My husband and I both got vaccinated as soon as we were eligible. There was no question in our minds that we would get the the vaccine. We wanted to do everything we could to protect ourselves, our kids and, our community. We had spent a year avoiding other people, wearing masks when we had to go out in public, and sanitizing until our hands were raw. With a new baby and a husband with a history of asthma, I was not taking any risks. We live-streamed, we homeschooled, we got groceries delivered. And we didn’t get Covid. We never even got a cold. On our “immunity day” we popped a bottle of bubbly to celebrate our return to normalcy. Most of our friends and family were also vaccinated. We spent a month unmasked and unworried. We had birthday parties and family dinners and date nights. It was glorious.
But soon after that, the Delta variant was on the rise. Our unvaccinated kids had never stopped wearing masks, but we didn’t want to take the risk of transmitting it to them so we started masking up again. We were cautious, and we did everything we could to keep ourselves healthy, but we didn’t go back into isolation like before. Since most places have done away with capacity limits we didn’t do much social distancing either. But the Delta variant is no joke. Pre-Covid, my husband and I saw every Marvel movie opening weekend, so we jumped at the chance to get a babysitter and go see Shang Chi right away. We basked in the glow of the ten rings for three hours. It was awesome. (I mean can we talk about that bus scene?! Wow!) We wore out masks the whole time, but three hours of recirculated air had done it’s worst. We came home with Covid. Or at least, my husband did.
As I write this we are on day four of quarantine. He has been isolated and sick in bed for days; coughing, chills, exhausted. I wait on him hand and foot, while restlessly monitoring my kids for symptoms of illness. Because he’s vaccinated he will hopefully better in a couple days, but I don’t even want to think about what this would be like if he hadn’t been. The doctor that evaluated him said that the CDC’s recommendations are lagging behind what is actually happening in the pandemic. For starters, vaccinated people who know they have been exposed should quarantine until they test negative at least five days after exposure. And because the Delta variant is making breakthrough infections much more common, you should get tested if you feel even a little sick, even if you’re vaccinated.
We thought we were doing everything right, but ultimately we let our guards down and now we are paying for it. Thankfully we will probably be ok, but let our story be a reminder to you: the pandemic isn’t over yet, no matter how much we all want to pretend it is.