Dana Shulman has taught improv lessons for almost nine years. But the reaction you just saw wasn’t an impression of winning the lottery.
It was a real response from her newest hobby. A hobby that has already changed the lives of 279 people. (This story was shot on February 4. As of February 5, Dana had already passed 300 appointment arrangements.)
So for the past two weeks, Dana has been helping others get vaccinated.
“Turned out I was eligible and I got my vaccine the next day. And then I just felt really lucky to have it and I just wanted to help people out,” Dana remembers. “I made a Facebook post that said, ‘I’ve now made four appointments. Does anyone else need help?’ and people were like, ‘You’ve made four appointments? You’re amazing!’”
Dana would be the first to admit that the process can be stress inducing.
“You have to type fast and hit refresh a lot,” Dana remarked.
Her Facebook page is full of detailed instructions walking people through the sign-up process. What started out as helping older family members and friends secure appointments has expanded to include doctors and restaurant workers.
As Dana works around the clock, even refreshing site pages at 3am, she knows the process is not sustainable.
“You can’t do this by yourself. It’s nutty.”
Her goal is to lead zoom calls and help others learn the sign-up process so they can become the “Dana’s” of their own neighborhoods.
Until then, her fingers will be working fast securing appointments for those who are eligible and hoping that they’ll find a way to support her #GotYourVax cause.
“The number one rule, just like on an airplane, you have to put your mask on first before you can help other people. So if you’re eligible now, you need to go get your vaccine....and then just pay it forward by helping other people who are struggling find their appointments,” Dana said.
For now, the relief in friend’s voices and the joyful thought of a future hug, keeps Dana working day and night.
“The feeling of like, finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and like getting to help someone get there, after this last year we’ve had...it’s everything,” Dana commented.
Which Dana says, does feel like she has won the lottery many times over. For having New Yorkers' backs by helping them get vaccinated, Dana Shulman is our New Yorker of the Week.