Phyllis Donovan: Vaccines No Match For Covid

I have been fully vaccinated against Covid since I received my third, booster, shot in November. I admit, this gave me a false feeling of security against the plague that has been disrupting our world.

In fact, one after another, most members of my far-flung family have also received their third shots and I had the impression that they were all fairly Covid safe.

But right after Christmas, one of my sons and his two adult sons who don’t live with him, all tested positive for Covid. Even though they had received three shots apiece they had to quarantine immediately and exhibited mild symptoms of fever, scratchy throats and runny noses. None of them ever got really sick nor was laid up for any length of time. They avoided the rest of their families and dutifully quarantined for the requisite length of time before going back to their normal routines, and that was that.

Their reactions seem to be the norm for fully vaccinated people; the serum protecting them from the worst of this latest Omnicron strain of Covid.

But it is so contagious that it has set us all right back to more rigorously following the early precautions for preventing its spread, like washing hands regularly, wearing masks, avoiding crowds, and keeping the world at arms’ length.

As Covid shares early symptoms with so many other more common winter maladies such as common colds, flu and  24-hour grippe, it is always tempting to consider the worst when we start feeling under the weather.

Last week, my sister-in-law, who turned 87 on New Year’s Eve, fell victim to a terrible malady with Covid-like symptoms which landed her in a small Boston-area hospital ER in the middle of the night. She couldn’t even get into Mass General's ER because it was closed due to an overwhelming influx of Covid patients.

They put her on an IV and gave her anti-nausea medications and she was released and back home before dawn.  No question she was very sick but if it wasn’t Covid, she was better off at home.                                                                                                         

Meanwhile, my granddaughter, who is currently still on break from her sophomore year at Cornell, has been laid low with cold-like symptoms. Her worried mother eventually was able to get her tested for Covid and she tested negative, so she really does just have a bad cold.

Thank goodness, test kits were recently made available free to the public and were distributed so efficiently in our various communities. All of the people involved in those distributions should be commended for a really great job.

Unable to go to a distribution, I asked my visiting nurse if she and her colleagues would be bringing test kits to the shut-ins they service and she said not that she had heard.

Then Olga Brandl, who brings me communion on Sundays from St. Rose Church, said some kits would be distributed after 12:30 Mass last Sunday. Furthermore, she went back to the church in time to get kits for both me and another woman she visits, a true Good Samaritan.

Now I feel secure having a test kit in case I’m not feeling well. My hopes and prayers are that I won’t have to use it, but it certainly feels good to be prepared.


More From This Section