This past weekend, my mom tested positive for Covid-19. The following day my stepdad also tested positive. None of this would have been surprising to us except for the fact that they are both fully vaccinated.
For those of you who have been vaccinated, how did you feel about getting your final shot? Personally, I cried. I felt empowered and confident. I also felt free. I threw my masks in a barely used drawer, hoping I wouldn’t have to break them back out. I spent the summer mask-free, and it was amazing. Finally, we were inching back to some sense of normalcy. Of course, I heard about the Covid-19 breakthrough cases but never thought my family would be one of them.
And then I got a phone call from my mom.
In truth, I was overly hopeful. I am one to barely inch across the line of hope because being pushed back into disappointment doesn’t seem as difficult when you never hoped to begin with. But tossing those masks to the side was something I couldn’t help but do. Taking in a deep breath and smelling fresh air instead of cloth was intoxicating, and I drank it all in.
Reality has shoved me aggressively back over that fine line. I was too busy soaking up sweet freedom even to realize. I went from telling my son he didn’t have to wear a mask at school to being told of a positive Covid-19 test. My youngest, who is four, was diagnosed today. He and I spent time with my mom a few days before, in an interaction that I had snapped a picture of and posted on social media. His sweet arms are wrapped around her neck, and he is laying comfortably on her chest, as he should. That’s his Gigi, and none of us thought for a second that it would result in the spread of Covid-19. That small interaction, just a handful of minutes, led to a diagnosis I didn’t see coming, and now a scramble of attempting to figure out care for him and his brother for the next few weeks. Thankfully my test came back negative, so I am in the clear. However, my sweet little boy’s body is now fighting a virus that has already taken away so much of our freedom.
Thankfully, because my mom and stepdad were vaccinated, they have not been hospitalized. At my mom’s appointment, she was told that she would very likely be admitted if not for the vaccine. Instead, she is resting at home, feeling junky but with much more mild sinus-esque symptoms. My stepdad, who is older than my mom, is experiencing the same. At this time, both of them should fully recover without any further assistance from a doctor. My son is resilient, and at the moment, is asymptomatic. I hope very much that all of our bodies continue to fight the virus off the next few weeks, and we can look back on this time and feel thankful for how far technology has come.
I share my story as a warning: don’t let your guard down. I know the freedom feels amazing. I know that not a single one of us wants to wear them. But it can be life-saving, as can this vaccine. All of us are fully entitled to our own opinions, and I support your right to either chose to be vaccinated or not. But my outlook is drastically different now than it was a week ago. I am so incredibly thankful that my mom and stepdad chose to be vaccinated. Whatever decision you make, please consider your loved ones and what would be best for them. Do everything you can to stop the spread of this virus, whether it be masking up, social distancing, or getting the vaccine. Hopefully, one day this will all be some crazy story that our grandchildren can’t comprehend, and what we do now will write that story for us.