COVID Vaccine Brings Hope for Return to Normal at NDA


Maxwell Baek, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

STORY UPDATE:  Tuesday, March 16, faculty and staff received their first inoculation for COVID-19.  Pictured above is English teacher Sadie LaJoe receiving her shot in the school commons.

Perhaps no event since the turn of the millennia has affected our day-to-day lives quite like the COVID-19 virus. This respiratory illness came seemingly out of nowhere, and within a few weeks of its initial exposure, spiraled out of control into a global pandemic. 

While most diseases tend to have ways to combat them, such as medication or safe practices, so little was known about COVID-19 that even creating safety procedures, let alone a vaccine, was a very difficult task. 

However, as the country approaches the one-year mark of the initial stay-at-home quarantine order, some light at the end of the tunnel has become visible. 

We are finally receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as people over the age of 65 and many others deemed “essential workers” have been innoculated.  Many NDA teachers and staff members have received at least their first dose of the vaccine. 

This week President Joe Biden expressed his hope that everyone who wanted the vaccine could receive it by the end of May.

This is not the first time in American history where a brand-new vaccine has started to change the lives of millions. In fact, longtime English and Journalism teacher Carolyn Brown noted that she was around for the polio vaccine that changed society for the better.

“I remember the relief we all felt when we got our Jonas Salk vaccine.  Too many people we knew were in iron lungs or crippled by polio,” said Brown. “Back then, of course, we did not have all the media attention we do now, but it was bad enough even in my small town in Texas.”  

To get a better idea of what our healthcare system dealt with, Sophia Hornberger, a junior here at NDA who is a Certified Nursing Assistant, explained how the entire floor of their hospital was sealed off to house COVID-19 patients.

Additionally, Hannah Weisse, a senior who is also a CNA, shared that at her place of practice “it was heartbreaking seeing residents suffer from the symptoms of COVID-19 and even having to say goodbye to some.” 

Currently the hospital where these students work only has 2-6 patients with COVID-19 at a time, which Hornberger said is a sure sign of progress toward eradicating the virus.

“I saw getting vaccinated as something that is not only important to protect my health and the health of my family, but also the health of my patients,” she said.

Science teacher Susan Nelson, who has received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, stated that the vaccine is one step closer to “reaching herd immunity so that life can return to normal.”