Alfred Lee: Get the Vaccine So You Can Go Fishing!


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Alfred Lee has heard just about every COVID-19 vaccine myth out there.

He’s seen YouTube videos about how “dangerous” the vaccine is, how it’ll track people, how it’ll make people’s skin fall off.

His friends and neighbors believed these myths and kept telling Lee not to get vaccinated.

But Lee was tired of COVID-19 safety precautions interfering with his life. He wanted to go fishing with his family.

He decided to get vaccinated, and he’s glad he did.

“Oh yeah, I feel much safer now, are you kidding?” Lee said.

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A Military Brat from Blanco County

Although Lee would describe himself a military brat, he’s a Texan through and through. He lives and works in Blanco County.

Throughout the pandemic, he’s been frustrated that he couldn’t spend time with his family and do normal activities like go to the grocery store.

“You have to be real careful. It’s kind of scary, particularly when you see other people,” Lee said.

Lee lives in a rural area of Texas, where many distrust the government and their messages about COVID-19.

Lee is also skeptical of the government, but he wasn’t buying the misinformation about the vaccine.

“I don’t trust the government any more than anyone else, but all this stuff about the conspiracies and the vaccine, I don’t think that’s true,” Lee said.

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A Range of Conspiracy Theories

Many of Lee’s friends have been urging others not to get vaccinated and are often sharing misinformation on social media.

“My friend’s been sending me YouTube videos saying the vaccine’s going to track me. I don’t buy it,” Lee said.

He’s surprised that so many of his friends are worried about the vaccine side effects rather than COVID-19 infection itself.

“It’s strange, some of the toughest people I know are scared to get a vaccine because the vaccine side effects are going to hurt them. My god!” Lee said.

Lee knows how painful COVID-19 is because he’s had friends get very sick, even one who is a COVID-19 “long hauler.

“I have a close, personal friend who’s got ‘long’ COVID. It’s terrible,” Lee said. “And I know a lot of people who’ve been infected and only a few have gotten really sick, but they don’t know what the long-term effects are gonna be. Some of them are really not feeling that good for some time.”

Lee wanted to get the vaccine so he wouldn’t have to be afraid of getting sick like some of his friends. But lots of people kept sharing misinformation trying to change his mind.

“My buddy told me that the vaccine for COVID is going to download a tracker so Bill Gates can track him. Dream on, why would he care?” Lee said.

Lee doesn’t believe the misinformation he keeps being sent.

“I don’t get this stuff. The YouTube videos that say the vaccine’s going to cause my skin to shed, change my DNA? I do not believe that,” Lee said.

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Getting the Vaccine Himself

Lee ignored the misinformation and decided to go through with getting a vaccine.

His main motivation was to be able to go fishing with his cousin.

“All our friends were warning us about how dangerous the vaccine is, but my cousin and I wanted to go fishing,” Lee said.

When the time came for him to get vaccinated, Lee wanted to be first in line.

So where else would a through and through Texan go other than H-E-B, the Texas supermarket chain?

“Yeah, I got it at H-E-B. I got it through a COVID angel lady who volunteered to help fix people up,” Lee said.

He felt good after both shots and only had mild symptoms, which he felt was much better than the alternative – getting sick with severe COVID-19.

Alfred Lee: Get the Vaccine So You Can Go Fishing!

“I had a little headache, mild fever after my second shot. But man, imagine being on a ventilator in the hospital. That would be terrible,” Lee said.

Once vaccinated, he went through with his fishing trip, and it was a success.

“We got the vaccine and we’re fine, we caught some big fish.”

Lee’s not worried about what his friends and neighbors will think now that he’s vaccinated. If confronted, he plans to explain how he was just exercising his rights.

“I just try to be polite and point out it’s a free country,” Lee said.

Lee doesn’t think it’s productive to argue with people about getting vaccinated. He respects his friends who choose not to get vaccinated but hopes they’ll follow his example.

“I have nothing to say that I would hope would convince them. I don’t think you can argue with people and win an argument,” Lee said. “And if somebody says I’m crazy, I’ll just say, ‘Yes, that’s well known.’”

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This success story was produced by Salud America! with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The stories are intended for educational and informative purposes. References to specific policymakers, individuals, schools, policies, or companies have been included solely to advance these purposes and do not constitute an endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation. Stories are based on and told by real community members and are the opinions and views of the individuals whose stories are told. Organization and activities described were not supported by Salud America! or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and do not necessarily represent the views of Salud America! or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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One Response to “Study: Latino Mortality Advantage Disappeared amid COVID-19”

  1. Sister Nancy Carol Traeger, SSND.

    As I read the articles, I was wondering IF some classes/workshops on budgeting would be helpful for the Latino families….Along with that, “throw in” some helps in where/how to shop for healthy foods, getting politically involved via the petitions that come our way each day (SNAP and WIC) These are essential programs and getting info regarding how to make one’s voice heard about these programs, especially around Congressional budgeting. It’s something I do as much as I can in order to help with keeping these programs going and improving. Thank you for the info and the opportunity to comment on these important issues for ALL families. As a former director of a homeless shelter for women and children, I had quite an education around the county-side of getting help, and learning to be patient while having to wait. I think shame is also a detriment for folks, having to get “charity” as it’s sometimes called.