Vaccination stories show faculty and staff care for our community
We invited several well-known faculty and administrators to share how they view the benefits of getting the vaccine. For many of them, the rewards are also close to home. Here are their stories.
President Scott Bierman
“I was so excited and felt so privileged to get my vaccination. What a medical miracle. For the first time in well over a year I knew I could be with other people and not run a significant risk of infecting them. How important is that?
Anyone who is physically able to get the vaccine and who cares about the health of people around them — roommates, teammates, faculty, staff, people in the city of Beloit, family, children, people with co-morbidities — should express that care in the most effective way possible. That is, by getting vaccinated.”
Daniel Barolsky, Department of Music
“I would get vaccinated again and again. I’ve never felt such a sense of relief from pent-up stress and anxiety when that first needle went into my arm. Finally I could walk around without fear, hug my friends and family, and protect the more vulnerable members of the community from spreading the virus.”
Tamara Ketabgian, Department of English
“I was *thrilled* to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and would do it again in a heartbeat. I had a tough case and a rocky recovery the prior spring (as my Beloit students know), so I was determined to protect myself and others. I had to wait [to get vaccinated] until May because I was living out of state.
“To anyone who’s hesitating: the symptoms caused by the vaccine are so minor compared to the resulting peace of mind! Trust me: as a generally healthy and vigorous person, I had no idea I would be so severely impacted by COVID.”
Yvonne Wu, Department of Music
“Getting COVID-19 is no fun! I had a super mild case (despite masking and distancing), and I ended up with fatigue and headaches for almost 6 months! I was one of the lucky ones whose “long Covid” symptoms resolved with the vaccine, but so many are still dealing with long-term symptoms that are MUCH scarier than mine.
“Get vaccinated and avoid the risk of long-term symptoms! Plus, we need to stop the spread so that more deadly variants don’t emerge. Let’s all get in on stopping this pandemic!”
Sonya Maria Johnson, Department of Religious Studies
“I got vaccinated to reduce my chances of getting critically ill because I have asthma, and to reduce the chances I would make anyone else critically ill, especially within the college community because I spend so much time with Beloit College folks. I also got vaccinated so that my family does not worry about my health and safety. I would definitely get vaccinated again because it reduces the anxiety about how my system might respond if exposed to the virus. Plus, I would not want to be the cause of making someone else critically ill just by being in proximity to me.
“There are so many things that we can not control in life, but being vaccinated and safeguarding our individual and collective health is something we can control. I also want to support first responders and medical professionals because I have family members who work in these areas and I know how hard these past 18 months have been on people and their families. By taking all the steps I can to care for my health, it means that I can help alleviate the burden placed on others who care for community wellness day in and day out. To quote our students, ‘self care is community care.’”
Martha Stolze, Admissions
“Getting vaccinated meant that my immediate family could see other (fully vaccinated) family for the first time since summer of 2019! Seeing the cousins hanging out and making memories together was amazing.”
Tamara Fouche’10, Office of Development and Alumni Relations
“I got vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect myself, my family, and the community I was serving.
“At the time, I was working as Director of Development for a small non-profit on the northwest side of Chicago that served predominantly low-income and homeless families, the most vulnerable populations. Not only did we want to lead by example for them, but we also wanted to keep ourselves safe.
“Additionally, I got vaccinated to protect my family. I am close to my grandparents and was proud to keep them safe. I took my grandfather to his vaccination appointment — he was excited to get his shot, and I was glad to be able to take him. We went to a Walgreens, and you could tell everyone was proud to see an almost 90-year-old walk in for his shot. It felt great!”
Kathy Landon, Office of International Education
“Our family was vaccinated as soon as we could arrange the appointments. We felt it was the best and most effective way to help return to the activities, and people, that meant the most to us. Being back on campus with face-to-face student interactions, back in the classroom for our high school- and college-age daughters, back to people rather than a screen.
“Beloit College does its best work when we are together, in person. This is our shot to do the most good, for everyone.”
Karen Mayse, Office of Development and Alumni Relations
“I received the vaccine primarily because I was running the COVID-19 Testing Center. It was my responsibility to keep the testing center a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff — the best way to do that was to be vaccinated myself.
“The only way we are going to get through this together is to take care of ourselves and each other. The best way to do that, in my opinion, is to get vaccinated.”