MONIQUE BATSON — Don’t fail to prepare for COIVD; It’s far from gone

Published 12:05 am Friday, September 23, 2022

I’ll be the first to admit — I was starting to feel rather invincible.

Despite reading local COVID data every week and preaching preventative measures, the one time I needed to pull a mask out of my purse early last week, it was dusty.

In January 2021, I caught the original strain of COVID. Vaccines weren’t available to the general public yet, but I had been doing everything I was told was necessary — wearing masks in all places, avoiding crowds and even working from home.

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But my child, who worked in a restaurant at the time, accidentally brought it through the door. And long after I sat by their side administering meds, taking temperatures and covering foreheads with cold washcloths; I realized what they had and I would ultimately get.

Two days later I left the doctor’s office with seven prescriptions and spent the next two weeks feeling worse than I can remember feeling in four decades. Every two hours was spent under a mask with a breathing treatment, the fever was almost impossible to keep down and I had to keep bottles of water and small bites of food near the bed because I didn’t have the energy to walk to the kitchen.

But in April, I started my series of vaccines. And that fall, my youngest son came down with the Delta variant.

I did what mothers do; the idea that I could catch what he had didn’t keep me from caring for him. And despite being in his direct presence for days, I remained virus free.

And that’s likely the moment I decided I had somehow become a COVID superhero.

I can assure you now, as I type this with a splitting headache and the remnants of Variant 2.45Something; I am not.

The great news is I had already scheduled to take vacation time last week. The sad news is I caught COVID the first day. The good news is, short of preventative DayQuil on my return to work, I made it through the week without medication or a temperature that ever rose above 99.8 degrees.

I coughed. I read. I watched TV. I slept. I drank water by the buckets. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I was no COVID superhero; I was someone who had put off her booster shot because there never seemed to be a good time, despite knowing.

By now we know vaccinated people can still catch COVID, particularly the current omicron version that is more contagious than its predecessors.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control, people who are unvaccinated are at a much greater risk of having severe symptoms, hospitalization and/or death than those that have received the shot.

In addition, the death rate is lower among those who received the original series and a booster shot as opposed to those that did not receive the booster shot.

Vaccines are now available for everyone six months and older, with second booster shots available to certain individuals who suffer from various health conditions.

And I understand the hesitancy certain people display in receiving them. After all, it is your body and your right as to what you inject it with.

But COVID isn’t going anywhere. And while my recent symptoms were much more mild compared to the first time, had I not been vaccinated, would that still have been the case?

Fortunately I didn’t have to test it.

Monique Batson is Port Arthur Newsmedia editor. She can be reached at