After months of COVID vaccines being doled out according to strict requirements based on age, health, and profession, starting this morning, anyone in New York state over the age of 30 became eligible to get the jab. That, of course, meant hundreds of thousands of residents hitting TurboVax and other sites this morning — while appointments quickly filled up.
For a brief period of time today — after all the appointment slots elsewhere in the city were gone — Staten Island was one of the few places in the entire state where you could get a shot. During that time, a divide quickly formed on Twitter between those 30- and 40-somethings who were not just willing but eager to ferry to Staten Island to get the shot — even if they’ve never been to the island before — and the die-hard anti-SI contingent for whom there are really only four boroughs. Island residents chimed in, too, with both restaurant recommendations and invitations to kindly stay the hell away.
For some, the question was one of logistics more than anything else: Finding time to take a trip to Staten Island during a week when, say, you also have to move is a bridge too far for some, even for a vaccine. But others held the intractable line that they would never set foot on Staten Island — and would rather jump into the Hudson in an attempt to gain immunity (or warned that other vaccines would be necessary to travel there). Others were glad to find an asterisk to place alongside that fairly widely held attitude: The only reason they’d ever go to Staten Island would be to get vaccinated during a global pandemic.
Sara Boboltz, a reporter at the Huffington Post who lives in Brooklyn, thought a boat ride to and from her jab simply sounded like a nice jaunt. “Boat ride for meeee,” she wrote on Twitter. When she takes the ferry out there later this week, it will be the first time in her nine years of living in New York that Boboltz will set foot on Staten Island.
Say what you will about Staten Island (not that New Yorkers need any invitation to), but one thing is for sure: It’s a lot closer than Cortland, Edicott, or Wayland — the only three towns in all of New York State where CVS vaccine appointments were available by lunchtime on Tuesday.