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Vaccines And Vacancies
Mommy Musings 9-1-21

There’s a lot to be learned, even gained by being wrong.

Recently during a conversation I was reminded of a favorite quote: “It takes a bigger person to say I was wrong, than I was right.”

This of course would rival or be equal to another favorite which is, “You learn more from a loss than a win.”

Now bear with me here as I’m about to travel a bit of a twisted rabbit hole before bringing this back full circle. Grab coffee, take a breath and just simply let the words set in if you will.

As a writer, it’s funny to me to be warning readers of said rabbit hole straight out of the gate. Yet in today’s times I find that phrase circulating more and more as we try and figure out what is fact versus what is sensationalism.

Case in point, late last week it was brought to my attention (like many others) that football had been cancelled due to COVID. Earlier in the week I had heard the same for a few other high school sports, so it would seem that we were experiencing a break out of sorts at the campus.

Keep reading.

There was even a point where someone shared the district had reached the 3 percent infection rate and if numbers continued to climb, school would once again be shut down.

I have a vested interest in this statement as both of my students are at the high school and well, distance learning did not serve them or our family well. Needless to say, I needed facts.

So a quick e-mail was shot to Superintendent Kline for a Monday phone call and then I checked the numbers on the district website (details on that can found in the Kline story in this issue).

Surprisingly the number of reported cases listed on the COVID Dashboard for OHS was 19. That does not a football team make. Even more interesting was the total district number of .6 percent, a far cry from the 3 percent which had put me in a tail spin.

As I type this, I have a student with a runny nose. Later this morning I’ll have the student COVID tested before returning them to school. This is the day and age we are living in. Yes, a runny nose is a “COVID symptom” and quite honestly, politics and conspiracy theories aside I won’t run the risk of exposing others if we potentially have a case in our family.

Earlier this year, we thought we had allergies, only to later learn we had COVID. I had completed radiation therapy just four days prior and had my temperature taken every day I went to the treatment center or went in for labs (two days before my positive test). In short we were lucky.

We are living in a hard time, which as a journalist I find difficult. Suddenly we must be careful, even hold our tongues as it were as the human species has taken political correctness to a level which will not and has not served our children.

It’s a funny thing to me honestly. I grew up hearing the phrase, “they are our future.” This fact still holds true of this generation being raised during such bizarre times, but don’t tell little Johnny he was wrong or must do something because you just might be infringing on his rights as an American. Wait! What?

Yeah, that seems to be the culture we are cultivating and as a parent and former wife of a soldier I’m simply struggling.

Before a reader begins to read between the lines, I’ll be even more clear, I will not tell someone else what to do with their body or their child’s. In my world that remains personal choice and yes, in this case I am speaking of the COVID vaccine.

As a cancer patient I will admit to not being quick to be in line and get vaccinated. There was too much grey area for me and yes I did my research and read all the things; now there’s a rabbit hole if you want to find one. For those unaware find any argument you’d like to have and regardless of right or wrong you will find documentation to support it from notable sources on good ol’ Google. This time is our history is not different.

Here’s the clincher for me, as well as the reality I had to face. I am immunocompromised and that is not going to change. In the words of my doctor (a true straight shooter), I put myself and my body through hell to rid myself of cancer and now I was risking that by refusing to have a vaccine.

The bigger factor for me was the potential of unknowingly exposing those I love. As I shared, I’ve had COVID and had no clue. Fortunately since it was during a time of treatment, I was already isolating because of other health issues.

Yet who’s right and who’s wrong, that’s really where we started right?

For those of us growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s we used to tout around a vaccination card likened to a medical passport filled with stamps, remember that?

So for me, well into my 50’s and with cancer behind me, I’ll roll the dice and get the poke. I’m not happy about it; that’s being honest.

I don’t like that we live in a time where the government is having so much say into what goes on in our personal lives and in our homes (but that’s perhaps for another day).

What I know for sure is, community members have died at the hands of COVID and I’m not talking about the ones that have it placed on their death certificate when it’s not fact (that’s real too). Stand-up, active, loving community members just simply living life and taken down. I’m not willing to take that risk, there’s too much I have left to do in this world.

Am I right or wrong? That remains to be seen, but in this instance and for this mom it’s more about playing it safe. They win.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.