Pharmacists across the country have been filling prescriptions for patients young and old and delivering medicine to those who can’t leave their homes due to social distancing guidelines. One Manhattan pharmacist, Marina Vaysberg, caters to her community of senior citizens, the most vulnerable to COVID-19.
When New York shut down, elderly patients called in to Vaysberg’s East Village Duane Reade wondering if it was still open. It was, and Vaysberg said that she could fill their prescriptions early and that the facility would deliver medicine for free — in addition to other necessities such as adult diapers and milk. Vaysberg worked long hours at the pharmacy until she tested positive for the coronavirus on March 21, which sidelined her for two weeks. But once her symptoms subsided, she was eager to return to work.
“I really wanted to get back and do my part, and having gone through it, I wasn’t as nervous or scared anymore,” Vaysberg
says. “I think that’s very important for health care workers who have gone through it, to go back in there and help.”
Her husband and nanny also contracted the virus, and she believes that her three children were infected as well. Now that she’s recovered, Vaysberg delivers prescriptions and other items to senior citizens in her neighborhood. She even spends some of her time talking with elderly customers on the store’s phone.
“They’re scared, and it’s really nice for them to have someone they can talk to,” Vaysberg says. “For a lot of elderly patients, their family is far away. It’s just really nice for them to have this additional person to pick up the phone to call.”