Staying vigilant: COVID is here to stay
The last thing I wanted to write about this month, and I am sure the last thing my readers want to see, is another article about COVID-19. I am so sick of typing it, talking about it and frankly hearing about it. However, it is still very much with us and it is here to stay. I wanted to share my own recent personal experiences with my readers after having the mindset that I was someone who would never contract COVID-19, after totally avoiding it for so long.
We decided after two years plus that it was time for a well-deserved family vacation. We just returned from Disney World in Florida, but despite my best efforts of hand hygiene, masking on the flight, etc. my family of five are all positive for COVID-19 at the moment. It started with my youngest son; who remains unvaccinated, due to his age, with a low grade fever and vomiting followed by diarrhea. OK, we had picked up the dreaded stomach virus in Disney right? Not so fast. The next day my older son and myself started with sore throat, malaise and some body aches. I experienced a lower backache akin to my back labors with my children. It was time to take out the test kits I had squirreled away for the past year or so. One by one, all of us tested rapidly positive. I was surprised, but not at the same time; given the amount of people we were around in the parks, airport, planes and during resort to park transportation. Over the next few days, we all experienced what seems like a bad head cold symptoms: congestion, runny noses, sneezing and slight coughs. We’re only a few days into this thing, but I hope by the time this article goes to press, this will be all over and done with.
My family, with the exception of my youngest child, is all fully vaccinated and boosted. I can only hope that our symptoms were this mild because of the vaccine. One can argue that I’ll never know for sure though. My readers know by now I am pro vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is no different. I am thankful I decided to vaccinate my 8 and 10 year old at the end of last year/early 2022. I will continue to follow the science and boost where necessary. I encourage my readers to do their own research, ask their doctors questions and carefully choose what is best for their families. Now they are rolling out the vaccines to children under 5 too, at smaller doses than the adult and older child doses.
Remember, these vaccines were designed to keep people from getting severe illness requiring hospitalization. They will not keep you from contracting COVID-19, particularly as variants spread. It seems as if we will all be living with this for the foreseeable future and years to come, with people being infected over and over again. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is here to stay, but the difference now is we have the tools to fight this thing.
Stay vigilant and stay healthy this summer.
Maria H. Drzaszcz, a Hammonton resident, is a registered nurse with 14 years critical care experience and is the proud mom of three young children.