Submitted by guest blogger, Mark Pearson, Manager, Recruitment Services
My wife, my two children and I had a reunion trip planned with family from Abu Dhabi, Arizona and BC meeting up with us in Disneyland, October 2021. This trip had been rescheduled twice before due to the pandemic, and as all of the adults were recently vaccinated, we thought we would make another attempt! Flights were booked and we completed the required Covid-19 testing at the airport where we learned that my nine year old tested positive. Much to our disappointment, the third time was not “a charm” and our trip had to be cancelled and the unwinding process of refunds and requests for credits began.
While our family isolated together at home, I soon began to experience muscle aches, fatigue, sniffles, coughing, headaches, etc., and the ‘famous’ loss of smell. Two days into isolation, I too tested positive. Banished to the basement, I isolated from the rest of my family and laid in bed for 10 days, quite unwell. Although I am “double vaxxed” and had followed all recommended precautions (e.g., wearing a mask, washing my hands, distancing when possible etc.), I remember feeling very surprised to be feeling so sick, as I had an idea in my mind that the vaccine somehow gave me immunity. With much time on my hands, I began to read about Covid-19 and what it was like to experience it first hand from other patients. I was soon reminded that the vaccine was not a ‘guarantee’ against contracting Covid-19 but rather, a means of potentially avoiding much more serious illness, including hospitalization.
Public health soon called to do contract tracing etc. and I was amazed to recount the potential encounters I may have had with others – for example at work, school, the doctor’s or dentist’s office, grocery store, a concert, movie theatre, restaurant, church, transit, social event, etc. The possibilities seemed endless. Fortunately, we determined how our family got sick and diagnosed it in time through testing to avoid spreading it to others by isolating. If anything, the last year of lock downs and regulations had prepared us like “pros” for another 10 days together as a family. My wife and kids were “rock stars”, playing games, watching movies, reading together, and taking care of dad with meals, medicine and much needed rest opportunities.
It feels kind of ‘funny’ to have ‘faced the bear’ – this “thing” that we have feared over the past 2 years called Covid-19. I now feel a bit more like Superman with my vaccinations and antibodies, as my immune system continues to grow stronger! I have had several conversations with others asking what it was like to have Covid-19. I do believe that being vaccinated prevented me from further illness and possibly hospitalization. I also am relieved that I did not pass it on to someone who may not have been so fortunate.
I know that we all want this time to be over. We want Covid-19 in our rear-view mirror and to get back to the way that feels normal, for ourselves, our families, friends, and our communities. It’s my hope that we are getting closer to that time, as experts in health, disease, technology, statistical modelling and other fields, areas work together to advance the study of Covid-19 for us. We started this journey together, and although it has not been easy, by working together with care, kindness and in community, we can overcome and celebrate successes.