Just before 8 a.m. on Dec. 29, Walgreens employees are welcomed into Good Samaritan Society – Windom in Minnesota carrying shots of hope.
“I think our whole facility is very excited to be able to get the vaccination,” Society screener and administrative assistant Marlene Wolff says.
80 staff members and residents are signing up to get the COVID-19 vaccine including Facilities Manager Lyle Groos. Groos came down with COVID-19 on Thanksgiving Day.
“I wasn’t thankful for it at all. No,” Groos says. “It was intense flu symptoms. Not just mild. It was intense.”
He doesn’t want to get it again. So, he is getting the shot.
“Just to make sure I’m staying safe. The CDC is advising that,” Groos says.
After a quick poke, he’s part of history and on his way.
“Get vaccinated if you can and let’s get this thing beat,” Groos says.
Continuing the mission of caring
Charlene Woizeschke, RN, has been taking care of residents here in Windom for more than 40 years.
“The Good Sam mission has always been near and dear to my heart,” Woizeschke says.
She’s never seen anything like the coronavirus and wants to put the pandemic in the rearview mirror.
“Very challenging time. We’ve had a lot of people, residents and staff members affected by COVID,” Woizeschke says. “We’ve seen the effects on the residents. Just how it takes them down.”
Woizeschke is grateful for the Walgreens vaccination clinic.
“Very convenient by Walgreens. They came in and did this on company time. They are going to come back in a couple weeks and give us our second vaccine. Just a real good situation for us health care people here in Windom,” Woizeschke says.
That’s a big change from the last ten months of exhausting effort to keep everyone safe.
“It’s been a long journey of lots of PPE for our staff and clients,” Campus Administrator Nancy Wepplo says. “It’s just been a long time coming for everyone.”
Wepplo believes in the safety of the vaccines and the research behind them.
“You have to follow the science. Our Facts Over Fears theme has led us well through this whole pandemic really,” Wepplo says.
After dozens of staff members roll up their sleeves, it’s time to hit the halls and protect residents.
“They will get vaccinated in their own rooms,” Wepplo says.
First up, Mo Maiwen. He battled COVID recently and doesn’t want it to come back.
“My reaction was bad. I was feeling really bad,” Maiwen says.
Maiwen moved here from Worthington in June following a stroke.
“They take care of me real good. When I came, I don’t even walk and now I’m walking,” Maiwen says.
A few doors down is Maiwen’s neighbor Karen L. Brinkman. She’s had COVID-19, too, and is all for getting vaccinated. Mostly because she can’t wait to greet her daughter in person again.
“When she comes I want to see her. I don’t want to poke at her through the window,” Brinkman says.
The former psychologist says she’s staying positive. She knows a mental trick or two.
“I do and I use them all, believe me,” Brinkman says.
Receiving the vaccine quickly here in Windom is also boosting her spirits.
“I love it here. This is a great place to live. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else,” Brinkman says.
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