By Jareliz Diaz
Editor's note: This story was produced in conjunction with the Latino Communities Reporting Lab. A free Spanish translation is available at Myrecordjournal.com/latino-news.
Spanish Community of Wallingford Music Director Evangeline Mendoza talks about her experience getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Question: When did you receive your last vaccine?
Answer: Feb. 21st.
Q: What vaccine did you get?
Q: Prior to the vaccine, did you have any concerns?
A: I did not have any concerns because I have faith in science. I can remember when I was a little girl, my parents being very worried about polio and being very eager for my siblings and me to have the vaccine. They were always very conscientious about getting us vaccinated for chickenpox and mumps. It just has always been a tremendous faith in whatever was recommended by the doctors and scientists and government.
Q: How would you say the vaccine has impacted your role as music director?
A: It gives me more confidence that I am protected and it has enabled me to return to my teaching, not the way it was before, but I'm not contaminating anyone or being contaminated by anyone either.
Q: Did you experience any side effects between or after your doses?
A: No, none at all. I was aware of my arm but I was even able to play piano the next day.
Q: What are you looking forward to as more individuals get vaccinated?
A: Really my life was rather on (pause) because I came to see people an awful lot more than I do now. I will return to my drumming lessons. I like to teach seniors drumming, it means an awful lot to them so that will be a huge change. Of course, being able to teach my students without their masks on we will be able to start singing again. We had a very important rehearsal and students still had their masks because we are being cautious.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering getting the vaccine?
A: I would advise them to definitely do it and go forward with it with a lot of confidence. It is the responsible thing and it is the sensible thing.
Q: How were you able to schedule your appointment?
A: As soon as I found out it was available to people in my age group I called the state number and they immediately scheduled me.
Q: How was your experience the day you received the vaccine?
A: I thought it was excellent. It was prepared, it was orderly, organized and polite. They give you the confidence you needed to go in there. It was a good experience from beginning to end.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: I just think it's a shame that so much negativity was put out through the media that has caused people to be this suspicious. I don't recall it ever being this bad. Even the flu shot I think are more accepted by people than this and this is essential because it is a worldwide pandemic and people are so nervous unnecessarily. I mean it's true there are going to be some people who are not going to respond to it too well physically. But for the most part, I think people should do it for the benefit of themselves and of society.