Lifestyle

Don't Use My COVID Experience to Support Your Anti-Vax B.S.

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The day I had been dreading since mid-March of 2020 finally came. What started off as congestion (which I totally thought might be allergies) quickly snowballed into a feeling I can only describe as getting hit by a truck …which then proceeded to slam itself into reverse and run me over repeatedly.

Everything they said was true. A headache that didn’t get better for days. Body aches that made me hurt in ways I didn’t even know I could. A cough, a runny nose, and yes — I couldn’t taste a freaking thing.

All that said, my COVID experience was mild-ish. Why? Because I got vaccinated. Fully vaxxed, y’all. I was never hospitalized. All I worried about was isolating, answering calls from contact tracers (to help as best I could), and ordering groceries and takeout, so my family didn’t starve.

As the days went on, some friends and family were quick to point out that COVID might not be that bad after all, since you know, we seemed to be okay. Wait, what? Excuse me. Did you not all hear me say I was vaxxed?! Cue the rant.

My COVID Experience Didn’t Kill Me, But Not Because It’s “Not That Bad”

My unvaxxed family members were convinced, without a shadow of a doubt, that COVID didn’t kill me because it simply isn’t that bad.

I’d like to think anti-vaxxers and COVID deniers are simply naive. They don’t have access to the same information I do. If only I could explain to them the science and how effective mitigation techniques like masking and social distancing help us all. Except they already know. There is no way they’ve been able to ignore the plight of the entire world as we know it for almost two years.

Here is what you’ve got to know about people who live and die by this illogical logic: There is nothing you can say or do to convince them otherwise. Many get their news from Facebook and Twitter. They’re convinced all the science is really a plot orchestrated by the government to microchip them into submission.

At the end of the day, you’ve got to protect your energy and your health. My kids don’t understand why their aunts and uncles are fighting so hard against something they’ve come to know as second nature. It’s hard to explain why we don’t see them as much.

Honestly, the real irony in all of this is for every one person who refuses to believe the science and continues to live life unscathed, there is another one who is doing everything right, and still gets sick.

When You Do Everything Right You Can Still Catch COVID — There is No Shame In That

COVID is a widespread disease that hopefully, someday, will be comparable to the flu. There is no shame in catching a flu bug, so why didn’t I feel this way about having COVID?

As a family, we’ve done everything to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community. We stayed in, even when everyone wanted to mix and mingle. Masks are second nature; we went a whole winter without so much as a sniffle, and yes, it was incredible. Even though we did what was within our control, it still wasn’t enough. When we spoke with contact tracers, and they ran down the list of who we’d been in contact with (other vaxxed family and kids at school), I dreaded them knowing COVID was running amok in our house.

I felt ashamed because it seemed to be my fault that this happened to my family.

But it’s not my fault I caught COVID. Statistically, it was bound to happen. And thankfully, my family’s COVID experience was a comparatively mild one. I’m always hesitant to share our story because it seems to get twisted to fit an anti-vaxx narrative that COVID must not be that bad. But I’m here to tell you from experience — that simply isn’t true.

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