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Out of isolation

CONWAY – The COVID-19 vaccine is slowly helping people get back to their regular lives, one shot at a time.

A video recently shared by Northampton County Local Government featured an interview with a local woman, Gussie Hammond, on the importance of getting the vaccine. Tanya Smallwood, who serves as Northampton County’s Clerk to the Board of Commissioners, conducted the interview.

Gussie Hammond

“I haven’t been out of my house for a year,” explained Hammond after she received her first vaccine shot at a clinic held at Conway Middle School on March 6.

“The only person I’ve had to talk with in person has been my husband,” she continued. “I love him, but I miss my grandchildren. And I miss my children.”

She used Skype and other video messaging in the past year, but said that’s not a substitute for face-to-face visits.

Both Hammond and her husband had pre-existing health conditions that put them at high risk of complications and serious issues if infected with the virus. That’s why they made the decision to stay home as much as possible during the past year of the pandemic.

“I don’t think I would have survived it,” Hammond admitted.

After a year of staying in the house, Hammond said she was excited to have the opportunity to get the vaccine along with her husband.

“I’m just so grateful and happy,” she added. “I’m grateful for everybody who put this [clinic] together. Everybody’s just been really wonderful.”

Smallwood asked Hammond what she would say to people who are hesitant about getting the vaccine.

Hammond answered that she understood people’s concerns, but the benefits are good. Getting vaccinated is a way to be able to safely gather with friends and family again, especially those with serious health issues.

“I would urge you to not just walk but run and go get your COVID vaccine. It’s so incredibly important for all of us,” she concluded.

The Northampton County Health Department currently does not have another clinic scheduled for next week, but those interested in getting the vaccine can call 252-534-5841 to be added to the waitlist.

As of March 10, Northampton County has 48 active COVID cases. That brings the overall total to 1708 since the pandemic began last March. There have been 1593 recoveries in Northampton County as well as 67 deaths.