I appreciate your acknowledging how touchy this subject is, and treating it even-handedly.

I know the frustration about it being near impossible to know what to think or whom to believe. Yet that comment about "our betters" and guinea pigs is utterly chilling to me, if true. That the very mention of it affects me as strongly as it does probably has something to say about why I was suspicious of the jab and chose not to get it.

On the other hand, I know a lot of people who did receive the vax, and, to my knowledge, none has suffered a severe adverse reaction. And if it meant some got less sick than they would have, then that is a good thing.

I know I've also been guilty of downplaying the severity of covid, at least in part because I am afraid of having to go through lockdowns and forced masking again. Though, to be fair, most of those I know personally who've had it didn't get very sick, including unvaccinated friends. But it's a dose of reality to hear how much your family has been suffering with it, sadly.

I must say, however, I find it oddly encouraging to read that you would rather go through it all again than continue to live a masked up, hypervigilant life. I feel better when I hear people weigh the trade offs involved in all our decision making.

But whatever else, it sucks to be sick, and I hope you feel better soon.

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I pray for you and your family and hope that you all recover soon and without any lasting effects.

Covid continues to be a conundrum. Some people test positive without any symptoms and for others it is terminal.

My wife and I avoided the virus until this May. We had taken both initial shots and the first booster. Due to being nearly seventy and each having underlying health issues we were immediately prescribed Paxlovid. Both of us had symptoms like a bad cold or mild flue for a few days and then things seemed to resolve. My wife was extremely tired for a week or so. I seemed to recover but felt run down and my arthritis seemed way worse than before COVID. A month to the day of being diagnosed I collapsed and was hospitalized. I had massive blood clots, one of which had become a pulmonary embolism. My doctors were quite sure the clots were from COVID. In November and March before I became ill, I had gone through a series of tests to see if my underlying conditions were creating clots. At those earlier times no evidence of any clotting was found.

Eight days of hospitalization, a procedure to surgically remove the clots (over a dozen were removed) and two months of physical and occupational therapy followed my collapse. I came out of the hospital barely able to walk and needing intermittent oxygen for a couple of months. The effects of the clots left me with some damage to both my heart and lungs.

I am now off oxygen, can walk fairly well with a cane but still am not driving. The brain-fog that many people describe is a recuring issue for me. It will come and go and I cannot predict when it will appear. The thought of driving when one of these "spells" might hit has kept me solely as a passenger for the past four months. Fortunately, the brain fog has been absent the last couple of weeks. I hope it is finally gone forever but I am too much of a cynic to believe that I am free and clear just yet.

Like you I am very suspicious of the vaccine and have not received the latest, fourth shot. I also wonder if side effects of the Paxlovid caused my condition. In the hospital, the doctors changed the subject when I questioned the possible effects of the vaccines and treatments. My own primary care doctor also has not really addressed my thoughts in this regard but he has quietly accepted my reluctance to receive any further shots. He has heard my concerns and does not pressure me about my decision.

I thank God for my survival and continuing recovery. Each day, each week, things seem to improve. There are set backs from time to time. Just this week I spent a day in the emergency room after waking up with steadily increasing pain on the left side of my chest. After multiple tests it was determined that my heart was fine and a ct-scan showed no presence of clots. The next day the pain was gone and has not returned. While I am thankful that nothing was found, it is at the same time confusing and worrying that there is no explanation for what I was experiencing. It makes me wonder if my encounter with COVID is not yet done.

I urge you and everyone to take this seriously and even after you seem to recover do not ignore any subsequent symptoms. I never really felt right after the initial bout with the virus but I just assumed it would work itself out of my system. It didn’t occur to me that COVID could still be at work creating issues that nearly killed me. It you do not feel right after a positive diagnosis seek treatment and demand that your medical providers investigate whatever seems to be happening to you.

Thanks for writing this post. Your thoughts echoed many of my own during the months of my illness and ongoing recovery. COVID is a very strange creature. There are more questions than answers about it and how different people react to it.

Again, my best wishes, prayers and hope for a speedy and full recovery for you and your family.


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I could easily say "ditto" to much that you write here. I also got the two vaccinations but no boosters for the same reasons you cite. You articulate my frustration at having to decide whether to listen to the medical establishment or "rogue" doctors when I have no knowledge of medicine.

It's a strange coincidence that you posted this substack on the very day I tested positive for Covid. This is my second time the first having been in early April. My symptoms were fairly mild then and I hope will remain so this time around. This may prevent my being able to visit family members who live in the US for American Thanksgiving.

I wish you and your family a quick and complete recovery from this very strange illness.

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I hope you all feel better soon, that sounds rough enough. Everyone in my family had it as well, but their symptoms were mild ( everyone had at least two jabs). If I had it, I was fortunate enough not to have any symptoms. Anyway I'm wishing you guys all the best and hopefully you will be ready to go for that Thanksgiving showdown in Dallas, I've got that one marked as game of the day.

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I have a hard time understanding why you waited so long to get tested? In the meantime your family might have spread the virus to many others. Given that you know that there are very serious potential complications, (my 43 year old heathy son was touch and go from the virus for several days), why wait?

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Just remember, Steve, many a cold we get today is a mutated-unto-weakness virus that millennia ago was the Covid of its day.

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