Tuesday , June 15 2021

Virginia mom recruits four of her sons to work alongside her on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic

Michele Fletcher, 58, has lived her entire life helping others, including first and foremost as a mother to seven children, so it was natural for her to recruit family to join the pandemic front lines.

Fletcher said it started when Covid-19 impacted the jobs of four of her sons — Michael, Kyle, Brendan and Nick.

When vaccines became available, Arlington Public Health sent out a message saying it needed help running vaccination sites, she said.

“So they were hiring and it just was like, ‘Hey, guys, we need you. Here’s an opportunity for you to do some good in the community and have jobs that are meaningful,’ and the rest is kind of history.”

The four men started working in different positions. Michael told CNN he quit his job at a grocery store to work as a volunteer coordinator.

“First of all, everyone should get vaccinated by their mother, it is the best experience possible,” he said. “The goal every day is just to help people. And I feel very fortunate to have found a way to be a part of that.”

Michael said his real inspiration was his mom, whom he watched start a career later in life, and care for those in underserved communities.

“That’s the sort of stuff that I would love to do,” he said. “And so, when this opportunity came around, I was like, ‘Oh, wait, I could actually I could do this right.’ It was an easy decision for me.”

Now giving back is the family business, and Michele and Michael said they wouldn’t have it any other way. They even joked about getting Michele’s grandchildren involved.

“I feel closer to everybody than I have maybe ever before. I don’t think we’ve ever had this much in common,” Michael said. “Pretty much every day someone gets to discover that we are all related, and that seems to bring everyone a lot of joy.”

Michele said it’s a gift to be able to see her sons in a different light, away from being under their family’s roof, and on their own.

“It’s just been a pleasure working with them. It really has,” she said. “We joke a lot of times … ‘Don’t make me call my mom … if you’re not going to do what you’re supposed to do, I can call my mom and she’s the safety officer. So, watch out!’ It’s been fun.”

On top of working with family, the Fletchers want everyone to know that you don’t have to have a medical degree to help fight on the front lines.

The easiest thing they suggest is to get vaccinated, but if someone is looking for greater involvement they should check their local Medical Reserve Corps for job openings or volunteer opportunities.
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