By Zandy Dudiak, Communications coordinator
“There is no darkness so dense, so menacing or so difficult, that it can’t be overcome by light.”
That quote from Vern P. Stanfill is how Eric Hess, a forensic specialist with Community Treatment Team 2, describes emerging from 10 months of living through the pandemic to finally getting the vaccine. During those months, he tried to balance serving individuals yet staying safe from COVID-19 himself.
“It was surreal because I was getting the vaccine now,” Eric says. “It just seemed like it happened so fast with Pittsburgh Mercy. BAM! The next week we had the vaccines. I was thrilled. I was just very grateful.”
Eric says he decided to get the vaccine to protect the people he serves. But there was another reason, too.
Eric hasn’t seen his parents—Bev Hess, a counselor at Macassar Community Living Arrangement (CLA), and Ed Hess, who is retired from Pittsburgh Mercy—since before the holidays. He says they last visited in person in October, before the fall spike occurred.
Because of the pandemic, the annual Hess extended family vacation in Florida was not quite the same last year. Eric and his wife drove down anyhow, the only members of the family able to enjoy the much-anticipated getaway.
Eric says he had some arm pain from the injection but it was nothing that keeps him from recommending that others get the vaccine. He did research about the vaccine and spoke with doctors before he made the final decision to get immunized.
“I would encourage everyone to get it,” he says.
Eric Hess receives his vaccine.