Episode 7: The Vaccine–What About Us?


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About the episode

Thank you for listening to the Hingham ‘Cast. In this episode we talk with Maureen Fox, the director of Sandcastles Childcare Center, about waiting for a vaccine when the slightest Covid scare can send your life into a tailspin. We also talk with Carlene Pavlos, the head of the Massachusetts Public Health Association about the state’s rocky rollout of the vaccine so far and what that’s meant for at-risk communities. Finally, we hear from Susan Sarni, Hingham’s Executive Health Officer. She takes us through the nitty gritty of being vaccinated locally and the challenges she faces with supply.

Hingham officials expect to receive a shipment of the Moderna vaccine in the next round of distribution (Associated Press)
“Miss Mo” reads to 4-year-old Luke

Maureen Fox has been a mainstay in the lives of local families for decades. Fox, or “Miss Mo” as she’s affectionately called by children tall and small, is the director of Sandcastles Childcare Center, in Hingham. Like most businesses when Covid hit, Sandcastles shut down, but reopened just four months later in July. “The fact of the matter is, if I didn’t go back to work, the school wasn’t going to open,” she says. “My Sandcastles families needed me to show up.” In the height of the pandemic, essential workers were hailed as heroes for keeping shelves stocked, grocery stores open and children cared for so desperate parents could work. But, now, Fox says, when it’s time to figure out who gets vaccinated and when, it feels different. “I think people forget that we were one of the first ones to go back,” she says. “You know, we’re one of the only essential workers working with unmasked clients in very close proximity. You can’t social distance a toddler, you can’t expect an infant to wear a mask. We’re holding babies and loving them and doing everything we did before the pandemic, because that’s what they need. And that’s what I need. It’s one of the great joys of my job is get to snuggle everybody’s kids. That’s what daycare does, it normalizes going back to work. we are stimulating the economy in a really quiet way. So it’s easy to forget that we’re here.”

EMTs administer a limited supply of vaccines to senior citizens in Hingham