Ashim Ghosh swiped 97-year-old Myrtle Eskind’s arm with a cleanser Friday in preparation for her COVID-19 vaccine, then asked her to relax her arm like a noodle and gave her the shot.
“We’re making history, you know?” Ghosh said to Eskind.
The CVS pharmacist administered COVID-19 vaccine to residents of Elmcroft Assisted Living and Memory Care in Newton Friday. It was the facility’s second vaccine clinic. All but two of the residents have received the vaccine, Executive Director Joetta Madsen said.
“Our community is so grateful,” Madsen said. “The staff and the residents are so appreciative and they feel like maybe this (COVID-19 pandemic) will come to an end.”
Vaccinations of long-term care facilities are continuing in North Carolina. So far, 171,878 doses have been administered to residents and staff of those facilities, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
At Elmcroft, the vaccine is a welcome tool to fight the pandemic. After her inoculation, Eskind thanked Ghosh repeatedly.
“I tell you right now, I hope that vaccine is helping,” she said. “Lots of people don't want to take it but I don't know why. I was happy to.”
Eskind said staying inside during the past year of the pandemic has been bearable but she’s looking forward to being able to leave and visit family again.
Emma Lynch, a fellow Elmcroft resident, said she’s been able to bond with fellow residents during a time she isn’t able to see family as often.
“It was pretty lonely for a while and then we got to be a big family here,” she said.
She hopes the vaccine — which she’s been wanting for months — will bring a new day when she’ll be able to visit her family outside the home.
The year has presented challenges but not without some joys, she said.
“I have missed and gained — missed home and the people around me and I've gained friends here,” she said.
A chipper 101-year-old Louise Drum is looking forward to a picnic, she said. She’s enjoyed Elmcroft but wants to be able to be close to her family again.
“This is a nice place to live, but I miss getting out with my family and friends,” Drum said. “But if you have to be somewhere this is the place to be.”
Madsen said many of her residents are feeling the same way — they want to see their children and grandchildren, she said. They hope the vaccine allows them to do that.