As I let out a sigh of relief, with tears in my eyes, I am beyond happy to know my parents have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

I sit on my couch, watching our local news station's coverage of the long line of El Pasoans waiting outside the George Perry mega vaccine site. My parents were in that line for three hours on Monday night.

They were able to receive their vaccine, thanks to Tornillo Independent School District. Their whole district was able to sign up to receive the vaccine as they continue to have all staff and some students attend in-person learning.

Both of my parents are employees of the district and have done what they need to do, even though their risk to contract COVID-19 has been high.

My original worry of them becoming sick at work was for good reason, because they did end up being diagnosed with COVID-19 back in November 2020.

Fast forward to January 2021, the next morning after their first dose of the vaccine, I checked in on them. My father had a sore arm but was fine returning to work. My mother struggled with the same symptoms she had when she originally had COVID-19. She powered through it and the symptoms subsided by Wednesday.

When my mom first contracted the virus, she had a weird rash that only showed up during her COVID-19 positive days, trouble breathing, lost her taste, smell, and had a weird red coloring on her hands and feet. She still says she feels like a fog in her head.

Emily Slape

Luckily, she recovered but many people have lost their parents to the virus. I lost a cousin before the holiday season and it still breaks my heart.

While my family for the most part has been lucky, we are still working on doing our part to keep others safe. El Pasoans must work at keeping their loved ones safe. It is hard to isolate, wait in lines, submit so many registration forms but it will all be worth it when you can hug your loved ones without worry.

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