Saturday, December 12, 2020

Covid Healing: What did mine look like? How does it affect you?

Sheri and I are both feeling better every day from our recent bout with Covid. I continue to have a mild cough 13 days past my non-contagious clearance from my doctor, but it is getting better every day. My cardio is pretty crummy! Just one month ago I was running the stairs at the Oceanside amphitheater, lunging for a ½ mile, and lifting weights 3 times a week! My Apple Watch health app was really making me feel good about my fitness! One month later, I get winded pretty easily and have had to take it slow and not over do it. That’s not my style, but that is my reality! I can’t wait to start working out again! Monday I’ll start the workouts, start slow, and work my way back up to great fitness!


With all of the Covid fatigue going around, and the vast increase in Covid cases, I have a few million dollar questions. Am I immune to getting Covid again? Am I immune to giving Covid to someone else?


I have to be honest. After getting Covid, I was looking for some kind of way to explain Covid to others. I didn’t want my friends to avoid me. I didn’t want everyone to be fearful of hanging around me. So…I was kind of looking for some kind of “Marketing Slogan” that I could repeat to others to make them feel safe. Here is what I came up with. “I can’t give it, and I can’t get”…at least for a while. I also tacked on “I’m probably the safest person to be around right now.” A few of you reading this might have actually heard those words, although there are only about 4 people who fall into that category.


Here is the problem with my marketing slogan. Some of it is based on the latest scientific data, and part of it is at best, an overconfident guess that science just doesn’t have an answer for yet.


As far as getting Covid again, scientific data is showing that the large majority of people with mild to medium cases of Covid, produce antibodies that are protective. All of the best data says that you have these antibodies for about 60 days. There is some data that suggests the antibodies may start decreasing between 60-90 days. So…during that time period, I’m pretty protected from getting Covid a second time. My body has what it needs to fight it off if I was exposed to it. Of course there are always exceptions, but the overwhelming majority of cases develop protective antibodies. That is good news for Sheri and I as we don’t want to have to go through that again!


Now here is the challenging part that we don’t have a lot of scientific data for yet. “Can I pass Covid to someone else?” Well, on one hand, if you don’t have Covid, you can’t pass it. On another hand, what if I did get exposed to Covid again? Well, technically Covid could enter into my body, and my body would fight it off. That’s good news for me, but what if I’m carrying Covid again for any amount of time? It seems to me, that if it’s in my body, I could potentially pass it to someone without knowing it. That is a very sobering thought! Science just does not have the appropriate amount of data to address this point yet, so taking a conservative approach seems the best path forward.


Another piece of good news for those who have had Covid, is that even when the antibodies decrease, we all still have these little fighter cells called B and T cells that have good memory. We have some killer T cells that know how to attack this virus, therefore offering another level of protection. Perhaps a future Covid case in me would be less severe. While that is a good thought, B and T cell protection can vary with people so we don’t really know how protected we are. Again, a conservative path forward seems best.


So…what does that mean for my behaviors? First, I’m dropping the marketing slogan of “I can’t get it or give it.” That is just a bad idea! Second, I’m not going to walk around being overconfident. I will not stop wearing masks, social distancing, washing my hands, or sanitizing. I’m going to KEEP doing these things. Why you might ask? Because I care about you…even if I don’t know you…and especially if I do know you! The last thing I want to do is get overconfident, be exposed again to Covid, and accidentally  pass it along without knowing it, especially if I am asymptomatic! 

Sheri and I will keep our circles tight. We’ll keep wearing masks and social distancing because we care about others! It’s just too easy of a thing to do.


We personally can’t wait to get vaccinated ASAP! I’m seeing a lot of people saying they are not going to get vaccinated. That is your choice, but for us, we want to put this virus in the rear view mirror, just like Polio, the Measles, and Yellow Fever. After we get our vaccine, we’ll be able to get back to normal! 


I miss smiles that are hidden behind masks! I miss hugs! I miss shaking hands and high fives! I miss it all. The one thing I hope we all can commit to is being good finishers! We’ve only got a few months left until we all have the option of getting vaccinated. Let’s continue to wear our masks, socially distance, wash our hands, and sanitize often. Do it because you care about others! When I see you wearing a mask, you tell me that you care about me, even if you don’t know me. That’s what I want to do for you! 


One more thing, if you wear a mask, please cover your nose and mouth, and wash those masks often! The purpose is so you keep your breath to yourself. Don’t be selfish, be selfless! Life always works out better that way! And when it comes to being selfless or selfish, ask yourself the question…”How’s that working out for you?”


Let’s be safe out there! Bring on the vaccines!

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