By Dave Simpson, columnist
Here’s an admission you don’t often hear:
I’m not vaccinated, and I just got over Covid-19.
It was Thanksgiving evening when I developed a sore throat, and some coughing. We got out the thermometer, and I was running a slight fever. The next day I went in for a rapid test, and I came up positive for Covid.
This wasn’t the first time Covid made an appearance in our house. Last September my wife – also not vaccinated – came down with Covid and isolated for 10 days.
Turns out she got it while visiting our grand kids. My daughter, her husband, and the two grand daughters would also ultimately have bouts with Covid, all mild. None of them were vaccinated either.
Now, it’s not like we were always against getting vaccinated. In fact, my wife and I were scheduled to get the Johnson&Johnson vaccine here in Cheyenne last spring. But then our daughter, who is a physician assistant educated at Duke, got wind of our plan, and gave her mom – a retired nurse practitioner – the dickens over the phone.
What our daughter has in common with her mom is that she’s an absolute bulldog when it comes to research. She’s got three-ring binders full of reports, studies, research and anything else you can think of regarding the hurry-up vaccines that were developed in Trump’s final year in office. She tosses terms like adjuvants and T-cells and breakthroughs around with ease, and pretty soon she had her mom convinced.
I know there are guys who can ignore their daughters, but I’m not one of them. (That’s how I once ended up with two cats.) So we opted to wait for longer-term data on the vaccines.
But I learned pretty quickly not to mention my vaccine status in polite company. People who have been vaccinated get really ticked off when they hear you haven’t gotten the shot, the second shot, and now the booster. They figure you’re Typhoid Mary, selfish, a menace.
It has been an amazing progression, since Kamala Harris said she wouldn’t take the vaccine if Donald Trump had anything to do with it. But after the election everything changed, and it was a matter of patriotism to get the vaccine. And now they’re trying to mandate it, and threatening to fire the very hospital employees they once called heroes, if they don’t get vaccinated. Joe Biden lied that nobody was vaccinated until he took office. But 14 million were already vaccinated.
They cajoled and scolded and browbeat us until millions of us – most quite willingly – got the vaccine. You couldn’t turn on the television without some doctor or celebrity hectoring you to get the shot. But then, some of the very people who got vaccinated started coming down with Covid-19, “breakthrough cases” they called them. Suddenly, the vaccine lifeboat appeared to have some leaks.
And now, a study out of Israel has found that unvaccinated people who have had Covid are 27 times more resistant to getting the virus again than the folks who are getting the vaccines. And without the uncertainty of long-term vaccine effects.
Now, I’m not telling anyone else what to do. The health care folks in my family decided that even at 70, I’m in pretty good shape (I exercise for 90 minutes most days) and have no “co-morbid conditions,” so I was a good bet to survive Covid and come away with natural immunity. Absent those factors, there’s no question I would have gotten the vaccine.
The worst part of having Covid was the persistence of it, with a fever of around 100 degrees hanging around for almost two weeks. And the fatigue. And all the vitamins, pills and lozenges my wife made me take every day – everything short of eye of newt. (Couldn’t find any, I guess.)
I know plenty of people who got the vaccine, and more power to them. But they should lighten up on those of us who took a different route, and came away with 27 times more immunity. Why would anyone care how you got your (superior) immunity?
As a guy, I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to use this phrase, but I will now:
My body, my choice.