It's August 2021. We, not just Louisville, but Kentucky, the United States, and the entire world are in the midst of a Pandemic. We're all trying to navigate around this new disease known as COVID-19 (to answer the question that no one asked: COronaVIrus Disease 2019). Most people felt that, at some point, everyone would get this disease. Last week, I became one of those people. Last week, I tested positive for COVID-19.
Oh my God! Are you okay?!?!
Oh yeah, I'm fine.
Wait, aren't you suppose to be vaccinated?
Yes, I am. Imma get to that in a bit.
I'm about 7 to 10 days from when I assume I was exposed to the virus. The journey has taken place and I figured, I'd share it with all my insights included.
First of all, I have no clue when or where I came in contact with COVID. I do know that, at some point in time last week, I felt as if I was coming down with a sinus infection. I had a lot of sinus congestion. Now, anyone from the Ohio Valley region of the country knows that we just have terrible luck with allergies. In fact, as I'm typing this, I asked my Google Assistant " What is considered the worst place in the country for allergies?" The answer: Louisville, Kentucky. My home town: Louisville, Kentucky. For this reason, sinus congestion is just an annoyance that people here deal with. Nothing triggered the alarms until I suddenly couldn't smell or taste anything.
Some of you may know, The Moon loves food and drinks. The senses of smell and taste are very important to me. The taste of food. The aroma of a very well-made bourbon. The smell of fresh rain. All of these and so much more are such an important facet of my life. It's so strange for them to just be gone in a flash. I told my wife, but I didn't want to acknowledge that I might have the 'VID. It wasn't until my daughter started showing signs of being sick while she was at my mother's house having a "Girl's weekend" prior to the start of school, that I entered Dad-Mode and got us both tested for COVID-19. Both tests came back positive, confirming my greatest fear amidst this pandemic. Not that I'd get sick, but that my kids would.
My wife and I both agreed that once a vaccine for COVID-19 was available, we would take it. We both knew how vaccines worked and I looked into this vaccine throughout its development, especially since it's been such a hot-button topic.
Okay, now hold on. You got the vaccine and you still got COVID?! How does that even happen?
Glad you asked. I was about to tell you anyway. It works like this: Basically, a virus has to run its course in your body. Your white blood cells will encounter the virus and start fighting it. What this, and other vaccines, do is teach your body's army (the immune system) how to fight the disease prior to you actually get it. The traditional way was to introduce your body to an inactive form of the virus so that your body could go all Area-51-from-Independence-Day on it. Now, with this type of vaccine, it enters your cells and takes advantage of the cell's mRNA (messenger RNA) process, and teaches our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response in the body. This way, your body learns what to do in case it ever actually encounters the disease.
Vaccines DO NOT make you disease-proof. Even if you're fully vaccinated, you CAN still catch COVID-19. The benefit of having the vaccine, versus not, is that your body knows how to fight it from Day 1 of having it, meaning you attack sooner and quicker. That translates into less sick time and the impact of the disease is minimized. Of course, I'd be wrong if I didn't note that, since every body is different and doesn't react the same way as everyone else, some people will find symptoms are just as harsh, while some will find the vaccine ineffective. This is the same as with any modern medicine. Have you ever taken a drug that someone you know swears by and it did nothing for you? Same difference.
So, now under quarantine with my family. My wife who is vaccinated, my mother-in-law who wasn't fully vaccinated at the time of exposure, and my kids, none of which are old enough to receive the vaccine. We encountered my mother, who is vaccinated, and my mother's hairdresser, who is also vaccinated. My wife got tested the day after my daughter and I did. My mother and her hairdresser tested a few days later. All three tested negative, despite being directly exposed. This is also what the vaccine is supposed to do - minimize the likelihood that, if exposed to a positive person, you yourself would catch it. This leads me to assume (just an assumption) that I caught it from an unvaccinated person. Someone whose body was not fighting off the virus as efficiently. This is just an assumption - I could be totally off base. But, given the exposure, especially that of my wife, and their test results, it's at least a supported theory.
As for how I'm feeling, honestly, I feel great. I only felt sick for a day or two, and of that time, I was only really down for a day. My taste and smell returned after about 3 or 4 days and I've been more frustrated that I was feeling good, but stuck under quarantine than anything else. My kids have had a bit of a harder time than me, but even they were up and about playing as they typically do the following day after feeling sick. One kid has had an up and down low-grade fever, but otherwise, normal; one kid hasn't even gotten sick.
All in all, having COVID post-vaccine, hasn't been a problem at all. For this reason, given my experience, I suggest to anyone who can get vaccinated. Yes, I know some people have their random reservations. Some of concerned about ingredients. Some are concerned about how quickly the vaccine was developed. Some don't trust it because political leaders told them not to (Don't be that person). Quick answers to those questions: 1, I actually got a list of ingredients when I received my first shot. There is an available list of ingredients available on the CDC website (I looked them up before typing that sentence, just to be sure). Besides, you never asked for the ingredients in your sweet and sour sauce or your Tylenol or a million other things that you ingest or encounter on the regular. Why would you suddenly care about this? 2, You know, most of the time it takes to make a vaccine has little to do with the vaccine itself. There are all kinds of "red tape" that one must go through to start that process. There are issues with funding. Fun Fact: the biggest hold-up to the Polio vaccine was just producing enough of the virus, despite the Polio outbreak, so they could make the vaccine. Also, you don't typically have nearly everyone in the world working on the same project at once. Surprisingly enough, that will cut the time a bit. 3, Because who gets medical advice from politicians?! Even the ones that are doctors have another agenda. If it is not cool with Party lines, they ignore it.
I suggest that you get vaccinated. It's our best shot at getting back to normal and our best shot at eliminating variants. They come fr.... you know, I'm not doing all the work for you.
Do your thing. Get the shot. The Moon is fine. The House of Moon is fine. Live free, but don't be a lemon!
- The Moon