It crept into lives throughout the world meandering our routines, weighing us down with stress and seeping ooze, engulfing communities as it spread (just like in the 1958 movie “The Blob”). It encroached on our space, pushing some to drink, smoke, or eat more, driving us to disinfect the outside of our plastic water bottles, mask our pets, stay away from church, or become religious fanatics. Rocking our world for the past two years, Covid’s victims are now close to home. Existing with “the Vid” appears to have become a way of life…and may be here to stay?
Facts, rumors, and arguments are running rampant, causing road rage and family rifts. Another booster? Sure, even if it’s once a week! And, by the way, mixing shots is awesome!
Even the armed forces do not go unscathed. Navy warships like the USS Milwaukee have been forced to pause deployment, suspended at Guantanamo Bay, due to active Vid cases on board. Talk about being microchipped at birth and a universal passport system?! Maybe it’s in the vaccine! They gotta start somewhere.
All around us, and the globe, photographs of communities of masked individuals, in the past reserved for glossies like National Geographic, have become us. Like eyeglasses, hearing aids and false teeth, masks accompany us. The AMEX tagline: “‘Don’t Live Life Without It”’ dances in our heads.
What do we do? This year’s Time Magazine’s Person of the Year designation was awarded to billionaire Elon Musk. An article by Molly Ball, Jeffry Kluger and Alejandro de la Garza, points out that Musk, “the man from the future,” believes that we’ll be landing on Mars within five years. According to the authors, “…Musk argues that interplanetary life is the next great leap of evolution, like the emergence of multicellular organisms, and also that Mars could provide a home for humanity if Earth becomes uninhabitable…” Maybe there’s hope for humanity should the Vid continue to ravish our Earth?
Seeking to meet the dragon head on, personal contacts who have had the virus were interviewed about their experiences. Here are the respondents’ comments:
When did you have Covid? How was it diagnosed? Which variant did you have?
1) Male, 42: late December 2021
Diagnosed through a testing site. Unknown variant.
2) Female, 66: September 2021
Diagnosed at Northwest Community Healthcare and I am not sure which variant I had.
3) Female, 51: December 2021
Diagnosed by home test. Unknown variant.
4) Male, 53: December 2021
Abbott BinaxNOW home test. Doctor suspected delta.
5) Female, 50ish: December 2021
Believes she had Covid in 2019. Home test. Unknown variant.
6) Male, 50ish: December 2021
Believes he had Covid in 2019. Home test. Unknown variant.
7) Female, 64: December 2020
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Original virus.
8) Male, 70: November 2020
Tested at a local clinic. Delta.
Could you describe your symptoms? Where do you think you encountered it?
1) Male, 42: Headache, body aches, dry cough, sore throat, and fever. I am unsure as to where I encountered it.
2) Female, 66: Like having an intensified flu, I was extremely tired. Everything was an effort. I was coughing and my chest felt heavy which was scary. All I could think about was please, I don’t want to be on a respirator. It is a mind game — I have Covid. I was pretty lucky. I snapped out of it in about a week. My doctor ordered a Regeneron infusion and it really helped. My husband gave me Covid. He was getting a sinus infection and wanted antibiotics, so he went to the doctor’s office where there were a lot of people with flu symptoms. A few days later, he started getting flu symptoms. He got a Covid test and it came back positive.
3) Female, 51: Aches, fatigue, stuffy noise. Think I got it from the casino 2-3 days prior to start of symptoms.
4) Male, 53: Mild congestion and fatigue. About day 8 severe coughing. I got it from my spouse.
5) Female, 50ish: Began with three days of dry constant cough and hot and cold flashes, then sinus headache, runny nose. The dry cough stopped when headaches began. Fatigue, heavy eyes, chills, sweating… sour stomach, nausea, no smell or taste. I may have contracted it Christmas shopping.
6) Male, 50ish: Began with a dry cough and chest like congestion, fever 99.9-101.9, headache, extreme muscle fatigue, lack of focus, sleepy, nausea, hot and cold flashes, sweating… diarrhea, no smell or taste. I could have been exposed at work on multiple occasions due to lazy protocols, although masks and gloves are always used.
7) Female, 64: Fever over 100 for 14 days, extreme tiredness, hacking cough due to sinus post nasal drip. I attribute my somewhat mild case and generally easy recovery to the fact that I had just completed an intense yoga teachers’ training program that included a lot of pranayama (breath work). I had established a daily practice of pranayama and I believe that since I was coming from a place of very strong lung capacity and strength, it kept Covid from going into my lungs. My body was strong from the physical practice. I walked every day, as a friend who had Covid earlier walked every day and thought that it had really helped him recover. So I dragged myself out and walked around the pool. Some days it was twice, some days it was 20.
My massage therapist informed me she had tested positive the day after my massage (two days before Christmas! Ho, Ho, Ho!).
8) Male, 70: First symptom was the chills. Slight fever and some tightness in my chest. Also, a slight headache. After about 8 days I lost the sense of taste for about 2 days. I think I was exposed at a gas station waiting for my car to be inspected.
Do you think you have any long term side effects? Can you provide your vaccination background? How do you feel now that you have had it? Can you share your feelings regarding wearing a mask?
1) Male, 42: Side effects are unknown, but I would say they are unlikely. I had received two vaccine shots and a booster — on the same day as my Covid diagnosis. Go figure! I don’t feel any different having had Covid. In a way, I’m kind of relieved it’s over for me. I think the masks work and they are backed by science. Masks might not be perfect, but they help prevent the spread.
2) Female, 66: I do not believe that I have long term effects. Pfizer was the vaccine that I received. When I went to my annual doctor exam, I told my doctor that I had Covid, and she told me not to get the booster. She said that since I had Covid, it was the best booster I could get. Now that I’ve had Covid, I’m glad. Hopefully my immune system is stronger. I wasn’t afraid to go out before and I am not afraid to go out now. Covid is real and it is a dangerous disease, but the fear mongering over it has been overwhelming. I am so sick of the mask. I do not believe that they are all that helpful. Some masks may be more helpful, but the masks that the majority are wearing are worthless. Not to mention the increased litter. The number of masks I see lying on the ground, it’s awful.
3) Female, 51: I have no long term symptoms. Received Pfizer vaccine, no booster. No real feelings about Covid having had it. It’s the same as before. I wear a mask when required. I do it more to make others feel better.
4) Male, 53: I continue to have a mild cough and from research it appears that this could last days, weeks, or months. I had Johnson & Johnson single dose. No booster. I am not apprehensive about going out and never have been concerned about leaving the house during the pandemic. I plan to do more research on the immunity that I may have based on having Covid. I also plan to do research on the anti-body test to see my level of immunity that I will use as a guide on whether to get a booster. I have mixed feelings on wearing a mask and need to do more research on the effectiveness of this practice. There is such a wide variation on mask wearing that it’s confusing at best on whether or not this practice works.
5) Female, 50ish: I feel it affected my hearing and my short-term memory. I had two shots of Pfizer and no booster… Having Covid twice I know I can get it again. We did not go to any large places, only intimate restaurants where we know owners and/or staff…. I can work remotely but do have to have contact with clients that want personal meetings… I detest wearing a mask. I think more germs breed in that space between our lips and our masks. Gross!
6) Male, 50ish: Long term issues have been hearing loss and short-term memory issues. Received two shots of Pfizer and no booster. I would prefer to stay away from large groups of people and stay within immediate circle of family and friends. I dislike masks, but have no problem wearing them and gloves, especially when at work.
7) Female, 64: I have been very tired for approximately two months post Covid… Had both vaccines: Pfizer, plus the booster. I had a discussion with my physician regarding the likelihood of a second bout. She would imagine that having Covid, inoculated with the booster, would give me immunity, but that is just her current thoughts, as clinical studies have yet to be completed on this. I’m not really worried about getting Covid again, as now there are treatment protocol and since I’ve been vaccinated… I still am careful, social distance, wear my mask, wash my hands and only eat outdoors… Everyone should be wearing a mask.
8) Male, 70: No side effects. I had two Pfizer shots and am not afraid of going out or of getting it again. I had a very mild case where symptoms lasted about three days. I don’t like masks and am not sure if they even work.
Are you satisfied with the messages we are receiving regarding Covid?
1) Male, 42: Mostly, yes. I just wish it wasn’t so politicized.
2) Female, 66: The messages we are receiving are all over the place. Covid is as much of a mystery to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as it is to me.
3) Female, 51: No thoughts on messages.
4) Male, 53: I am very dissatisfied with the messages. I don’t trust the CDC, Fauci, the so-called experts, and the government overall. It is a slippery slope when it is mandated that you have to get a vaccine and wear a mask or lose your job. I am not anti either, but the question is — what’s next?
5) Female, 50ish: There is a “truth” but we have not been told what it is… We need clarification as to how this really began. Why any person would vote for a new administration during a global medical crisis is beyond me! The message we hear is, do not work, over-inflate wages, collect a monthly check, get stimulus Covid checks, don’t pay rent — the government says you don’t have to. The messages stink! We have had no benefits — we own properties, our tenants paid their rent, we did not get stimulus checks, we did not receive any benefits, we pay for our medical bills. Our life goes on. We work, we serve others by volunteering as we did this year providing gifts and opportunities to lesser served communities in Chicago, we have gone on living our lives together and aware. Aware more of the increasing amount of guns and drugs on our streets (city and suburban), the violence, and the free funds to buy guns and drugs. That’s what Covid has done. It has hurt not only Americans’ health, but it has devastated America’s Heart.
6) Male, 50ish: No comment.
7) Female, 64: Yes, you have to be living in a cave not to be informed.
8) Male, 70: No. I don’t think any of our so-called experts have any idea what they are doing. Too much emphasis on vaccines that may have unknown long term side effects and the obsession with masks. We never hear about the drugs that have been developed that can prevent death and greatly reduce the potential for hospitalization.
Hold on! Mr. Musk, can you save us a place on the spacecraft?
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