Local teacher explains why he took the COVID-19 vaccine

The Portsmouth Daily Times, Ohio
·3 min read

Apr. 15—PORTSMOUTH- Gerald Cadogan is a prominent name in the Portsmouth community. The Portsmouth native has a long list of accomplishments and has lived a life dedicated to serving others whether that be by mentoring students or coaching athletes around the community.

His current roles span from a teacher at Portsmouth High School to Shawnee State University's Head Coach of the Men and Women's Swimming Program and the head track coach and head swim coach at PHS. In accordance with a life filled with serving others, he can now add being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to that list of service to protect those around him.

Cadogan will be the first to tell you the past year has been very challenging in terms of navigating his typical daily life. 2020 put a pause on nearly all of his passions.

After a stressful year, he said that it was exciting to have a sense of hope as the science community presented multiple vaccines to combat the virus. With that being said, he was determined to learn as much about the vaccine as possible to make the best decision for himself.

After his research, he decided to err on the side of caution.

"I know there has been a lot of uncertainty with the vaccine, but I do trust the science," Cadogan said. "I think if we can do something for the betterment of our community, why not help those around us? Why not ensure that? Why not help get things back to normal? With that in mind, I have now been fully vaccinated."

He was able to receive his vaccine through his employer, Portsmouth City Schools and said they made the process very easy and convenient. Like many, he experienced a few side effects after his shots, including a sore arm and a little fatigue, but would ultimately do it all over again.

"Keeping in mind that thousands have perished because of COVID, and if I can do my part to not only keep myself safe, but my family and loved ones and my athletes safe, that's really a priority of mine," he said.

Now that he is fully vaccinated, he has more peace of mind than he has throughout the past year.

"In my mind, it gives me the comfort to know that I did my part and encourage those around me to look into getting vaccinated and share the information that I have," he said. "If you can do your part and save lives, it's worth it."

As a true coach and mentor, Cadogan acknowledges that getting vaccinated is a personal choice.

"Do your research, don't just listen to what someone may say on TV or what someone says on social media," he said. "Ask the scientists, ask the doctors and then make the best decision for you. Weigh the potential side effects of getting the vaccine versus contracting COVID or spreading it to someone you love."

Reflecting on the past year and where we are now, Cadogan is hopeful for the future and looking forward to moving back to some type of normalcy. As soon as it's deemed safe, he is looking forward to traveling, attending events without masks and being able to walk into a store and not have to go back to his car after realizing he forgot his mask.

"I'm looking forward to seeing people smile and enjoy life again," he said. To schedule your COVID-19 vaccine, call 740-356-CARE. The state of Ohio is currently offering vaccinations to everyone 16 years or older. For more information about the vaccine, please refer to cdc.gov.

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