b'Matters heart of thematterThingsthat Matter Since 1990 A View from the InsideFeaturing Local People, Places and PUBLISHER& EDITOR IN CHIEF Im partially vaccinatedEllen DonkerBY ELLEN DONKERASSOCIATEEDITORCheryl SilverSOCIAL MEDIA MANAGERRachael EntineADVERTISING CONSULTANTSRene Conlon This sticker indicated when my post-vaccine H. Leslie Gilman waiting period was up and I could go home.COPY EDITORSNick Humez I ts official. I am now a mem- anme from theInken Finnamore,And I was looking forward to a par-Tia SwansonCONTRIBUTORSSara Courtney, Donny Levit, Josi Stone,ber of the club, having finallyty-likeatmosphere,whereeveryone Tia Swanson, Julia Maloof VerderosagottenmyfirstCOVID-19would be unusually kind and acting vaccine on April 14. happythatIwasgettingvaccinated FormonthsIvefeltlike(thank you, Kristen Di Gennaro). And it outsider, with my nose pressed upwas true. I was even greeted by local friend, against the window that separatedwho checked me in. Im surprised she land of the vaccinated. I bore no ill will towards those onrecognized me behind the mask.the other side who rolled up their sleeves ahead of me. IStill, until it happens you cant imagine how relieved you was happy for them and knew my turn would eventuallywill feel or how hard it will be not to skip back to your car. come.that before I knew it I would find myself in theI am not a dramatic person, but I had to take some deep former Sears at the Livingston Mall or seated in a foldingbreaths so I wouldnt cry as I took that long walk, leapfrog-chair behind the curtain at CVS. Still, the wait felt a bitging from one socially distanced lily pad to the next, through like being picked last for kick ball. Somehow, even my kidsthe maze of stanchions leading to the aisle of cubicles where beat me to it.I got my shot. Crazy. But once I thought hard about why I Considering that almost every conversation since Janu- was getting worked Please address all correspondence to: ary has started with a comment or question about the vac- up,Irealizedthat Visual Impact Advertising, Inc. cine, I had many discussions about how to bump myself upthis was not just a P.O. Box 198 in the queue. Friends suggested that I cite a health problemshot in the arm; it Maplewood, NJ 07040hypertension would be believableor declare myself awas a gateway to a 973-763-4900 smoker, but that didnt seem right. Not that Im judgingfutureone that I mattersmagazine.comanyone who stretched the truth. But there was somethingwas wholeheartedly firstname.lastname@example.org so old-fashioned about the honor system our state put inready to embrace.Matters Magazine is owned and publishedplacewhere you were believed for representing yourselfOfcourse,its by Visual Impact Advertising, Inc., P.O.honestly (or not) with no need to produce the paperworkbabystepsaswe Box 198, Maplewood, NJ 07040. Matters Magazine is free, with editions direct mailedto validate your claim. I appreciate that gentler, civilizedcrawl back to a life 7 times a year to the residents of Maplewoodway. Because lets be honest: New Jersey is not where yousimilar to the one we once knew. I hope our collective legs and South Orange and distributed to busi- expect the honor system to be used. As a lifelong resident, Iget strong in a hurry. The night before I got my vaccine, I nesses and surrounding communities total-ing 16,000. Subscriptions are available tocan say that. We are a scrappy lot; a me-first kind of place.booked a flight to see my mother in Florida before she and non-residents for $30 (U.S.), $40 (Foreign)Eventually, my turn came when I received an emailother snowbirds fly back north. I didnt think that would annually. No part of the publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced withoutfrom Essex County, asking me to report to the former Searsbe a possibility until I realized my new status as an insider.writtenpermissionfromVisualImpacton April 14. When the day of my appointment dawned, II know that many people have yet to be vaccinated and Advertising, Inc. knew exactly what to expect, having been buoyed by ad- I hope their turn comes soon. Better times are ahead and CIRCULATION VERIFIED BY vice from the many who had gone before me. I plannedperhaps well know weve arrived when the first question we U.S. POSTAL RECEIPTS. on offering my right arm so I could sleep on my left sideask one another is not about their vaccine experience. We READ & RECYCLE (thank you, Tina Kelley), because for a right-hander, themay be tongue-tied at first but Im looking forward to a modus operandi is to plunge the syringe into the left arm.new conversation. 8/ matters magazine / spring 2021'