JEFF KOWALSKY via AFP via Getty Images
On May 11, 2020, about two months after showing the first symptoms, the Glen Ridge police officer died at the age of 45 in a hospital bed, from complications due to covid. A year later, his son Gavin asked for and received a unique gift for his twelfth birthday: to be vaccinated against the virus that killed his father.
His mother Alice accompanied him to receive his Pfizer dose last Sunday, at a pharmacy several miles away from their home in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. She was in such a hurry, the woman told the Washington Post, that she didn’t want to wait even for Monday, when she would open a facility closer to home. When the injection took place, she breathed a sigh of relief.
“If a child can clearly see the need for something and can see that health is more important than any material gift, then I don’t understand what holds people back,” Alice commented to the newspaper. It was April 21, 2020 when she and the children were awakened by a thud: her husband had collapsed on the floor while he was on the phone with the local health department. He had undergone a tampon that had given the wrong result. That collapse came while he was waiting for the new results.
Alice’s other two daughters also received the covid vaccine. Gavin, smaller than them, had to wait longer. On Sunday morning he was able to show his arm medicated with the patch. At lunch he celebrated outdoors with his family, enthusiastically saying that he would soon be able to see his grandparents without the fear of infecting them. For him, wearing a bow tie, there were also a bicycle and a baseball bat, but the certificate of certification was what made him smile the most.