This series shares DC 37 members’ personal stories and their reasons for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
In the fight to end a global pandemic, DC 37 is proud of the work, sacrifice, and dedication of its members in these unprecedented and challenging times.
Clerical Associate 3, Bellevue Hospital
“We each have a part to play in our health, so I took the COVID vaccine. Not enough people of color are getting the vaccine. We need to understand what questions to ask doctors to learn who is treating us. I interview my doctors to understand what they know about African physiology, their passion, and whether they care about my body and my health.
I showed symptoms of COVID last year. I was coughing up blood and sweating excessively. My doctor told me to call 911. I asked the EMTs to please take me to Bellevue Hospital. They asked why, and I told them I work there and I trust my co-workers.
While hospitalized, I did not want to develop pneumonia so I slept sitting up. I had terrible nightmares. I advocated for myself with help from Labor Chair Rose Rogers. I fought to survive COVID-19. I have a strong will to live.
I have some long-term side effects from having COVID. It affected my breathing, my sense of smell, and my food just doesn’t taste the same. It also affected my memory, but I am getting better every day.
I work in the Finance Department as a Clerical Associate 3. You might say I wear many hats. I serve on the Ebola Think Tank, the labor-management committee, the community advisory board, and the FEMA response team at Bellevue. I share information with the community and urge people to be proactive. We cannot continue to be seen and not heard.
I am also a Chief Shop Steward for Local 1549. At hospital orientations, I introduce new employees to our union and everything it offers. I say ‘advocate for yourself, learn to protect yourself.’
I wish COVID on no one. Now that a vaccine is available, I say it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”
As told to DIANE S. WILLIAMS