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I grew up in Oklahoma, lived in Missouri for the past 10 years, have spent most of my life in the Midwest and South. I very much felt what you are feeling right now. I tried hard to protect my community in MO/OK from COVID – I went to local government meetings, was active on social media, I was interviewed by the local paper. Most people just did not want to believe that it was real. The moral injury was too much, so this is what I did – I moved. I now live in northern Arizona and work full-time at an IHS hospital. The local people where I work on the reservation saw the devastation that COVID brought, and they responded as well as they could to protect their communities. There was never any politicization on the reservation over COVID. It was simply about protecting their family, elders, and community. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you – isn’t that what we’re all supposed to do? The vaccination rate of adults on the reservation is higher than virtually anywhere in the US – somewhere around 75% or so. We see only a handful of cases now. The worst is over, here. I feel grateful to be working here. It has done wonders for my mental health. Keep fighting the good fight. But if you have to move to protect your family, your sanity, and your moral conscience, then go.

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