Just before 8 a.m. on December 29, Walgreens employees are welcomed into Good Samaritan Society – Windom in Minnesota carrying shots of hope.

“I think our whole facility is very excited to be able to get the vaccination,” Society screener and administrative assistant Marlene Wolff says.

80 staff members and residents are signing up to get the COVID-19 vaccine including Facilities Manager Lyle Groos. Lyle came down with COVID on Thanksgiving Day.

“I wasn’t thankful for it at all. No,” Lyle says. “It was intense flu symptoms. Not just mild. It was intense.”

He doesn’t want to get it again. So, he is getting the shot.

“Just to make sure I’m staying safe. The CDC is advising that,” Lyle says.

After a quick poke, he’s part of history and on his way.

“Get vaccinated if you can and let’s get this thing beat,” Lyle says.

Continuing the mission of caring

Charlene Woizeschke, RN, has been taking care of residents here in Windom for more than 40 years.

“The Good Sam mission has always been near and dear to my heart,” Charlene says.

She’s never seen anything like the coronavirus and wants to put the pandemic in the rearview mirror.

“Very challenging time. We’ve had a lot of people, residents and staff members affected by COVID,” Charlene says. “We’ve seen the effects on the residents. Just how it takes them down.”

Charlene is grateful for the Walgreens vaccination clinic.

“Very convenient by Walgreens. They came in and did this on company time. They are going to come back in a couple weeks and give us our second vaccine. Just a real good situation for us health care people here in Windom,” Charlene says.

That’s a big change from the last ten months of exhausting effort to keep everyone safe.

“It’s been a long journey of lots of PPE for our staff and clients,” Campus Administrator Nancy Wepplo says. “It’s just been a long time coming for everyone.”

Nancy believes in the safety of the vaccines and the research behind them.

“You have to follow the science. Our Facts Over Fears theme has led us well through this whole pandemic really,” Nancy says.

Protecting residents

After dozens of staff members roll up their sleeves, it’s time to hit the halls and protect residents.

“They will get vaccinated in their own rooms,” Nancy says.

First up, Mo Maiwen. He battled COVID recently and doesn’t want it to come back.

“My reaction was bad. I was feeling really bad,” Mo says.

Mo moved here from Worthington in June following a stroke.

“They take care of me real good. When I came, I don’t even walk and now I’m walking,” Mo says.

A few doors down is Mo’s neighbor Karen L. Brinkman. She’s had COVID too and is all for getting vaccinated. Mostly because she can’t wait to greet her daughter in person again.

“When she comes I want to see her. I don’t want to poke at her through the window,” Karen says.

The former psychologist says she’s staying positive. She knows a mental trick or two.

“I do and I use them all, believe me,” Karen says.

Receiving the vaccine quickly here in Windom is also boosting her spirits.

“I love it here. This is a great place to live. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else,” Karen says.

More COVID-19 vaccination clinics are being scheduled right now. Learn more about the vaccines.