I lost three relatives to COVID early in the pandemic last year. Once that happened my kid caught it. He called me and told me, mom I’m sick. I was worried he was going to die. I was hoping there was something out there that was going to save him. Lucky, he was young, only 24. He had a bad reaction to the virus and came down with flu-like symptoms for weeks. After that he was okay. I got COVID a few weeks later. I was worried. I’m an essential worker, I’m a cancer survivor and I have preexisting conditions. The doctors told me the probability of dying was really high. There was pain, extreme fatigue, and your lungs filled up with fluid. I was in bed for days and never went outside the house. There came a point where I thought, wow, this might be the end of me.
I was lucky I survived, which is why I was first in line when work offered the vaccine at my workplace. Work offered us vaccines and gave us time to take it. It was an easy process. I didn’t feel anything when I got the shot, it was the smallest needle I ever had. You don’t feel a thing. I did feel a little sore after taking it, and my arm was a little warm to the touch. We had to sit in observation for 15 minutes and then went back to work. Other co-workers felt bad after taking the vaccine, but everyone was better after a week. I told some co-workers that were worried about the vaccine that we, as Latinos and essential workers, need to take it. We’re in the group that is most likely to get sick and we need to protect ourselves! Because we’re Hispanic, because we have frontline jobs, because we live in clusters, and most of us live with extended families, we're more likely to catch and spread it than most people. We’re in danger, we really need to get this vaccine! I became vocal at work to convince people to take it. A friend of mine didn't want to take it, and I told her, if you don't, your kid may grow up without a mother. I went with her that day to get the shot and stayed with her for observation and then we went back to work.
Things have started to feel normal after my son and I got our shots. It feels good to go outside and not worry about catching anything. We still wear a mask because of the COVID variants, but it feels good knowing we’re getting closer to herd immunity. After getting the shot I feel good knowing that I’m keeping my community and family safe.
Given my experience getting COVID and watching my son get sick I want to tell everyone to get the vaccine!
Learn more about vaccines and where to get them here: https://www.vaccines.gov/