SPOTLIGHT ON: BRIANNE MORNEAU

March 1, 2021

 

Photo Courtesy: Brianne Morneau
Name: Brianne Morneau
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers 
Department: History/Educational Studies 
Role at UNH: Student
Year Started at UNH: 2017

How does getting this vaccine make you feel?

I am so grateful for the opportunity to have the vaccine. COVID-19 has significantly impacted everyone for the past year, and the vaccine provides a way for the pandemic to end.  

What does getting this vaccine mean to you?  

Getting the vaccine means a lot to me. I have severe Cough Variant Asthma, meaning that even a common cold is difficult for me to overcome, and I require many medications to stop coughing. When the pandemic began, I was told by my doctor that my chances of dying would be high if I were to get COVID-19. By having this vaccine, it means that I won’t have to worry as much about getting COVID. I will continue to social distance and wear a mask, but I can return to some of my more normal activities, and not live in fear.  

What would you say to someone who feels hesitant about getting the vaccine? 

The side effects of the vaccine are so much better than getting the virus (even mild cases of the virus). It is worth being protected. I know people are skeptical about the vaccine, but my experience was wonderful. The nurses took the time to carefully explain how the vaccine was safe, and what signs to look for immediately afterward.   

What have been some of your favorite ways to stay physically active during the pandemic?  

During the pandemic, I have learned to adapt, which meant that going to the gym and attending workout classes were no longer options I feel comfortable doing. I began last summer by completing HIIT workouts outside in my spare time and making use of the track at my former high school. I have learned that being outside in the fresh air and sunshine can be very therapeutic.   

How have you been taking care of your emotional wellbeing during the pandemic?  

It has been hard to take care of my emotional wellbeing during the pandemic, but I have learned to get in touch with my needs. Some days that may mean having a movie marathon, whereas other times it may mean calling a friend to chat. I have been able to keep a routine and try to accomplish at least one task a day. It is also okay to listen to your body and not always go according to plan. This last year has helped me to grow and get in touch with myself.   

How do you stay connected with others?  

I am so grateful for technology and the pandemic has taught me how important it is to stay connected with others. I try to set aside time every week to FaceTime and Zoom with my friends and family. I have also tried hard to find activities to visit with friends in a socially distanced way, such as picnics or walks together.  

Now that you have received the first dose of the vaccine, what is the next thing that you will be holding onto for hope?  

I look very forward to receiving my second dose of the vaccine, as well as all of the changes that will be happening in the next few months. I recently began graduate classes, after graduating with my Bachelor’s in December, but am excited about an official graduation in May, and the beginning of my teaching internship next fall. I have been home since the beginning of December due to the pandemic. However, I plan to return to campus as soon as I receive the second dose. Most importantly, thoughts of summer give me hope. I am wishful that by summer, life will have returned to some sense of normalcy, and I can do normal activities like going to the beach and hanging out with my friends in person.  

Do you have any positive words of encouragement for members of our audience who are feeling completely drained and burnt out from this pandemic?  

This pandemic has been hard for all of us, and you aren’t alone. The good thing is this vaccine is the first step toward the end of it. I know it will be a long road, but the COVID-19 numbers are in a steady decrease overall. Keep wearing a mask and social distancing. We will get through this, and better days are yet to come.

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