I know many people are apprehensive about the COVID-19 vaccine. I understand the concerns they might have and I know they are real. I’d like to tell you a little about how COVID-19 has impacted my family and why I chose to get vaccinated.
My mother is 76 years old. Until March of this year, she worked full-time in an assisted living program for senior citizens. I often joked with her that she was older than some of the people she cared for and it was true—some of the residents where she worked were younger than she is. In March, she and 6 of the residents where she worked contracted COVID-19. Four of those residents died. My mother was not seriously ill and did not need to be hospitalized. In fact, she never even saw a doctor because it was so early in the pandemic and there were no known treatments. She returned to work, even though I begged her not to, several months later.
In August, after fully recovering from COVID-19, she suddenly had no sense of balance and was dizzy all the time. She had to hold onto the wall while walking. Her doctor believes this is a direct result of her COVID-19 infection in March. My mother’s life changed dramatically. In the span of a week, she went from being an active full-time worker to needing to leave her home in New Jersey to live with me in Maryland because it was no longer safe for her to live alone. She had to go to physical therapy for months and can no longer work. Although her condition has improved, she is still a fall risk and will never be able to live alone again.
That is why I chose to get vaccinated. We know what COVID-19 can do—it can drastically alter someone’s life and sadly we know it can end life, too. All of the data indicates that the vaccines are safe. For yourself and for your loves ones, please get vaccinated.