“It gives me a peace of mind knowing that I’m doing everything that I can to help protect myself and others,” Ralph said.
Ralph is a Team Lead at Store 5658, a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Santa Maria, California. It’s a leadership position that he doesn’t take lightly. Recently, part of leading his team has included answering questions about the COVID-19 vaccine process and helping those who are interested sign up as they become eligible. The state of California opened up vaccine eligibility for grocery workers in early March.
“My thing for other people who are on the fence about it is: just do your research,” Ralph said.
Ralph says his mother has an auto-immune disease. She’s someone else who has remained in the forefront of his mind as he’s navigated the past year of the pandemic. Early on, he knew he wanted to get the vaccine as soon as he could. Ralph’s store was not a designated vaccination site. He visited a county vaccination site when he became eligible.
“It took us maybe 4 to 5 minutes to sign up for our appointments. When we actually got to the site, everything ran smoothly,” Ralph said. “I was in and out within 25 minutes.”
In addition to keeping loved ones safe, Ralph eagerly awaits a return to normal. Going to a baseball game is something he didn’t realize he would miss as much as he does.
“I really liked going to Dodger games or sporting events or concerts. I mean, no one has been able to do that since last year,” Ralph said. “So, anything that I can do to help us get back to where we were, I’m going to do it.”
Ralph will reach his 10-year milestone with Walmart later this year. He’s hopeful that the closer he gets to that date, the closer we will all be to the end of the pandemic.
“It’s allowing me to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Ralph said.