Berkshire County News

How to Get Vaccinated in Berkshire County

By Brooke A. Tripicco (Grade 9)


We’ve all been waiting so long to be eligible for a Covid vaccine, and now that some of us are it’s hard to know how to proceed. Information is never a constant, and is ever hard to come by. So I’m here to provide that information and links on how to get vaccinated for those who are 16+.

There are many different strategies and websites that can be used for booking a vaccine appointment, but first I’d like to direct you towards this Berkshire Eagle article. It is a compilation of frequently asked questions about getting vaccinated in the Berkshires, and it could be very helpful if you share any of these questions.

Next, a number of walk-in clinics are happening this week. These are vaccine clinics that you do not have to book an appointment for. All of the clinics are distributing the Pfizer vaccine, meaning anyone over the age of 16 can get the shot. The clinics are taking place on Wednesday, May 5 from 4-7PM at WEB DuBois Middle School, Thursday, May 6 from 12-5PM at the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish Center, and Thursday, May 6 from 4-7PM at the BCC Field House. Simply show up to one of these locations at the listed time, and you will be able to easily get vaccinated.

However, if you cannot make it to one of the walk-in clinics, there are still plenty more ways of booking an appointment. This website can provide you with more information on getting vaccinated in the Berkshires if you do not want to have to go too far away from home to get your shot. That website will also direct you to here. With this website you can search for appointments and locations, filtering by age, date, and which shot (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen) you’d like to get. Once you find a date and location that works for you, you can click on the blue button that reads “Sign Up for a Covid-19 Vaccination”. Select your desired time and let the website guide you from there.

Another option is to use this website to look for available appointments all across Massachusetts. If you find a location that works for you, click the “details” button to the right to find out more information about those appointments, and it will guide you through booking yours. You can also use this corresponding website to sign up for notifications for when new appointments become available.

One final way to get your vaccine is to go to the website for a specific location. For instance, both CVS and Walgreens have been holding vaccine clinics, so you can check their websites for available appointments if you’d like to go to one of those locations.

I hope this information has been helpful to you. I know it can feel overwhelming, but it’s all for the best. If each of us do our best to get our vaccines, life can soon return to some semblance of normal. But remember that you still have to follow Covid protocols even once you’re vaccinated. Stay safe, stay healthy, and get vaccinated!

What's Open in Berkshire County?

By: Liam Chalfonte (Grade 11)


As we begin to see the light at the end of a very long tunnel, parts of our normal lives are starting to creep back in. As we enter spring, we now have the opportunity to visit a number of places around our community that we’ve had to avoid for so long. Here’s a list of what’s open in our area right now:

There are a number of restaurants open in the PHS area. Ayelada, the frozen yogurt shop just down the street from PHS, is open from 12-9 daily for take out orders. Down the road, Otto’s Kitchen is open Wednesday to Monday from 8-2. Local pizza shop Teddys is open from 11-8 as well. On North Street, Hot Harry’s is open for Dine-in and take out from 8am-9pm Monday through Saturday and 11am-8pm on Sunday.

As for things to do this upcoming summer, a number of places are opening up, albeit with some restrictions. The Berkshire Museum is open by reservation Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday 12-5. In the North of the County, Mass Moca and the Clark are both open by advance reservation; Mass Moca Thursdays through Mondays from 10-5, the Clark Tuesdays through Sundays from 10-5. The Clark’s walking trails are also always open to the public, one of the numerous beautiful walks in our area. As well, local performances will be happening this summer, with Barrington Stage Company, Berkshire Theater Group, and Tanglewood all announcing their seasons recently. Each of them will be having smaller seasons than usual but will still have a number of shows.

When you do go out in public, always remember to wear a mask and keep six feet of distance between you and people around you. The more diligent we are, the quicker we’ll be able to open back up fully.

Ben Downing:

This past year, in the midst of the pandemic, our country has been in political turmoil. Through the chaos, one can hear the voices of America's next-generation fighting for change. This year 175 of us will be moving into adulthood and one of its biggest steps is voting. For us, our first voting opportunity will be in September, the primaries, and we will be filling in the bubble on who Massachusetts' next governor will be. On February 8, Ben Downing of Pittsfield officially declared his gubernatorial candidacy (i.e. he is running for governor). How cool is it that a local Pittsfield native is running for governor? So the day following I reached out to Ben on Twitter and asked for an on-call interview for this piece and he was more than happy to be a part of our PHS Newspaper.

Ben explained that his campaign focused on economic change, racial justice, reducing the growing wage/wealth gaps, reducing levels of unemployment, and changes concerning climate control like more solar and renewable energy. He stated that these issues weren’t being addressed with the sense of urgency that they should be. “I’ve spent my life in communities that have had to fight harder than they should to get fair representation and equitable access to resources.” Ben then transitioned to talk about climate change, and how that will give lots of jobs to those entering

the workforce and that it won’t just affect us economically but environmentally as well. He wants to build the future that we want, and that he wants as well, so that we all can benefit from that future.

On issues pertaining to education, Ben acknowledges that the “Student Opportunity Act,” which addresses education for those of low income, needs to be sped up. It has not been moving into place fast enough, through if we can improve K-12 education, achieve universal pre-K, and cut down the costs of public education, especially public colleges and universities. Ben defends that when we are amidst the college process we shouldn't be worried about the cost but should be worried about what university is the best for us. If public K-12 is essentially free then public universities should be, too. As a father himself he knows that giving back to the next generations is crucial, and he wants to remove obstacles so that we, they, can thrive. He mentioned that his sense of empathy and urgency amplified with the loss of his brother and father, and those senses are critical to getting Massachusetts on track to prosperity.

Lastly, we chatted about the elephant in the room, Covid-19; though the primaries are far into the future he touched on what he would be doing if in the governor’s office right now. Ben recognizes the terrible process of vaccination and how getting it on its feet was very messy, it should’ve been way easier. He also highlighted how the predominantly colored communities need to have better access to vaccination, we are dealing with a flare of systemic racism in the health system and it needs to be rooted out so that this process can reach everybody. He talked about when he was a boy, his father used to say all the time, “you should be lucky where you are,” and how the middle class is thriving and with that, it should focus on giving back so others can receive the opportunity of thriving as well. “There is always an excuse to not change something or put it off, but not anymore.”

Now is the time for a change and with all the protesting and all the things we fight for, we know that to be true. Now is the time we step into the adult world and exercise our right to vote, and vote for change.

Piece By: Emma Kostyun (Grade 12)