‘A little more freedom’; Cabarrus Co. couple looking forward to future after second doses of vaccine

Couple encourages community to get vaccine

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Cabarrus County couple is continuing to share their experience with the vaccine, to encourage others who might have doubts.

Thomas and Joyce Isom received their first doses in January at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

They got their second doses in mid-February and are feeling relief and joy as they look to the next chapter in their lives once the pandemic ends.

“It’s more like inside in your head,” Joyce Isom said. “You’ve been isolated for so long and now you don’t feel that isolation. You feel like oh this is great. I have a little more freedom.”

For this couple, the virus hit close to home.

“My brother was one of the first to pass away April 21st last year,” Joyce said. “He spent three weeks on a ventilator and as they began to bring him off his heart failed. He was 58. And then my mom caught the virus in a nursing home, and she actually beat it, but she later passed away we don’t know if it was from the effects of the virus or what was existing. But that’s devastating.”

Thomas is a Vietnam war veteran.

He draws comparison between that war and this pandemic.

“You’re fighting against an enemy and it’s taking peoples lives, making people sick,” Thomas said. “So the vaccine is very important in this. This is your M16, your AR 15, your weapon against this.”

But not everyone feels that way.

“We have some family members who are dead set against it,” Joyce said. “I say choices. We made a choice. They may feel like you don’t have anything to lose. But you do.”

They say they are hearing more and more people in their church community are getting the shot.

“We have talked to some people that had not felt like they would do it, but now they’re having a change of heart,” Joyce said.

The Isoms are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“We’re just looking forward to getting together and being with other people,” she said. “We are taking a trip to St. Louis to see our great grandchildren this year and that is what we are most looking forward to. This virus has given us a better sense of what family is all about and why we need to stay connected more.”

They lean on their faith, and so far, they say it has not led them astray.

“We always said if God is dropping you a life raft, don’t wait on that boat,” she said. “You either do that or nothing, and we didn’t want to do nothing.”

Joyce and Thomas say they only had mild side effects of fatigue and soreness after their second doses.

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