We all hear about mandates, and people being put in a position to have to choose between providing for their family or putting something in their body that they don’t want.

I am a firm believer that the choice should be left to each individual person.

I have my own personal viewpoints on the COVID vaccine, but I also have immense respect for my family and friends who have different viewpoints. I have as much respect for the person who chooses to get it as I do for the person who chose to decline it.

At the end of the day, all of us want the same thing. We want nothing more than for our family and friends to be safe and for this virus to be behind us.

A couple of weeks ago, I was handed a letter, one I didn’t expect. I was told I needed to provide proof of full vaccination or be terminated by January 1.

I’ve wrestled with what to do. I’ve had anxiety attacks, I’ve sobbed, I’ve cried, I’ve been angry, been sad. Every emotion you can think of, I’ve experienced these past two weeks.

Eleven years ago, I found a career that I love, that I quickly became passionate about, and I’ve worked my butt off to get to where I am today.

I strive to show up every day and be the best I can be, and I have been told by every office/dentist that I have worked for that I am “the best employee they have ever worked with.”

I don’t call in, ever. I hardly ever take vacations because I want to be a reliable employee, to not ever put my co-workers in a position to have to cover for me and my duties.

Providing for my family and the passion I have for what I do has kept me in a constant wrestling match in my head. Since when did we get to where I have to decide what’s more important, my rights to my own body or providing for my family? Having to follow along with doing what my employer feels is best for HIS body, or be terminated?

We must hold on to the fact that we as Americans have rights under the Constitution to civil liberties.

I could have made the decision to keep my career and my job, and to get the jab in order to protect both, but where will it end? How many boosters are going to be required to be considered fully vaccinated?

And don’t say that won’t happen, because I also heard “they will never deny entrance/jobs or force people to get it,” but here we are.

I respect the people who decided to get the jab in order to keep their job, I respect the people who decided to get the jab for their peace of mind, and I respect the ones who are standing up for our rights.

I do not respect being forced to do something I had decided against.

Many have given up way more than I have, and I have mad respect for you guys—for all of you, vaxxed and unvaxxed.

Yesterday, I put in my two weeks’ notice and will be changing career paths in order to stand up for what is right.

I am incredibly blessed with an amazing and supportive husband who has stood by me and been just what I needed during this time. I’m blessed that we are in a position where I can step away from my job, even though it’ll mean making changes to our lifestyle.

There is a war going on for our rights as humans, and I will not stand by and be silent anymore.

So, here’s to new beginnings!

The best employee you once had

This is a commentary published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to submission@texasscorecard.com.

Geneva Hines

Geneva is a wife and a mother of three. She lives in Central Texas with her family.