The Covid Cookie Crumbles

Have you noticed that, at any given time, you and two or three people you follow on WordPress are on the same wavelength – thinking about the same topic. Probably not that mysterious or strange because I follow a lot of like-minded people and the topic that I was thinking about this week was covid. Laura Bruno Lilly wrote a post titled “What in Your Life did Covid-19 Interrupt.” I started to comment but didn’t because I was thinking about writing a post. Then Jan Wilbur posted “The Difference Between Now and Then is This.” Her post is about the heartache in families created by unvaccinated members. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about unvaccinated people lately. My vaccinated friend had a breakthrough case after contact with an unvaccinated friend who is a member of a conservative Christian community near us where many members don’t believe in Covid-19 vaccinations for whatever reason. My god, what would this community do if there was an outbreak of mumps or measles or tuberculosis among their members?

Yes, Laura, Covid-19 did interrupt my life, or more accurately, some unvaccinated people who became positive with Covid-19 interrupted my life. A little over a week ago I spent a delightful afternoon playing cards with two vaccinated friends. That evening the friend who hosted us called to say that the person she had been with the previous Friday just called to say she was covid positive and had symptoms. My friend had made an appointment to get tested the next day but wouldn’t get the results until Friday. Her granddaughter got her a rapid result test which was positive, and on Friday the other test result was positive. She has had flu-like symptoms for the past week. 

Back when I was in high school we would say, “That’s the way the cookie crumbles,” whenever something bad or inconvenient or annoying would happen. It was our way of coping, a way of living in a world that was generally annoying to a teenager. Well, I’m now 77, annoyed because my Covid-19 cookie has crumbled.

During the past week I have been somewhat anxious because I have had symptoms. But to paraphrase what my other vaccinated friend who was exposed, “Jez, I have those symptoms every day.” Yes I have a sore throat and headache that comes and goes with allergens and atmospheric pressure, and I am perpetually fatigued or about to be fatigued or am just over being fatigued because I’m old and have fibromyalgia. I have pain in some part of my body all the time because I’m old, and active, and have fm. All week I have been fearful, wondering whether I was developing symptoms. Because I was constantly thinking about my body, I wasn’t distracting myself as I normally do. My pain levels are higher when I think about what is painful and where by body is hurting. I also have been isolating because I didn’t want to spread the virus (to unvaccinated people?) if I was indeed carrying a load of virus within in my nose.

My response to being exposed and potentially infected surprised me. I felt shame. From the very beginning I had tried to do everything right. Remember how we wiped down everything that came in the door. I panicked when I got confused about what counter was safe and which one wasn’t as we were wiping down groceries. I got vaccinated and have worn masks when in unsafe territory. And I might be infected anyway. We have talked with friends about how we could keep each other safe. And I might be infected anyway. We stopped eating out until we could do it safely. And I might be infected anyway. Now we had new calculations about safety to make because I was exposed to the virus.

We had planned to leave for a month’s camping trip to Maine the day after Labor Day, a week after I had been exposed. We knew we could do it safely and could isolate as easily on the road as we could at home. We’ve done it before. But I didn’t want to leave if I had symptoms so I didn’t start packing. As the week-end approached I started to fear having to pack in just one day for an extended vacation where I was trying to take all the food we would need. Reservations had been made at 4 private campground so we couldn’t delay our departure by one or two days. I spoke with my friend and she was still feeling pretty sick and I began thinking about what would happen if we left as I was developing symptoms and then Jim also got sick. Neither one of us would be able to do the work necessary to hook up and drive us back home. We decided to cancel the trip until next year.

Maybe I better not write my next paragraph. My mother taught me to not say anything about someone unless I could say something nice. I’m too tired to find nice words to use when describing people who don’t know how to use science, have distorted political views, are self-centered, and maybe are just plain stupid. Damn it, if you aren’t vaccinated and have no medical condition making the vaccines unsafe for you, then get vaccinated this week. Do it before you crumble someone else’s cookie.

Post note: Three weeks after posting this my sister’s son 41 year old son Nathan died of Covid-19 and staf infection. He was a minister in a church denomination that doesn’t believe in the vaccine. His wife and two of his children also got sick with the virus. He left a young wife and four children under the age of 7. I am so angry I could chew and spit nails.

22 thoughts on “The Covid Cookie Crumbles

  1. I’m sorry you’ve been through such a rough time with this and I’m 100% in agreement with your views on those who refuse to be vaccinated. All this talk about ‘my right to choose’ drives me nuts, it’s just so selfish and inconsiderate of those whose preconditions make them particularly vulnerable, never mind wider society. Someone way back at the start of this pandemic said something like ‘none of us is safe until we’re all safe’ but some people still don’t get that!

    But I’m surprised you had to worry about your possible symptoms for so long, and cancel what must have been a much-needed holiday. Over here (UK) we can get free lateral flow tests to do at home (picked up at local pharmacies, libraries etc) with results in 30 minutes. One of those would have allayed your fears and allowed you to go away. Don’t you have anything like that in the US to give you speedy reassurance?

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    • No – Biden just said that he is going to push for those to be readily available. When I contacted the doctor’s office they said only people with symptoms are being tested and then we got into the weekend and then I was passed the 3-5 day window. We will be doing a one week trip to the Upper Peninsula next week and that will be enjoyable and refreshing.

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  2. From what I’ve been reading from Vaccine experts (not main stream and social media) the vaccines are highly effective at preventing serious disease, even with Delta. Natural infection is apparently pretty good at doing that too. That’s not to say a vaccine is equally effective for people who are elderly or have the comorbidities that have proven to be prevalent in those who became very ill or died with Covid! I guess it all comes back to where we were at pre-Covid – we are all responsible for knowing our bodies and looking after our health.
    Many people didn’t get flu shots and many won’t get the Covid shot. Many people smoke and drink and drive recklessly. It is the nature of the beast!

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  3. I am also angry at the number of people who are incapable of learning from other people’s experience. For over a year already, there have been frequent reports of people whose last words before dying were, “This is bad. I wish I had taken it more seriously.” And for the last 6 months, there have been frequent reports of people whose last words before dying were, “I wish I had gotten vaccinated. Please everyone, go get vaccinated.” If they were too boneheaded to listen to all the other people before them, why do they think any of their ilk will listen to them? (My mom also told me to not say anything if I don’t have something nice to say, but the lesson didn’t stick. Sorry mom.)

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  4. Pat, you took on the larger scope and more ‘recent’ timeframe in which to answer my original question (my answer was directed to the immediate onset of the virus in March 2020).
    I am honored it spurred such a thoughtful and extremely relatable response in the form of a blog post. The title itself speaks volumes!
    I have a hard time articulating similar ideas to those you just wrote, but it is ‘spot-on’ as margaret21 noted. I have a friend whose girlfriend’s (one we do not have in common) husband died a lingering death, barely holding on to when he could be admitted to the hospital for his chronic heart condition…NOT because of COVID. But because of overcrowded hospital conditions (they live in Texas). Procedures had been delayed throughout the 2020’s due to the Pandemic which weakened him and he simply could not wait any longer and died in the waiting.
    Thank you for speaking out on this in such a ‘sweet’ (punny reference to your cookie analogy) manner – it makes me feel less alone.

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    • Thanks for your support, Laura. I woke up this morning thinking I should tone the post down a little and then remembered that it had already been posted. 😀 I am so angry that people can’t get normal emergency care because of overcrowding because of unvaccinated people filling our hospitals. I was impressed with the strength of our president’s speech yesterday. I think our anger will have a social impact because we are spot on.

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  5. Absolutely spot-on post. As our ‘freedoms’ increase, and it’s hard to know who is, and isn’t vaccinated, and as our immunity gradually weakens, the longer ago we had said vaccine, our risks increase in tandem, however carefully we live our lives. What WILL this winter be like? Hope you stay healthy enough, despite feeling more than one degree under.

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    • I am going to get the booster as soon as I can. Especially that they are watching another two mutations that have been showing up. Margaret, your one degree under describes where I have been perfectly. Probably in part because of the stress of not wanting to get symptoms and fear that my husband is at risk also because the work of isolating outweighed the risk of getting sick with both of us vaccinated and relatively healthy.

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      • I know. I feel in tow minds about a booster. I think we privileged nations should be making sure the less privileged have their fair share of the vaccines. That would protect all of us far better from variant-development. It’s all a bit of a mess, isn’t it?

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        • I live in Texas, so I don’t feel the guilt of taking advantage of a booster while living in an advanced part of the world. Only about a third of the people in my community are vaccinated, and I have spent the last two weeks making hard calculations about what I am allowed to do in light of one of my employees who is at very high risk of infection in spite of being vaccinated and taking all precautions. Will I get in trouble for sending her home to work remotely, even though the Governor and my organization say that it is safe for everyone to be in the office? I am angry that I have to think so hard about doing what is right to protect people’s health.

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        • You’re right to be angry. I feel privileged that, as far as I know, only one person actually known to me has made the decision not to be vaccinated. There may be others, but it’s known that my own home area has an exceptionally high acceptance of the vaccine. That makes me very lucky indeed.

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  6. That’s terrible for you, some people are just so selfish. I can imagine how you would think you had Covid symptoms when you have FB. Take it easy and get plenty of rest

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