Recent Learnings

My family consisting of my wife and me and two adult daughters, were all vaccinated in February as soon as vaccines were available. We were all excited to get it and we have viewed our vaccine status as a kind of imaginary shield against future disease. We were wrong.

My wife came down with COVID two weeks ago. One daughter tested positive two days ago. I am retiring as rector of Grace Episcopal Church effective today. We were planning a family trip to a resort in Mexico. That is not going to happen at this time. But I have learned some things that might help you going forward.

  1. You can be vaccinated and still get COVID. We do not know what variant infected my wife and daughter. We do know that if you are NOT vaccinated, if you get COVID, you have a substantial risk of serious hospitalization and even death. If you ARE vaccinated, you are likely to have relatively mild, flu-like symptoms for a few days possibly followed by two months of brain fog and no sense of taste or smell. Bottom line, vaccinations are safe and effective.
  2. Testing negative does not mean you cannot be contagious. This is because you can spread the virus while it is building up in your body. Your antigen levels may be below the test limits, but they are growing rapidly. A negative test is a nice indicator, but it is not certainty in terms of spreading the virus.
  3. Testing positive does not mean you are contagious. If you get COVID, you may test positive for 60-90 days post-infection. This does not mean you are contagious. Different sources cite 10 or 14 days, but at the most, 14 days after the ONSET of symptoms, you are no longer contagious. If you are symptom-free after 14 days, then you are good to go.

These were surprising things to learn for me, even as a scientist who has had some medical school training and a fair amount of microbiology. Bottom line for all this is that you should still practice safe social distancing. Wear masks as much as you can. Do not even begin to think that COVID is over.

The 1917 pandemic fatalities bounced like a basketball for three years. We will likely see the same kind of diminishing curve. Please do not let the anti-vaccination and anti-mask social fads lull you into false security. I hope this is not your last warning.

Bless you.

2 Responses to “Recent Learnings”

  1. Linda and Harold Schelin says:

    Hi Fr. Bob! We are so sorry to hear of your rapid retirement plans due to COVID for your wife and daughter. We have both had two vaccines in February and so far, we are thankfully well.
    Hopefully your family can heal rapidly and you all can get your delayed vacation soon. What has the Lord planned for your retirement? May you and your family know the guidance and grace of our Triune God each day. In Christ, Linda and Harold Schelin


    I hope Joan is recuping and feeling better. Missing you-all already. Pat did a fine job of leading morning prayer, and the $ report from Tim was so helpful – “What Can We Do?” is my message for the month.
    See you on the 11th.

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