I am 62. In the past three years, I have been hospitalized twice, for 12 days each, due to pneumonia and septic shock. I was lucky to survive (thank you, Meritus) and it was a long fight back to my new normal.
I have multiple chronic conditions that I manage to the best of my abilities. My doctors consider me at high risk for severe complications of COVID. I have left my home only six times in the last 10 months, for medical that could not be done via telehealth. I am thankful that I can work from home. Yet I am at risk every time another member of my household needs to run an errand, my husband needs to travel for his work, or I need lab work.
Maryland’s initial vaccination plan in October put me in group 1B, which is what my doctors recommended. Then the CDC recommended that other groups should be prioritized before those with chronic conditions, so I moved to 1C. Maryland shifted us to group 2, which I just found out recently.
While I try to be patient and understanding of limited supply and sound reasoning for the changes, it really hurt to have it thrown in my face at Governor Hogan’s Jan. 14 press conference that I am no longer a priority. The Frederick News-Post printed a quote the next day from Rona Kramer, the secretary for Maryland’s Department of Aging, stating that, “With this shift, vaccinations will be available for essentially all of Maryland’s most vulnerable populations.” Ms. Kramer, just because someone is not yet 65, does not mean that they are not among the most vulnerable. Words hurt, and just add to the frustrations and fear that those under 65 with serious chronic conditions endure.