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Notes From Covid Quarantine

I got Covid. It started with symptoms late last week—congestion mostly—and then a positive test on Friday. At the worst of it, I felt like I had a cold.

I took over-the-counter pain relievers a couple of times, slept a lot, kept hydrated, and that was it. Never had to go to the hospital or to the doctor. Pretty mild case. 

I did, however, talk with a couple of doctors who I have come to know by covering the pandemic for over two years. They believe my case was mild because 1) I am fully vaccinated and boosted; 2) Omicron typically does not result in more serious cases;  3) I don’t have any significant co-morbidities. 

I believe them because their opinions are backed by what doctors and scientists have learned about Covid. As the CDC reminded us last month, “COVID-19 vaccination decreases the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.”

No, the vaccine and booster did not keep me from getting Covid—the vaccine does not guarantee that—but for me it likely reduced the virus from a life-threatening illness to an inconvenience.

My wife also tested positive. She is vaccinated and boosted and her symptoms were like mine, although delayed by a couple of days. 

I kept up with the news while in quarantine and was disturbed, but not surprised, by the moronic musings of Robert Kennedy, Jr.  He compared President Biden’s vaccine policies to Nazi Germany. “Even in Hitler Germany (sic), you could, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland. You could hide in an attic, like Anne Frank did,” he told an anti-vax rally in Washington, D.C.

When an individual tries to reinforce their argument by making the Nazi comparison, it’s a dead giveaway they have run out of logical points and are just going for ham-handed shock value.  

He later apologized for the Nazi remark, but what he really should apologize for is capitalizing on his famous name to spread misinformation about vaccines.  

There was also a lot of buzz while I was off about Bari Weiss, the former New York Times reporter who said on Real Time with Bill Maher that guidelines for dealing with Covid will be “remembered by the younger generation as a catastrophic moral crime.”

It seems that Weiss, who was once a true believer in the pandemic prevention steps, is now just so over it all. “I’m done. I’m done with Covid,” she said. 

Oh, so it’s that simple? Why didn’t we think of that a long time ago? Just announce that you are tired of being inconvenienced and, poof, life is back to normal. Except that it isn’t.

It isn’t over for the people, especially those who are older or have co-morbidities, who will continue to get really sick.  It isn’t over for doctors, nurses, staff and countless health care professionals who care for those who get sick, or the National Guard soldiers who have been dispatched to hospitals in West Virginia to ease the staff shortages. 

It isn’t over in every workplace in the country where employees have to pick up the slack when someone is out sick. It isn’t over for restaurants and bars that are trying to stay in business while also hoping to avoid being a spreader of the virus. 

But as a country we are getting better all the time at living with the pandemic, and slowly but inevitably moving toward the time when it will be a more manageably endemic. In the meantime, misguided vaccine deniers like Robert Kennedy, Jr., and self-absorbed opinion leaders like Bari Weiss make that journey even more difficult. 

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