By Eric Trent / [email protected]
Adam Deck is no stranger to COVID-19. Both his parents contracted it and survived. Her grandmother died two weeks after being hospitalized with COVID-19. Deck may have had it himself when he was ill in March 2020 when the pandemic started to gain traction, but was unable to get tested at the time.
Deck, 41, of Napavine, is entering his third year as the Mossyrock boys’ basketball coach. He was hired in 2019 to help rejuvenate a program that has only won three games in total in the three years leading up to his arrival. Now, he might not have the chance to see his rebuilding end.
Governor Jay Inslee on Wednesday announced a broad immunization mandate for all educators in public, private and charter schools. With the exception of medical or religious exemptions, all staff must be fully immunized by October 18, or face dismissal. With no alternative to regular testing, the order is more stringent than many other vaccine mandates across the country.
Deck, who does not want to be vaccinated, took to Twitter on Wednesday to express his take on the new term.
“My goal was to create a program that would make my community proud,” Deck wrote using the Mossyrock Viking Basketball Twitter account. “I wanted to rebuild this program to be respectable and make our gym a tough place to play again. I am saddened to be cut off from these goals. I am saddened to be deprived of my freedoms.
“I spent so much effort, time and money rebuilding this program. I had big dreams and goals for my program, my current and future players. It’s a sad day for me and, I’m sure, for many more to come. Being forced to do something that I’m not comfortable doing is wrong.
Deck, in an interview with The Chronicle on Thursday, said there were a plethora of reasons he wouldn’t get the shot and make sure he’s able to continue coaching a team he’s put everything into. her heart and soul over the past three years.
First and foremost, he doesn’t believe in vaccinations, outright.
Deck has not been vaccinated since getting the flu shot in elementary school. He only missed three days of school in 12 years and that was due to chickenpox.
“I’m not on vaccinations,” Deck said. “I don’t mean to say that I am never sick, but I have rarely been sick. I have been blessed with good health; not everyone is. I guess I’ll take my 98.2% chance of surviving without these things. “
Deck wants it to be clear that he is not reckless. His girlfriend for nine years has suffered from Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease. With her weakened immune system, the couple were very careful not to expose her to COVID, he said.
Another big problem he has with the vaccine is that it is not yet approved by the FDA and he believes it has not been properly checked for long term effects. Deck and his sister have had to deal with the repercussions of medical complications in the past.
When he was 15 and his sister was 14, the siblings started taking Accutane, a drug used to treat severe acne. They had their blood drawn every two weeks to make sure the medicine was not affecting their liver or kidneys.
Eleven years later, at the age of 25, her sister was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, which was later attributed to Accutane. She would eventually have her large intestine removed and now has an inside pocket made from her small intestine to collect waste. Eventually she will have a colostomy bag on the outside of her body.
Deck, thankfully, has never been confronted with his sister’s outcome, but does face some digestive issues associated with taking the drug. He’s not opposed to other people getting vaccinated, he just doesn’t think it’s the right decision for him.
“It was over 10 years later, so you never know what might happen later,” Deck said. “I just don’t trust (the vaccine). I’m going to trust my body to fight it and that’s my story. People might not have stories like this, but I don’t trust anything that hasn’t been proven to work. “
Deck’s next step is to apply for the religious exemption, which he hopes to experience. But if he can’t get it, he said he would rather be fired or made redundant than get the shot.
“I’m religious, I read my bible, I’m a Christian,” Deck said. “I don’t regularly attend a certain church. I live in a fairly small town in Lewis County so I don’t think people will have too much of a problem with that. It wouldn’t be wrong because I fully believe in Jesus Christ. It’s not something I would use to lie. There will be people, I’m sure, who will use it to keep their jobs.
Deck, who graduated from Mossyrock in 1998, has put it all on the Vikings’ basketball team for the past three years. Mossyrock won his first district game in five years after beating Mary M. Knight in a district playoff opener on June 3 before falling in the district semifinals four days later. The Vikings, who had no positive COVID tests last season, ended their year with an 11-6 record. The 11 wins were more than the previous five years combined.
Most recently, he helped raise $ 4,000 for the school district’s basketball program through a charity golf tournament to pay for basketball camps and help fund the fifth and sixth grade teams.
Leaving the team and the players he has bonded with in recent years wouldn’t be easy, Deck admits. He knows the school district has no say in the mandate, he’s just frustrated at potentially losing all of the heart and work he’s put in. He would make the 70-minute round trip to high school to leave a child in the gym. The paycheck he gets for being the head coach doesn’t even cover the money he needs to get to and from training.
“This is my dream job,” Deck said. “I like to train, I gave everything I had in training. I put money into this program and into this community that raised me and that I love. I love children and have established a good relationship.
“Coaching is great, but helping these kids become men is exactly what my coach did for me, and that’s probably why I wanted to coach. I like to be part of a family. If choosing to use this exemption is going to help me stay a head coach, then I will. “