Franklin County residents make summer plans, post-vaccines: vacations, family gatherings
Residents across Franklin County have been scheduling their appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at WellSpan Health's pop-up clinic.
Located at the Chambersburg Mall's former Burlington store, nurses have been seeing a steady flow of locals coming through the doors for their first dose.
For many, this is the key to getting back to normalcy.
Viri Reyes, 38, of Chambersburg, said she just wanted to make sure she got the shot so she can look forward to seeing her loved ones again.
"Getting together with family is a major one," she said. "That's my first concern."
The clinic was an overall good experience, Reyes said, but understands it isn't something everyone wants to do.
"It's a personal choice, honestly," she said.
For Charlie Stoner, 55, of Chambersburg, he's looking forward to sitting in the stands at a baseball game again.
"Well, not wearing a mask would be great," he added.
Stoner, who tested positive for COVID-19 back in January, said that getting his first dose was quick and easy. He wasn't the only one looking to get back to a sports stadium.
Cassidy and Megan Edwards, 45 and 32, of Shippensburg, said they are looking forward to traveling to see their favorite college football team in Syracuse.
After weighing the pros and cons, they both decided it was the right thing to do, Cassidy said.
"I think there's so much information to sift through that you don't know what's right, what's wrong, and it's a new vaccine that hasn't been out for very long so there were some concerns," he said. "I try not to push it on people because, at the end of the day, you have to do what's right for you and your family. As a whole, we probably should be doing it, but I'm not going to argue with you at this point if you don't want to do it. It's your choice."
"At the same time, Facebook is not a legitimate source of information," Megan added.
For Chip Shaffer, 57, of Waynesboro, allowing businesses the chance to get back to normal was a big reason for getting the vaccine.
"Go and get it done so we get rid of these masks," he added with a laugh.
Younger folks were also eager to get their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine being distributed at the clinic.
Jacob Cachat, 29, of Chambersburg, said he felt some hesitancy about getting the vaccine but ultimately decided to schedule an appointment.
"There's always a worry, but I've had worse shots in the Army," he said. "It couldn't have been that bad - and it wasn't. It was very quick and easy."
He's also ready to stop having to wear masks.
"It's obviously a little bit of a nuisance sometimes," he said. "I have to wear it to work, and I'm ready for that to go away."
Emily Gipe, 19, of Chambersburg, has some big plans in mind as the world begins to return to normal.
"I want to go on a road trip," she said. "I want to get a hippie van, make it so I can live in it and then just road trip over the summer between my courses. I want to just drive around and see where I end up."
As WellSpan wraps up its first round of doses Saturday, the second round of doses will start soon. Patients scheduled their second dose appointments in three weeks as they left the clinic.
Currently, more than 20% of Franklin County residents have received their COVID-19 vaccination.
Carley Bonk is a Watchdog Reporter for the USA Today Network - Pennsylvania. Her coverage spans across the southcentral region of Pennsylvania. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @carls_marie.