Your Neighbor, Your Essential Worker

By Carla Calhoun

Lorin Ashlee Long has lived in the Hough community for 22 years. She moved here as a teen with her mom, who unfortunately passed away in 2014.  Lorin remained in the home and is now living there with her husband and two children.

After high school, she continued her education in the local colleges. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Lorin went on to obtain her Master’s degree in Health Science from Cleveland State University, continuing a generational legacy in the healthcare field. (Lorin’s mother and grandmother were Registered Nurses at University Hospital.) Lorin also received a Physician Assistance certificate from Cuyahoga Community College.

Lorin has worked as an essential worker for 6 years, first in Pre-Admission Testing and now in Express Care through the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. She is a valued and inspirational member of the Hough community.

Lorin shared that she has faced many challenges since the Covid pandemic, both on the job and at home.

“Well at the beginning of Covid, my daughter couldn’t be vaccinated. Working in Pre-Admission Testing I was extremely close to Covid because it involves patients having to remove their masks. I was very concerned about exposure to Covid and bringing it home to my family, who at the time had not been vaccinated. Moving into Express Care increased my exposure because now I see a lot of patients with symptoms, and you don’t know if it is Covid, the flu, or just a cold. There is constant exposure because patients have to remove their masks to be examined, and because of their symptoms, such as coughing and sneezing, germs are spreading everywhere. Before Covid, it was not a real fear there.”

“My son, who is just 4 years old, cannot be vaccinated so I have to be extremely careful not to bring it home to him; so it has been very difficult and frustrating.”

“I had Covid in December 2021 for two weeks, and I believe if I had not been vaccinated, I would have been hospitalized. I got sick after my second vaccination, but to me, it was totally worth it. The moment my daughter was approved to get vaccinated we were on it. My husband is vaccinated, and we are waiting for when our son can be vaccinated. I honestly believe it saves your life. I absolutely recommend that everyone should get vaccinated.”

Lorin also shared that most people seen in the hospital with Covid are unvaccinated.  They also have co-morbidities, underlying conditions, are smokers, overweight, have high blood pressure, or COPD. Sometimes these people die from Covid, not from their underlying conditions.  Covid can expedite their death because of the underlying conditions.

“There are people in my field who refuse to get vaccinated, and it is frustrating because they are exposing others even though they have vast opportunities to get vaccinated. A lot of people believe that they are better off without getting the shot, that they will not get sick, they are not going to die, or they don’t really need it. These are just some of the excuses I hear why some choose not to be vaccinated.”

The Long family (left to right) Breanna, Landen, Lorin, Micha, and Jalen.

“My job as a health care provider is education. I try to educate my patients. I try to remove their negative thoughts about getting vaccinated and try explaining the importance of why everyone should. There are a lot of people who have no symptoms but pass it on to others who will be symptomatic and may lead to death. I have many patients that come in who have lost loved ones to Covid that had not been vaccinated. When I hear stories from other patients, I pass them on to patients who are doubting the vaccination to make it more real to them. It has worked with some, but not others who are dead set on being unvaccinated. I tell them to take it seriously, and that over 1 million people have died from this virus.”

 

“My advice is to wear a mask no matter what, even if you are vaccinated, and to sanitize.  So much is unknown about Covid and its variances. Get your booster shot! I am sure there will be other required shots, according to the CDC’s recommendations. I am going to follow their guidelines.”

“So, wear a mask and get vaccinated; it is worth it. It is worth your life and it is worth your family’s lives.”