“I am scared because I don’t want to take this home with me.”
Sonia Garcia is being honest.
The medical lab assistant at Rady Children’s Hospital has worked tirelessly outside for nine months at the hospital's drive-up COVID-19 testing site.
“We’ve gone through wind, we’ve gone through rain, heat,” Garcia said, smiling through her face mask.
Garcia has come face-to-face with thousands of people who all wondered whether they were infected with COVID-19. She said the people inside the cars display a wide variety of emotions. Many of them are grateful, though.
“Knowing that we’re needed out here and that they’re grateful, it’s a great impact," Garcia said. "It makes us feel good."
Garcia said she’s disheartened, however, as more and more of the tests are coming back positive.
“It gets emotional,” Garcia said. “We don’t want this at home, and us taking a risk being out here to help people, we are hoping that they do appreciate us.”
Garcia is scared. She wants the vaccine to work.
“I was the second one to be vaccinated here at Rady Children’s,” Garcia said. “I was nervous.”
Nervous but hopeful.
“It’s going to be wonderful," Garcia said. "It’s going to be amazing to know that the vaccination is working, will work, and we’ll be done with all of this. And we can take it all in and become what we were before.”
Garcia said she is tested about twice a month and has not contracted the coronavirus yet.