found myself shaming the belligerent white shopper ahead of me in the local Fresh Market to move the mask tucked under his chin over his mouth/nose so he would not risk infecting the college student (whose mother is a frontline health care worker) checking him out.

The Black, brown and white Connecticut residents who have risked (and continue to risk) their personal health and safety (and that of their families) over the past 12 months as grocery workers, delivery couriers, teachers, and public transit drivers deserve to be vaccinated FIRST.  To paraphrase George Bailey (It’s a Wonder Life) … just remember this Governor Lamont, that rabble you refuse to vaccinate first have been doing most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community.

Well, is it too much to get them vaccinated first so they can protect themselves and their families from belligerent shoppers, transit passengers, and the like?

For such a well-educated man who hails from one of the wealthiest towns in our great state and who enjoys the same white privilege and creature comforts that I do, shame on Governor Lamont. I ask that the Connecticut legislature please over rule the Governor’s “age-based” vaccination order and immediately reinstate the CDC’s risk-based vaccination guidelines.

Martha Inglese lives in Avon.

Leave a comment

Cancel reply