Then he learned that he was under a warrant: the town hall had decided that the staff of certain after-school programs should be vaccinated at the same time as the employees of public schools. Mr. Hughes briefly considered quitting smoking.
“I don’t have a shipment of money,” he said. “If I did, I could survive this. But I have to make some money.
While on his way to work on September 23, he hid in a mobile vaccination clinic and was given a dose of the Moderna vaccine.
“I have fought a long and hard fight,” he said. “It was taken out of my hands with the warrant.”
He told friends he got the shot, even posting a video of the moment, knowing it might encourage other refractors. But he didn’t make peace with what happened.
“I don’t agree with that to be honest with you,” he said recently.
Xibelli Valdespino, 25 years old
Last December, four generations of Xibelli Valdespino’s family, from his 7-year-old son to his 86-year-old grandfather, came together for Christmas Eve. Within a day, they started testing positive for Covid-19. Her grandfather soon passed away and her mother struggled to breathe. Mrs. Valdespino felt so bad that she wondered if she would ever get over it.
Long afterward, she was angry: against God, against the pandemic, against herself.
“Maybe if I had taken this more seriously and we hadn’t all gotten together for Christmas, maybe my grandfather would be there,” said Ms. Valdespino, a social worker whose clients are people with mental illness.
Yet his initial response was to reject the vaccine. She was worried about the side effects. She had also come across some weird and bogus conspiracy theories on social media and was unable to dismiss them. Vaccines have magnetized people, making spoons stick to your body, according to one. The vaccines lowered the quality of your blood, another said.