Thursday, February 17, 2022

My Week with Covid-19 - Playing the Odds and Winning

Yesterday, the Indianapolis Star published a story about a woman who refused to get the Covid-19 vaccine and regretted it when she ended up hospitalized with the virus.  While she escaped death, she wanted her story published as a warning to those who resist getting vaccinated.

It didn't take long for a reader to comment that the Covid-19 vaccine is not a "vaccine" because it is not 100% effective against people getting and spreading the disease.  

Ridiculous.  A vaccine does not have to be 100% effective for it to be a vaccine.  People get vaccinated against the flu every year, but vaccinated people sometimes get the flu anyway and can spread it. The reader cited the polio vaccine as an example of a real vaccine, apparently oblivious to the fact that even the polio vaccine wasn't 100% effective.  I looked it up.  Two shots of the polio vaccine gave 90% protection.  A third shot boosted that to 99%.  Still not 100%. Breakthrough polio cases still happened despite the vaccine.

The reader also bemoaned the Star for not publishing stories about those who refused the vaccine and only got mild cases of Covid-19.  Of course, those cases exist.  A lot of them in fact. But why in the world would one want to take chances with their health?  It's all about playing the odds. And the odds are that if you are vaccinated and boosted, you are much less likely to get Covid and, if you do get it, the symptoms from the disease are likely to be much less severe.

I know that from personal experience.  My 90-year old mother was coughing a few weeks ago so I tested her for Covid and found out she was positive.  A friend of mine insisted I also test myself.  I didn't see the point.  After all, I didn't really have the traditional Covid symptoms.  And like my mother, I had been vaccinated and boosted.  Yet I also tested positive.  

For the next week, my mother and I were (separately) in isolation.   Her coughing subsided after a couple days.  She had no other symptoms after that and felt fine.  The forced social isolation was by far the worst part of her Covid experience.  (I am much better at being isolated.)  My symptom-less Covid experience continued throughout the week.  I must say I have never felt better during the week I had Covid.

At the same time, I had my symptom-less bout with Covid, others were being hospitalized and dying from the disease.  Many others avoided a trip to the hospital, but had significant health complications, such as difficulty breathing, fever, etc.   Even those who eventually tested negative for Covid, may still have health consequences that could last for years.  

There is one thing in common with almost all of these people mentioned above - they didn't get vaccinated and boosted when urged to do so.  Nearly 950,000 Americans have died from Covid, almost all of whom were pre-vaccine or who refused to get vaccinated when they had the opportunity.

Yes, if you don't get vaccinated and boosted, you still may have an asymptomatic Covid experience like I had.  But the odds of that happening are much lower if you are fully vaccinated.  So why take the risk?

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