Cynthia (53), Teacher. Waikato, NZ.

I was working in an Early Childhood centre when the mandates were forced upon us. I was sent an email that outlined what the MOE was enforcing and had a meeting with the centres owners who tried to convince me to take the jab and then tried to guilt me into it by bringing the children into it.

As I refused I was emailed a letter of termination and offered a reference for any future jobs I applied for. I don't remember being offered leave without pay or any other opportunities to return if/when mandates were lifted.

I am a solo mum so had to go on a benefit which was hard. It created a lot of stress and anxiety around what my future looked like and will I be able to keep my house etc.

Before I was terminated we had rules placed on us around the wearing of masks and I was not happy about it so I avoided the situations where it was expected, I read stats that showed they were ineffective and detrimental to your health and I felt it was harmful for the young children I was looking after and their development.

The mandates affected my family in other ways, some activities such as scouts and sports excluded my children.

Extended family did not support my stance and also felt justified in excluding us from Christmas gatherings and working for them.

It was a very isolating experience

I was on the benefit for six months that put me in a hole I have not been able to recover from financially but I have been able to keep my house. I was given an opportunity to work in a different career and am very thankful to have had that opportunity. Looking back I wouldn't change my position, I would say that it has made me stronger and more resolute in my stance especially since friends who took the jab under coercion have since had health issues.

I do not agree with mandatory vaccinations or any kind of forced medical interventions, body autonomy is a fundamental human right. I hope that this will never happen to us again

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