At 105 Years Old, Sophie Knows the Vaccine Will ‘Get rid of this COVID’

Photo of 105 years old, Sophie Conners, wearing a mask.

Posted February 5, 2021

Sophie Connors is living through her second global pandemic, and this time she is well-aware of the impacts – and how the world will beat it.

Now 105 years old, Connors was just a toddler growing up outside of Rutland, Vermont when the Spanish Flu spread rapidly across the planet – much like the current COVID-19 pandemic. She has no memories of the first pandemic she faced, and says her parents never talked about it with her.

               


But she knows all about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and shared some of her thoughts as she came through the University of Vermont Medical Center's vaccine clinic on Feb. 3 – the first day it opened for those age 75 and older. Connors wore a scarf made by her family that highlights her current age – and noted proudly that her hair was freshly styled and not colored.

She was thrilled to have an appointment.

"It makes me feel good, secure," Connors says, waiting for her first dose.

Connors is splitting time living with her two daughters and appreciates being close with her family. She has her daily routine well-honed a year after the virus first arrived in the U.S.

"I'm on my eighth Afghan. I'm crocheting," Connors says.

The carefully-crafted Afghans have gone to family members, with each picking the colors they prefer before Connors gets to work. She promised to consider the idea of making a ninth for herself – in bright red – to keep warm through winter.

"What else have I been doing? Playing cards, and that's about it," she says.

There's been no need to cook, she says, as her daughter and a son-in-law have been providing her with five-star meals.

"They're both good cooks, so why should I cook?" she says.

Connors is certainly not bored. She keeps busy with her crocheting, takes naps and keeps in touch with family through video chats, especially the youngest members of her family. It's "the little ones," like her grandchildren and great-grandchildren that she thinks of most. Connors said she feels bad their "young, youthful days" aren't like hers were.

After a brief discussion with her nurse, Jacob Burns, RN, Connors received her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine – without flinching.

"I don't think it hurt as much as the flu shot. It was OK. No problem," she says.

Now she looks forward to returning for her second dose in three weeks. Until then, she plans to lay low and won't change her routine.

Before heading back home, Connors offered some sage advice for her fellow Vermonters – get your shot and follow public health guidelines.

"It's a thing to do to get rid of this COVID,” says Connors. “You have to get your shot, wash your hands and wash your hands and wash your hands, and keep your distance. And get your shot!" 

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccination in your area, please visit https://www.uvmhealth.org/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine