With COVID surging, vaccinated must stay alert for symptoms

    Breakthrough COVID, it’s a rare thing but it can happen. It happened to me last week.

    Breakthrough COVID is when someone who has been fully vaccinated winds up getting COVID-19. It’s a rare thing, but cases of it are being reported across the country. When someone gets breakthrough COVID, it’s unlikely they will get anything but minor symptoms, but they could pass it on to someone else, leading to a serious case of the disease.
    I got vaccinated as soon as I was eligible back in the spring and received the two-shot Moderna vaccine. I had only minor problems when I got my shots—a sore arm and some body aches after the second dose. And when the CDC said vaccinated people could resume most normal activities, I did just that knowing I should be protected from a serious case of COVID.
    Last Wednesday night, after returning home from covering the Crawford County Fair, I started experiencing chills and body aches. Before that, I had some strange itching in my palms and later recalled that I had a headache that morning and my neck (lymph nodes) were sore the previous day.
    Out of an abundance of caution and knowing I was scheduled for more fair coverage and would be around hundreds of people the rest of the week, I got a rapid COVID test Thursday morning. It was positive.
    My symptoms quickly subsided and I was pretty much back to normal Thursday afternoon, but the positive test put me in quarantine for 10 days. I’m okay with that because I certainly don’t want someone getting sick because of me and I hope nobody did who was around me earlier last week before I knew I was sick.
    With COVID surging once again in our area due to the more contagious Delta variant, everyone who has already been vaccinated should pay close attention for any possible symptoms of the disease and get tested if they have them. While the vaccinated should have great protection from the virus, the unvaccinated in our area—our friends and neighbors—do not.
    Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are spiking throughout southwest Missouri and cases are on the rise now in every state. In fact, the United States now leads the world again in new daily infections.
    And the Delta variant is infecting much younger people. Most people who are now being hospitalized with severe COVID are under 40 years of age and they are almost all unvaccinated.
    If you haven’t been convinced that vaccinations work, take a good look at our current COVID statistics and you should be. Nearly everyone who is being killed by COVID now is unvaccinated, with a small minority being people who have been vaccinated but also have other serious health problems.
    Getting vaccinated does not provide guaranteed protection from the virus; I proved that. In most cases, however, it does provide protection from getting anything more than a few minor symptoms should you come down with the disease; I proved that, too.
    Many of our leading health officials—both in Missouri and across the nation—say we are now in a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” but we don’t need to be. We can end this pandemic. Please do your part.