SPOTLIGHT ON: Katie Baker
Name: Katie Baker
Department: COLA: Women's and Gender Studies
Role at UNH: Alumni
Year Started at UNH: 2015
How does getting this vaccine make you feel?
Getting the vaccine makes me feel so incredibly relieved and hopeful for a “post-pandemic” future.
What does getting this vaccine mean to you?
Being able to get the vaccine allows me to begin seeing a light at the end of this very long tunnel. I was not expecting to be eligible for the vaccine until it was opened up for the general population and I am incredibly grateful that my work in the mental health field has been considered essential!
What would you say to someone who feels hesitant about getting the vaccine?
I would say that hesitation is understandable, but I believe that as individuals who are able to get the vaccine, it is our duty as humans to protect those around us. I have trust in the dedicated scientists and individuals who have gotten us to this point of progress and we owe it to them to do our part.
What have been some of your favorite ways to stay physically active during the pandemic?
Honestly, walking the length of the grocery store every week has become very therapeutic for me, as well as playing with my cat and practicing yoga!
How have you been taking care of your emotional wellbeing during the pandemic?
I started seeing a therapist since the pandemic started -- it has been life changing and I believe everyone can benefit from it. I have also started journaling, listening to my body more, and finding ways to practice self-care every single day.
How do you stay connected with others?
I love a good Zoom call, being able to see those who are also vaccinated, and of course using social media to stay connected with others.
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 am of course looking forward to my second dose! I also find hope in eligibility being opened up to the greater population and what this means for our world moving forward. I do not see a future in which we “go back to normal”, but I think that there is so much to be learned from this global experience and I am hopeful that it produces a kinder and more thoughtful future.
Do you have any positive words of encouragement for members of our audience who are feeling completely drained and burnt out from this pandemic?
Let me tell you, you are NOT alone. I have experienced more burnout and emotional drain in the past year than I have in my entire life. We need to remember now more than ever to prioritize our own well-being. We cannot give from an empty bucket and it is 100% okay to take time to fill your own bucket. There are abundant mental health resources available and there is absolutely no shame in needing them.