Well, my eyes were opened.
I thought COVID’s primary targets for infection were older adults, people who had underlying health conditions, were obese, or worked in nursing homes or factories that employed hundreds.
I also thought that even though many younger adults chose not to take precautions, they represented the age group more likely to be COVID carriers and spread the infection, vs getting sick from the infection.
And I also thought people who were healthy, active, and took COVID safety precautions would not get infected.
Then I spoke to a person who approached me in response to a testimonial I had written about a COVID survivor and my understanding of COVID was expanded.
The woman who spoke to me is under age 50, healthy, physically active (she told me that pre COVID infection she worked out five times a week,) took no medications and ate whole foods. She wore a mask, sanitized her work area, and socially distanced.
Then one day in October she came home from work not feeling well. The next day she awoke with a fever of 101 and knew she was down for the count.
For the next eleven days she slept, ten of those days with a fever that eventually spiked to 102.7. She was advised to go to the ER if her temperature got to 103, but she took Tylenol and prayed her temperature would subside to avoid a trip she felt would land her in the hospital.
Besides terrible fatigue and a high temperature she spent a day coughing constantly, which was severely painful. She also lost her senses of taste and smell.
When her fever broke she was finally allowed to go back to work but was “super exhausted for weeks.” “I would come home from work and crash. This lasted for weeks!”
Being the health enthusiast that she is, she tried to get back to working out, but was so short of breath that certain exercise moves almost completely cut off her breathing.
Then, during the weeks she was emerging from the COVID experience, she was sitting at rest when her heart began to rapidly palpitate. This happened 15 to 20 times an hour. It did not occur when she exercised, she said, only when she was “just sitting there”. This led to wearing a heart monitor for a week and a diagnosis of Pre-Ventricular Contractions in which the ventricles beat out of rhythm of the heart, double or triple beats instead of one. And this led to an Echocardiogram to check for damage.
Although the Echo came back normal and the palpitations are now less frequent, her condition is permanent as a result of contracting COVID.
Her circle of friends could not believe it happened to her – they thought of her as the health guru of their group.
The other members of her household did not get the virus. Her husband, son and daughter all
So the question remains, “How did she get COVID?”
She said she could not figure it out. The day she came home sick she had interviewed about 100 people, one at a time, all masked. Although she handed individuals their reports she never touched anyone and was never in close contact during the appointments, which lasted less than two minutes. She sanitized the table top each time she reached across to hand over papers. It was an open room and just the two of them there at a time.
As her condition quickly worsened and fearing it was COVID, she reported to her employer that “she was pretty sick” but no one was identified as being infected.
She had been outside to pump gas but had used hand sanitizer as soon as she was done.
She had been to the gym but was “super cautious” – masked, distanced, sanitized hands and workout area.
How did she get COVID?
She does not have a clue.
So why share a testimonial of someone who for all intentional purposes should have been the poster child for preventing COVID infection?
Because, as she told me, you do everything you can to prevent it, but COVID is in a league all its own. You can never let your guard down. Somewhere along the way, possibly because of the high risks associated with enclosed spaces, she got infected.
And that is why, even though she had COVID, she got the vaccine.
“I am young and healthy. I exercise and eat right. I had no underlying health conditions. I took every possible precaution and I thought I was safe. Yet I still got COVID.”
She added “ Some people won’t get the vaccine because they are afraid of the side effects.
Let me tell you, the effects of the vaccine are nothing, not a thing, compared to the effects of COVID.
Chris Smith of Muncy was a prevention education/highway safety specialist for over 35 years and is a member of Let’s End COVID!