Since March 2020, I’ve lived almost as though there was no such thing as a coronavirus vaccine.

You might wonder why, as multiple vaccines have been available since earlier this year, some even before that.

I’ll tell you why.

My wife is an essential worker who encounters a variety of people daily, both masked and unmasked. She’s a total rock star, and started wearing a mask at work before almost anyone else in the country. I’m talking February 2020, when the CDC issued its first warning and there were only a handful of positive cases here in the U.S.

Since then, over 787,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. At 61K deaths, my adopted state of Florida is the third worst, behind only Texas and California. 

What does all that have to do with me? Well, I don’t only interact with my lovely wife. We also visit my 85-year-old mother, who lives a few miles up the road from us. She has multiple co-morbidities that COVID-19 just loves, like asthma and chronic bronchitis. It’s a worthwhile goal, I think, to do my utmost to make sure I don’t commit matricide.

 

Another Patience Test

This pandemic has tested the patience of many, and I’d say many have failed. Possibly most. Never known as a patient guy myself, I’ve been in the unenviable position of waiting it out: continuing to avoid social situations, masking up, and generally acting like we’re still in the beginning of the pandemic.

In other words, although I’ve gotten two doses and a third booster shot, I behave as if I’d gotten no protection. I’m that careful.

Why did I think I got COVID this past weekend?

As you may know, vaccinations do not prevent COVID infection, although they do reduce the chance of infection by roughly 80%. They’re intended to reduce the likelihood of serious illness and death, and they are shown to be very effective. However…

 

What Happened This Weekend

I’m my mother’s son. Not that I’m a mama’s boy by any stretch of the imagination. What I mean is I take after my mother’s side of the family, and her in particular. If she’s got a physical issue that’s not specifically gender-related, chances are good that I either have it, will have it, or am susceptible to getting it.

Fortunately, I don’t have asthma or chronic bronchitis. Not quite. When I lived up north, I’d get a sinus infection every winter, and if I didn’t get it knocked out fast enough, it would go into an upper respiratory infection, a.k.a., bronchitis.

There’s your susceptibility.

This weekend, I finally took a little time to go out for coffee with a friend. He’s been almost the opposite of me throughout the pandemic. Though vaxxed and boostered, he’s also socialized frequently, traveled outside the U.S., and generally been out and about nearly every day. We had our drinks outside at a table, and took our masks off for about an hour or two.

The following day, I sneezed about 25-30 times, used up an entire box of tissues, and had a very runny nose. Interestingly, I quickly learned that sneezing is a common symptom among vaxxed people who get breakthrough infections.

Because I’ve been so cautious all these months (nearly two years, for goodness’ sake), I was upset to think I might have gotten infected so easily, even after three jabs. An at-home antigen self test revealed a negative result, so I’m relieved…though I’m not happy I had to blow $25 just to find out I don’t have a virus I shouldn’t have in the first place.

So, how was your weekend?

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