This post was developed in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson University and NORC at the University of Chicago as part of a Pfizer-funded research study. All thoughts and opinions are always my own.
I wear a lot of hats. First and foremost, I am a mom of 4 (one with special needs). I am an RN and Public Health Nurse. I am the wife of a physician working on the front lines in a pediatric critical care unit. I am also a fashion designer and minority small business owner who, during the COVID-19 pandemic, made the pivot from making children’s apparel to making personal protective equipment (PPE) to do my part in supporting my community.
As we mark the 2-year anniversary of COVID-19, more than 75 million Americans have been infected and 888 thousand Americans have died from COVID-19. Mixed Up Clothing is proud to have been one of the first brands to design and manufacture fabric facemasks. My RN background really came into play as I was able to use both skill sets and quickly design a fabric face mask based on experience and recommendations given by the CDC. Within hours we had a design and started a "Buy 1, Donate 1" initiative so that we could send facemasks to those in need.
As an AfroLatina, I wanted to also help underserved communities by sending masks to these hard-hit communities. COVID-19 is impacting Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color the most. Compared to White Americans:
- Hispanic Americans 2 times as likely to be infected
- Black Americans are 1.4 times likely to die
- Indigenous people 3 times more likely to be hospitalized
With these statistics, it was important to me to not only get the vaccine when it became available but to also support and encourage those, IRL and online, who might have been vaccine-hesitant.
I anxiously waited for the time when the vaccine became available for my children. When the vaccine was available, I reassured my kids that the Pfizer vaccine has been proven safe and effective in children ages 5 and older, and getting a COVID-19 vaccine will reduce their chances of getting seriously ill even if they get COVID-19. I am the proud mama of a vaccinated family and will continue to use my platform for sharing my story and the information I have. As vecinos, we got the vaccine knowing that getting vaccinated will reduce the chances of others getting sick and we were happy to do our part para la comunidad. #VaxMessageStudy