Vendoni Woodfairy, 52, was raised in rural Missouri by parents who did not believe in vaccines. She doesn’t remember getting a single child vaccination.
Woodfairy, who now lives in a small town near Mountain Grove, Missouri, legally changed her first name in January. Her husband Anthony, 51, took her new surname when they got married.
They live on a farm in the Ozarks and go into town twice a month for supplies. Given their limited interaction with people, they saw no urgent need to get the COVID-19 vaccine. But when the delta variant of the coronavirus spread in Missouri, their remote lifestyle couldn’t protect them.
Vendoni got COVID in mid-July. As the number of cases grew in Missouri, she had warm to the idea of the vaccine and immediately regretted postponing the vaccine.
“I wish we did and did it,” she said. She recovered and her husband decided to have the injection as soon as it was safe for him to go out. “I didn’t feel safe anymore,” said Anthony. “Even with my limited presence in the city, I no longer felt safe.”
He called the doctor and texted his son: “I have an appointment.”
His son, Caleb-Michael Files, lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland and works for the AFL-CIO union in DC Files when he read his father’s message.