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If live music matters, this shot matters

Faron Hamblin Faron Hamblin, Warsaw town councilman, musician

Hamblin is the first to admit he thought the dangers linked to the coronavirus were overblown. Getting COVID-19 changed all that.

After a positive test result in December, Hamblin isolated himself in his Northern Neck home as his fever spiked, chills gripped his body and his energy waned. His joints hurt so badly he couldn’t play the guitar, and he felt so drained he couldn’t sit up.

“I was one of the naysayers of the virus. I thought if I get it, I’d brush it off,” he said. “But I didn't brush it off. I had a very easy path compared to a lot of folks that I know, but it was a horrendous two weeks.”

After what he went through, the town councilman needed no further convincing to get the vaccine. Now fully vaccinated, Hamblin looks forward to playing country music with his band again before live audiences — as long as they’re vaccinated.

“I want people to be able to enjoy the summer, and I think we can if everybody gets vaccinated,” he said.

“I live to play music every weekend, and that was taken from me with this virus. We have a range of an audience, from [ages] 21 to 75 and up. I don't want to feel responsible for playing a venue where there are people there that aren't vaccinated and very vulnerable. You need to respect your neighbor. You’re not just protecting yourself — you’re protecting someone else's grandmother or mother or sister.”

That’s why this shot matters to Hamblin. He knows firsthand what can happen without it.

“I know there are folks out there that don’t trust the vaccine, but the alternative is not worth it,” he said. “I just hope that people who won’t be as lucky as I am don’t wait for COVID to affect them before they decide to get the vaccine. It’s like playing Russian roulette.”

To get vaccinated, go to vaccinate.virginia.gov. To read more stories like this, visit vcuhealth.org/thisshotmatters.