Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

More Than Frustrated

From November of 1988 to March of 1990, I battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. For the most part, I did it alone. I felt isolated, ostrasized, and forgotten. I did without being up to participating in family functions or social events. There was no time or purpose to not focus on anything else other than beating my cancer. I am not bragging about how I got through it, nor am I looking for a medal or a chest to pin it on.

But now, after the same amount of time, I have done what I had to, to get through the Covid19 pandemic. I knew I could respect the mitigation efforts and abide by the recommendations. Again, because of my vulnerabilities, I needed to follow the efforts necessary. Just as I did with my battle with Hodgkin’s, I have been getting through Covid19 without one bitch about it.

We are now at a major crossroad. Having finally gotten a grasp on the pandemic, we are on the cusp of undoing everything that was accomplished. We have a vaccine that while it does not prevent contracting Covid19 or the ability to spread it, it does dramatically reduce the severity of the illness, and also dramatically reduces the number of deaths from Covid19. This is in spite of those who are blanketly “anti-vax”, politically inspired not to get the vaccine, legitimately concerned about the safety of the vaccine, and even those who still believe the virus is a hoax. There are still so many, and after over 600,000 dead Americans, I just do not get how you can deny it anymore.

As viruses do, Covid19 has mutated, to a much more contagious and dangerous strain. The good news is that the vaccine that was discovered seems able to protect people with almost the same level of protection. The results were obvious under the use of Emergency Authorization, we getting under 15,000 new cases per day, but even that was still too high. But considering that we were over 125,000 at one point over 200,000 new cases per day, this is not good news. This is also during a time when our country is “opening up.” We hit those high case numbers as were trying to mitigate, because we could not get enough people to care, and follow the recommendations. With the vaccinations, the numbers have finally decreased.

But this latest variant, is more contagious, and more powerful. And for those who are unvaccinated, all eyes are on us. I was included in that. I remained unvaccinated as I waited for science to catch up with just one simple study, that of immunocompromised patients. I know for a fact, that my body does not respond to vaccines without boosters. Pending the application from Pfizer, there was no protocol for a booster for Covid19. There are plenty of other fellow survivors in a similar situation as I am, they too have opted to wait. Others, have taken their chances and gotten both doses. Some of those have developed anti-bodies, some have no idea. I have made the conscious decision, not to live with the false sense of security. Plus, without the plan of a booster, two doses wasted on me could make a booster ineffective if too much time in between.

Here is the deal. There are more results from the vaccine than normal testing with the amount of people having received it, than would normally be studied. The fact is, the vaccine is safe. And while the beaurocratic process is the only thing that stood in the way of full approval (dealing with licensure), a full approval would at least chip away at one part of the population who has not been vaccinated. But the other notable fact, is that scientists have said, at the time, for the fully vaccinated, boosters were not necessary. Again, that did not address situations like mine.

So, with the exception of the first few months where I pretty much avoided everything public, I have learned to “live” among the Covid19 world. I have my ways of dealing with crowds, and unfortunately, those who feel the need to judge my concerns for my well-being. As an unfortunate meme came across my wall, bragging that they had gone 444 days without following mitigations, and still do not get Covid19, they failed to address the meme with, “but did they know anyone else who was not as lucky?” Chances are pretty good, not likely.

As for me, with the approval of the 3rd dose for the immuno-compromised, I did in fact begin the process. No surprise, it has been confirmed the vaccine did not work at all. I have no antibodies from either the vaccine, nor exposure. Again, I expected this. I am hoping that when I get the second dose, there will be at least a little bump from antibodies, because if not, then a 3rd dose will not necessarily guarantee anything for me. The bottom line, I will still have to take the precautions I have this entire time. Some call it “living in fear”. I call it living smart.

Here we are, the country pretty much back to normal operations, pre-pandemic. Most mitigations no longer in place except where federally allowed or privately owned, yet, still we have too many insisting for their own selfishness, that the mitigations should no longer be in place, some losing their minds to the level of public confrontations. A good portion of the US population has been vaccinated, so we are nowhere near where we need to be for “herd immunity.”

A clear line has been discovered though with the vaccine, and it is a political line, politics over science. With so many refusing to get vaccinated over politics or anti-vaxx stance, it is not hard to see the increasing of cases of the new variant in the US. One glaring fact has been discovered. Over recent weeks, all deaths attributed to Covid19, were all unvaccinated victims. Hospitals again are seeing Covid19 populations explode, but again, in certain areas. One only has to look at the political makeup of a state, and you can guess, and then confirm, where the increase in cases is coming from. Florida, where I reside, is one of those states.

There was a comment made on my last post, which will not get published, as it contains clear false information, but needless to say, the writer disagreed with me, and by me, I mean the facts of agreeing with science and the processes involved.

As I said, we are at a crossroad at this point, and it is clear that the two roads are vaccinated and unvaccinated. And at this point of the pandemic, I am pretty sure we are seeing Charles Darwin’s theory of natural evolution play out. Those who have been vaccinated, will survive, even in the event of Covid19 breakthrough cases and likely variants, simply because we are trusting the process of science. And those who will choose to remain unvaccinated, will either survive natural exposure, or they will not. But the reasons behind the “will not” is what will prove Darwin correct.

I have lost countless acquaintances and friends to Covid19, and so many more having survived their infection. The number of people I am aware of that have not had Covid19 is shrinking, but still includes me. Tragically, I have lost a family member to Covid19. I am frustrated by the continued attempts of some to lessen the severity of this virus, comparing it to others and such, and for that reason, I am not repeating those kook conspiracies, because I believe that the more they get repeated, the more life keeps getting breathed into them.

Like I said, we will get to the end of this pandemic. It is a question now at this point, what will be the total of the unvaccinated who will die because of false beliefs and stances they chose to take, and lost. They are not patriots. They are not following “God’s will.” If you die from Covid19, and the reason you did so was because you chose not to get vaccinated (and I made sure to use the word chose out of respect for those who are unable to get vaccinated due to medical conditions), you are fools.

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