After two and half years of successfully evading Covid-19, the virus eventually caught on to us. It is not important how we caught the virus, but the more critical part of the story is how we kept the virus at bay for so long? Another important question is that: is there a benefit in still trying to avoid infections or reinfections?
The reason why I was able to avoid Covid-19 for so long was because my family followed strict precautions, since my late father was at home. From the start we knew that older age groups are most vulnerable. We were also aware of the importance of ventilation, so whenever someone visited, all windows would stay open and everyone would be asked to wear masks. However, most social meetings were managed in outdoor settings. We kept the children at home and relied on online teaching until vaccination was available for them. With time, the intensity of these precautions became softer but we never stopped. Shopping was done mostly from shops with an open-door policy. In case I had to go to any office with bad ventilation, I would try to get out in the shortest possible time. Wearing a KN95 mask was a must in all public interactions as we also knew that surgical masks have very limited value. Kids started to go back to school but were fully vaccinated and classes with open windows and doors helped them stay safe. My father left us for his heavenly abode last year but he was Covid-19 free until the very end.
In 2022, most experts I follow on twitter started falling prey to this virus. I knew that we were part of a rare breed who managed to stay free of Covid-19 for so long — a group that publicly started shrinking as new variants became more infectious. My friends were not happy when, even this summer, I insisted on having outdoor gatherings, but this eventually helped us all. Following a dinner, we were informed that a dear friend, a visiting class fellow, tested positive for Covid-19. Many thanked me for insisting on having the dinner outdoors. But then, later on, I seemed to be the only one wearing a mask or trying to encourage others to follow SOPs, all while being ridiculed. Slowly, I too started to soften my insistence and stopped attending gatherings.
The virus came to our house through our children who got it from their summer academy. The summer academy uses air-conditioned rooms without properly enforcing the mask policy. It was an ideal place for transmission. Once the virus entered our house, even our attempts to isolate and ventilate went in vain. I recently tested positive for the first time. I believe the reason for our failure to stop in-house transmission was in the ability of the virus to transmit to others while a person is still seemingly symptom free. Thankfully, my family was fully vaccinated so we recovered within a week. But even on the tenth day, we still feel that we are not hundred percent perfect. The virus is so bad that even with a mild episode I noticed splinter hemorrhages in my fingernails. Just think of the havoc it could play with your blood vessels.
Covid-19 is a multisystem disease and many organs of the body could be affected every time we get an infection. Therefore, it is still wise to stay protected. Avoid new infection or re-infection as there is no guarantee that the second episode will be a milder one. In later infections, symptoms are sometimes worse than before. You could still stay protected by using ventilation as your biggest asset, wearing masks and getting the required vaccinations. The war is not over yet, so keep fighting.