COVID-19 variant infects vaccinated champion of safety precautions

This is an editorial by Julie Wade, who runs a shelter for homeless teenagers in the Savannah area and was a member of the Savannah-Chatham school board from 2011-2020. She contributes occasionally to the Savannah Morning News.

Deep down, I’m a follower of the rules. I live in a world of black and white, not gray.

So when COVID-19 happened, I generally followed the rules. While my husband and I continued to work in person, as our jobs required, we took the recommended precautions. We weren’t perfect, but were confident that we could work safely and meet our family’s needs with masking, social distancing, good hygiene, and small outdoor gatherings. Our family remained COVID-free for 17 months, while we safely engaged in work, sports, and outside limited social gatherings.

As a member of the Savannah-Chatham School Board, I have strongly encouraged the return to school in person in August 2020, in accordance with science and advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Pediatrics and other health experts who came up with a list of protective measures to keep children safe in school. I believed and continue to believe that we can live and work safely in the COVID-19 world if we just follow the rules.

My family of five was vaccinated as soon as one of us was eligible, in December, January, March, April and May. As the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks in May, we ripped them off in glee. In the end, our diligence and discipline paid off.

We returned to indoor meals, large social gatherings, and family visits. Where possible, I moved any Zoom meeting in person. I attended my first gig at Victory North (great place), had a crowded fundraiser inside, and traveled as much as possible.

Learn more about the coronavirus:Enough is Enough – COVID-19 Vaccination Should Be Mandatory

What a fool I was. I knew the key to the CDC’s mask guidelines was that unvaccinated people should continue to wear masks. People had a choice: vaccinate, wear a mask, or stay at home. I also knew Chatham County was well below 50% immunization.

But everywhere I went, I didn’t see any masks. I saw what I wanted to see. People who shop in my grocery store or workout in my gym are all likely to be vaccinated, I rationalized. Stories of people who chose not to get vaccinated are not ‘my people’, I said, even though I know my family, my workplace and the friends of the children who are not vaccinated. .

Those who refused the vaccine did so at their own risk, not mine.

We started to hear about groundbreaking cases, but once again I closed my eyes to my desire for things to stay normal. I had done my part by getting the vaccine. Last Monday the mayor of Savannah reimposed the mask mandate and Tuesday morning my workplace did the same. Later Tuesday, I started to get the flu, and on Wednesday morning I was one of the breakthrough vaccine cases, with a positive home test for COVID-19, confirmed a day later with a rapid test.

Only a fool counts on a fool. While so many of us have sacrificed so much to stay safe and follow the rules, it is evident that so many people have simply ignored the rules. The CDC’s recommendations on masking and vaccinations required a social contract – either get the shot or wear a mask. Those of us who chose to be vaccinated relied on those who made a different choice to continue to live up to the social contract.

Breaking this social contract allowed the COVID-19 virus to mutate into a much more dangerous delta variant. The vaccination I received protected me from serious illness, but the delta variant, which is raging among the unvaccinated and maskless residents of Savannah, managed to bypass my vaccine enough to make me slightly ill and trap in my house for 10 days.

Julie wade

To protect my children, who desperately wanted to go back to school, we masked ourselves in our house, ate meals separately, and said goodnight without a hug or kiss. I know that many families endured these inconveniences throughout the pandemic. But we were vaccinated, that was not to happen to us.

So now my family is back to the old rules. Masks in interior spaces, not large social gatherings. And while I used to feel like I was largely masking to protect the greater good, now it’s quite selfish to protect my family from everyone else. We are also considering limiting our exposure to people who have been vaccinated entirely.

I’m so glad my kids’ schools are imposing masks, the best way to keep them safe.

To those who choose not to follow the rules and break the social contract, even the fool knows after suffering.

More from Julie Wade:Public schools face unprecedented challenges in post-pandemic return

Source link

Susan W. Lloyd

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.