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Nurse: Get the COVID vaccine

My name is Rhonda Lindstrom. I am a registered nurse currently living and working in Florence County. My purpose in writing this is to tell my story and why I would encourage others to get the COVID-19 vaccine. I am so grateful for the scientists, doctors and entourage of people necessary for me to get a potential life-saving vaccine! Following are a few reasons why I chose to get vaccinated.

For many years I worked abroad, but last year the pandemic brought our international disaster relief efforts closer to home. In April, I was honored to serve the citizens of New York City by caring for COVID-positive patients in our emergency field hospital erected in Central Park. I became very aware of the reality and seriousness of this virus as I held patients’ hands while they gasped for air or coughed until they couldn’t breathe. Equally difficult was assuring them they weren’t alone or calling their loved ones to have, perhaps, one last conversation.

During my second COVID-19 deployment, I personally contracted the virus. While in the emergency room, I contemplated my own existence and its future, gaining personal understanding of my patients’ experiences. I am incredibly thankful to be here to tell my story, knowing that the outcome could have been different.

As a nurse, I was initially hesitant about the vaccine with so many unknowns. As I researched it, I recognized what I already knew; for many years vaccines have been safely and effectively created using the mRNA method. The COVID-19 vaccine is as safe as any other.

Each day as I care for my very vulnerable, aging parents, I’m compelled to be vigilant of every move I make so as not to bring the virus home to them. When the opportunity arose for me to receive the vaccine, my response was a resounding and grateful, “Absolutely!” I have not only seen the impact of the virus on families but also experienced it first-hand. With all of that and an opportunity to protect my family and other vulnerable individuals, I had no intention of letting this opportunity pass by me. I am thrilled to do my part in protecting others.

Therefore, I again encourage everyone to get the vaccine as soon as they are eligible. Together, let’s keep our family, friends and neighbors safe.

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