After months of chaos, many metro families hope COVID vaccine will bring back some normalcy

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The COVID-19 vaccine’s arrival is welcome news for many metro families who have been strictly following coronavirus guidelines.

The delivery of the first vaccinations in Kansas City is changing the game in this pandemic.

“We’ve been playing defense for the last 10 months, and now we’re going on offense and that feels good,” said Dr. Steven Stites, KU Health System’s pulmonary and critical care specialist.

As doses are slowly delivered to the first frontline workers, Johnson County mom Kelley Stevens and her family feel hopeful.

“We’ve just got to make it though it. Hunker down, safe distance, keep to yourself a little while longer. We’re almost there,” Stevens said.  

Kelley’s husband is an urgent care doctor. Since the pandemic began, the family hasn’t let up in doing their part to stop the spread.

“We’ve pretty much maintained our distance from everything and everyone unfortunately,” Stevens said.  

She doesn’t want anything her husband may bring home to spread to her family or someone else’s, so their kids haven’t played team sports since March. They attend Blue Valley’s virtual school.  Vacations, family and holiday gatherings are off limits, and they haven’t seen loved ones all year.

“It’s getting closer to home. Where before it’s like you’d hear about a case — second cousin, third cousin, twice removed kind of thing — but now it’s your neighbor, your brother. It’s getting closer to home, and it’s scary,” Stevens said.  

Now that the vaccine is here, she’s ready for her husband to get it. And while the rest of the family will likely have to wait several months, she’s hoping people across the country will trust the process to stop the virus in its tracks.

“This is our way out of this whole thing, and you literally just roll up your sleeve and do it. Just take the vaccine, and we’ll all be better for it. We’ll get back to some form of normalcy,” Stevens said.  

Most area hospitals are expecting to get the first batch of vaccines this week. Gov. Laura Kelly said she hopes it’ll be ready for all Kansans by late spring or early summer.

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