For me, getting the vaccine means that we still have to be cautious, but it will allow us to socialize and not be hesitant about being around other people. You probably won’t be spreading the virus and it would be harder for you to contract the virus as well. With the immunization, we will have some normalcy back, but I think in the back of our minds we will still be thinking, am I going to get the virus? As well, this will open up more opportunities for us to be involved in the community and return to what we once thought was normal.
COVID has impacted me at work by not being able to go into the units to visit with the individuals we support at St. Amant. I worry about: if I go in the living units will I be bringing in a virus, or could I get the virus from other workers when we think we’re not sick? I don‘t engage with the individuals we support except from afar. I think some of them miss that connection (I miss that connection), as most of us are staying away to ensure no one gets sick.
COVID means my life at home is also different. If we go out, we grab masks at the door, and hand sanitizer is in all vehicles, so when you go in and out of a store, you sanitize your hands and put a clean mask on.
I have 1 ½-year-old twins at home. We go out for walks, but if someone says “can I see and talk to them?” We say, only from afar, because we’re scared of them getting sick or bringing the virus home with us. The babies haven’t seen other family members except virtually, so they don’t really know who they are. We’re always aware of our surroundings and who is around; are they too close, should we ask them to back up?
People who are hesitant about getting the vaccine, I would ask them if they like living with a mask on their face? staying 6 feet apart from loved ones? or only seeing people virtually? With the vaccine, we will have more opportunities to open up to a new normal.
I don’t think it will ever go back to the way it was, but it will be a new normal. Once everyone has had their shot, I want them to never forget what this virus took from us. People’s loved ones died, some people still have symptoms from the virus, and we lost connections we had with people before the pandemic. I think the vaccine is what it’s going to take to get back as much as possible.