COVID isn’t over, even for the vaccinated.
Please stay vigilant and safe.
Though I am thoroughly tired of talking about COVID (as I’m sure you all are), it is still among us and a very real issue. Two of my fully vaccinated patients have come forward about getting COVID (again, they were fully vaccinated!!), and though they were not hospitalized, they were still very ill for more than two weeks.
I have another patient who caught COVID before vaccines were even available, and now is experiencing Long-Haul COVID, and I have witnessed first-hand the devastation and life changes that this virus has brought to her life. The virus is painfully real and remains a danger, particularly to those not vaccinated.
I am in no way trying to undermine confidence in the vaccines, but rather raise awareness that caution and precaution are still necessary. The vaccines are very effective, and it is understood, they do not protect us 100%, but do prevent severe illness requiring hospitalization.
COVID cases are back on the rise, with the U.S. hitting new record high numbers.
Most areas of the country are seeing a new surge in COVID-19 cases as variants of the virus serve as a painful reminder that the pandemic is not over despite eased restrictions. This is predominantly being driven by the highly transmissible Delta and Delta Plus variants.
Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have documented an increase in average daily cases over the past two weeks. We are moving around more, travel is surging nationally and internationally, and restrictions have been eased or dropped altogether in most places here in the US. Not exactly a winning combination to put an end to the pandemic in our own community, nationally or globally.
The United States recorded 79,310 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, July 16th, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number is now the highest in the world, exceeding recorded totals from Indonesia (54,000), the United Kingdom (51,949), and Brazil (45,591), and doubling that of India (38,079). The spiking case number matches the level hit in October 2020, a record at the time, though it would not remain so for long. Despite the effectiveness of multiple vaccines against the virus, vaccine hesitancy is fueling “a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. The vast majority of all patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, according to the CDC.
In Oregon you are still at risk, even if you are vaccinated and outdoors.
As the highly transmissible Delta variant sweeps across the world and our nation — fueling an increase in COVID-19 cases — Oregon is no exception. For at least 11 consecutive weeks COVID-19 cases had been decreasing in Oregon, until last week. Health experts point to the highly contagious Delta variant as a factor, first detected in India, as state and federal officials continue to warn about a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
Additionally, I came across a startling COVID story that was posted by a professional colleague of mine that really hits home the fact that COVID is not over, despite Oregon being fully opened. Both adults in the following story were fully vaccinated. The exposure took place outdoors.
I am posting this story with permission in hopes that it will be instructive and illuminating.
A gentle reminder and warning…
Ironically, on the day the State of Oregon opened up 100%, we received the shocking news of positive PCR covid test for my 4 year old. Yes, complete shock, 15 months of being extra “covid-conscious” and way more strict on guidelines than most.
A few days prior he had a negative rapid test and his symptoms appeared to be a common cold or allergies, so we went along with our normal routine (though we did keep him and his sister both home from preschool – thankfully).
Due to his negative rapid test and minimal symptoms, we proceeded with having a first birthday party for our daughter with family and a few close friends. In order to protect my immunocompromised best friend and the kids who can not be vaccinated, I had originally requested that everyone wear masks even though almost everyone was vaccinated and it’s not even the current CDC recommendations, but as the outside temperature kept increasing we decided to ease our restrictions (everyone else goes on with their lives as normal, why can’t we?) and proceeded with the party without masks.
Tuesday rolls around and my partner and 1 year old both woke up sick. We decide to keep the kids home another day to rest since we can work remote and, well, why spread a common cold to the school?
Wednesday morning we check my partners email to find that my 4 year olds PCR test results are positive. A spiral of a day contacting people we had seen, feeling an Immense amount of guilt. We made covid test appointments for the rest of us.
My partners test results came back positive and his results are part of a study for vaccinated people. He feels and sounds awful, has tightness in his chest, and shortness of breath. I woke up this Thursday morning with body aches and pains all down my shoulders and back. My 1 year old and I currently have negative results but I plan to retest since we both have symptoms. These last two days I’ve felt like I was glued to my bed, paralyzed, and couldn’t even get up. I partially lost my taste as of today and woke up with a bad sore throat.
Overall, both kids are doing okay and no other people from my one year olds birthday party have shown symptoms.
We know where we contracted it, and it was from an unvaccinated friend, who we assumed was vaccinated. He is not doing well and has to get a chest X‑ray to see the damage.
Takeaway: DO NOT trust rapid tests. Go with your gut feeling. Just because the state is opening, doesn’t mean we are in clear water — we are actually very far from it. If you are unvaccinated, please do your part and inform people you are going to be around, especially if those people are diligent about keeping their family and immunocompromised friends safe. Better yet, reconsider your decision to get vaccinated.
Yes, you can get covid with the vaccine, just milder symptoms. I am glad we don’t have to witness my partner or I with covid without the vaccine, I am sure we have the delta variant as our symptoms are pretty severe.
Please no negative comments. This is to bring awareness, for those who care.
Thanks for taking the time to read this! Feel free to share if you think it will be of help to someone.