I chose to be vaccinated because I want to show my love to everyone around me and have the chance to protect my family, my coworkers, my community, and my city.
I’ve had both my shots of the COVID-19 vaccine. With the first vaccine, I did not feel anything. With the second, I was okay until the following day when I felt cold at work, so I just put on a sweater and took two Advil later in the evening.
I am a Community Outreach Worker at Hope Centre Health Care in Winnipeg. Our programs include health care, social support services, community development, health promotion and counseling. One of the programs I run is called Kookum and Mooshum (Grandparents) Gathering. All our programs have been re-structured or cancelled, so now I do wellness calls to our seniors to check on them. I can hear how much they miss coming to the programs, especially chair exercises, yoga and our sharing circle. Another program that I run is the children’s program in the summer which has been cancelled, so now when I see the children in the community, I just talk to them at a distance. It’s sad.
In my personal life, I’m involved in many cultural organizations including African Communities of Manitoba Inc. (ACOMI), the Ethnocultural Council of Manitoba, and the Ghanaian Union of Manitoba. One big social event for our Ghanaian Community is Ghana’s Independence Day celebration. To celebrate, we love to come together, share food and music, but in 2021, we just had it by Zoom. At the end of the Zoom program, the DJ put on music, and you could see us dancing in our Zoom boxes.
I have four adult children and one adopted son. My sister also has four adult children, so I have nieces and nephews, grandnieces, grand-nephews, and my two grandsons, Keeshan and Keelan. Normally we see each other on Sundays when we attend church services at Crestview Park Free Methodist Church. We are a small church that’s like a family, so I miss seeing them in person!
Even in this pandemic, I have faith that God is still in control. Our God never leaves us in a time of trouble, like this pandemic. I know it’s been difficult for so many families, but our faith is still holding us together. We will be able to help make this pandemic come to an end.
Back home, there is a saying: “Each one for himself, God for us all.” But this pandemic is not a time for each one for himself or herself. It is about everyone, showing we care.I would say to people who are hesitant about vaccines, don’t give up now. We’re almost there. Finish strong by getting the vaccine. We’ve been following all the protocols put in place by our doctors, scientists and our government. Why not continue to help this pandemic to be over?
After the pandemic is over, I’ll tell people to remember the hard work of front-line workers, like doctors, nurses, support workers, and to be grateful to them.I’m looking forward to when we can gather again to share a meal, have religious, cultural gatherings and events like Folklorama, which all my family participates in. I volunteer at the Africa Pavilion as the kitchen Co-Coordinator and as a performer in the evening during the show.
Do you remember Mr. Rogers, the children’s television show? I love his saying—”It’s such a good feeling to know you’re alive.”
Show your love for people by being vaccinated.