Michael Freedy’s fiance wishes you didn’t know his name. She wishes she wasn’t telling NBC that they had five children together, that he was listed as “My Heart” in her phone, that what they they thought was sun poisoning ended up being the early symptoms of COVID-19. She wishes she wasn’t telling The Washington Post that, “The end was brutal. It was just like you see on TV… with shouts of ‘He’s coding!’ and people running in with paddles and calls for scalpels, pulse checks, desperate chest compressions. ‘And when you’re a spectator in it, there’s no trying to slide out the door. You just have to stay in the back of the room and out of the way.”’ She wishes she weren’t doing interview after interview after interview with one message: Get the Covid vaccine.
Now her five children have no father. They weren’t opposed to vaccination. They just wanted to wait a year and see about side effects, she says. Now, she has a message for Americans: “I would take a bad reaction to the vaccine over having to bury my husband. I would take that any day.”
COVID-19 survivors and loved ones who’s lost are starting to speak out as danger from the Delta variant grows, as hospital beds fill up, as we hit case numbers we haven’t seen since last summer — the overwhelming majority of those cases among the unvaccinated. And those survivors and loved ones are only echoing Freedy’s fiance: Get the Covid vaccine.
Myth: Young and Healthy People Don’t Need a Covid Vaccine
21-year-old Isaiah Dennis and his 19-year-old wife Abby, both of Mississippi, are urging people to get the vaccine. His wife says he was rarely sick: “I’ve seen him maybe get like a stuffy nose or a runny nose but that’s about like the extent of it.” But Dennis spent six days in the hospital, including time on a ventilator, when he contracted COVID-19 two months after his wedding.
“I guess I’ve always taken breathing for granted until you actually get put on the ventilator,” he said. “That was the scary part, being put on the ventilator. That was, in my mind, when I thought the vaccine might not be a bad idea.” His wife was terrified when doctors couldn’t assure her that her husband would pull through. And now they’re urging everyone: get the Covid vaccine.
“It would be dumb not to get vaccinated,” he said.
They Were Worried About Side Effects — And Regret It
Ekaterina Wilson of High Point, North Carolina, told WFMY News, “You have to have it [the Covid vaccine] or you’re going to get sick… You need it to stay healthy.” Diagnosed with COVID-19, the 39-year-old recently spent five days in the hospital, and while it still hurts to talk, she wants to get the message out: get the Covid vaccine.
While she wasn’t intubated, she was dropping oxygen numbers when she spoke a few sentences or went to the bathroom. Wilson said, “I would love to be able to go back in time and tell myself to get the vaccine, that it’s safe… but I was just so nervous over how new it was. It’s safe though and it’s needed. What isn’t safe is what I just went through after getting COVID-19.”
49-year-old Kayasa Cobb of Miramar, Florida is also urging people to get the vaccine. She spent thirteen days battling COVID-19, and was only given a 50-50 chance of survival. With underlying conditions, she was worried about blood clots — but ended up with both Covid and blood clots. She was treated with “blood thinners, blood and iron infusions, monoclonal antibodies and Remdesivir.” “Very weak with Covid,” she needed oxygen.
“I was concerned about side effects [of the Covid vaccine],” she said. “I wanted to see how it played out before I got the vaccine. I was concerned about blood clots and ironically I was concerned about blood clots yet I ended up with blood clots and COVID.’
He Made Fun Of The Covid Vaccine — And Didn’t Make It
Stephen Harmon of Los Angeles was only 34 years old when he died of COVID-19. He’d spent the past months mocking the vaccine on social media, reports NBC.
From his now-protected Twitter account, six weeks before his death, he posted: “I got 99 problems, but a vax ain’t one.”
On July 8, he said, “Biden’s door to door vaccine ‘surveyors’ really should be called JaCovid Witnesses. #keepmovingdork.”
He went to Hillsong Church in Los Angeles, where Pastor Brian Houston told NBC Harmon was “one of the most generous people you’ll ever meet.” But on the subject of the Covid vaccine, he was regrettably, tragically wrong. If he had only taken a simple shot, he’d probably be here; CNN reports that the CDC says only 0.004% who are vaccinated get sick enough to require hospitalization; less than 0.001% of vaccinated people have died of Covid.
Let’s Talk About Covid Vaccine Odds
It may, as CNN says, sound like a lot to say that 1,263 vaccinated people have died of COVID-19. However, that’s out of 163 million vaccinated Americans. Those are lottery-ticket odds.
Despite these numbers and stories, a Washington Post-ABC News poll earlier in the summer showed that 29% of Americans were “unlikely to get vaccinated.”
We know that no vaccine is 100% effective. But as the Kaiser Family Foundation notes, the CDC only monitors breakthrough infections when they result in hospitalization or death — they stopped monitoring all breakthrough Covid infections on May 1. Among states that kept data on breakthrough cases for all fully vaccinated individuals — not just those that resulted in hospitalization or death — rates ranged from 4% of all the state’s Covid cases (Arizona) to 0.2% of all the state’s Covid cases (Connecticut and New Jersey).
Covid breakthrough cases are rare.
Covid hospitalizations and deaths are happening almost exclusively among the unvaccinated.
Everyone needs to heed the stories of those who’ve lost loved ones and those who’ve managed to survive. As the more transmissible Delta strain takes over, as schools open, as Americans become more complacent about distancing and hand washing, we need everyone to get vaccinated. Save your life. Save other lives.
Get your Covid vaccine, and get it now.