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Melissa M., NY

My two babies, son and I contracted the delta variant of COVID-19.

My name is Melissa. I am 41 years old and I am sharing my story in the hope that I can help educate people on COVID through my real life experience.

The Middle of August 2021 I finally decided it was time to get the COVID-19 vaccine. I was really on the fence about it for a long time but decided that with delta coming out, and with most everyone I knew being vaccinated, it was time. I got my vaccine and my son also got his vaccine. My daughters are too young.

After, we packed up the truck over the next few days and headed on a road trip down to the mountains. We decided to go with our friends and their families. We had a beautiful time, met friends, went in caves, tubed down the river and mid-way through the trip one of the families started the sniffles. This person was fully vaccinated and everyone said you can’t spread it if you are vaccinated (not true). At any rate we continued our trip and a few days later that family left to head home. We headed to Kentucky to see the arch encounter. As we drove there, our friends' daughter who had been in our truck and started a fever. We didn’t think much of it. We got to our cottage and we all went to bed.

The next morning we got a phone call. The family that had gone home early took at-home COVID tests and the mom was positive and so were the children (ages 11 and 15). We decided that we needed to skip the encounter and head home. That night on the way home our little girl, 11, started a fever. Our nightmare began. Later that night my friend called to report her 13-year-old daughter was positive for COVID but her 10 yr old and herself were negative.

The next morning I drove my daughters to the doctor's office. Sure enough my immuno-compromised 11 year old was positive and my 8 year old was negative. These tests were done at the doctor's office, but they were rapid tests not PCR. (According to many uninformed people they say rapid tests are not valid this is not true). Later I let the group we went camping with know our results and they literally turned this into a political issue stating if I gave their names to the state as persons who were in contact with her “there would be strict consequences." 

I knew deep in my heart I had to do the right thing. Long story short, they all lied to the state saying they never had COVID tests done and not one of them had quarantined because they had all had vaccines and no symptoms. I was incredibly angry. (Clearly the woman who had the sniffles and belly ache had a positive at home test even though she was vaccinated). My husband had no symptoms and was vaccinated and yet he was positive.(I was never told this but please note: after your first COVID shot you are not protected at all until after you have your second shot post- two weeks, therefore the shot me and my son got gave zero protection at that time). I truly believe that if someone is exposed to a posoitive case they needed to provide a PCR test to prove they are not carrying virus before being told not to quarantine even if they are fully vaccinated. Coronavirus has become more than just a disease it’s become political and it is wreaking havoc wherever it can in more than one way!

I ended up feeling sick and tested the same day as my daughter. I was PCR negative with symptoms. The next day as I watched my daughter lay in her bed with zero color to her face I started to feel nauseous. I became ill. I went to store for at home test. I was still negative. then, my other daughter started burning up, and after a trip to the hospital she was positive for COVID. My other daughter had a fever for nine straight days! She is finally able to show signs of life. My husband who was vaccinated had tested positive. I went and had my PCR, I remember feeling so sick and thinking how could I feel this sick and be around this much COVID and still not be positive? But that time I finally got the PCR of positive. The doctor called me. At that point I thought I was sick, little did I know that was nothing compared to what I was in for.

I woke up in the middle of the night and ran to the bathroom. I had diharea so bad I literally was on that toilet over two hour, finally it was clear liquid coming out. I kept jumping in the shower to try and find relief from the fevers. It was only temporary relief. I lost my sense of smell and taste. I remember my husband brought me a tuna sandwich and I couldn’t smell a thing; it was bizarre. The strangest part was my body would not let me sleep! It was as if my body was all revved up? I didn’t sleep for more than three hrs in three days! My body was exhausted but my mind wouldn’t stop.

Then the worst part started. I woke up from a deep sleep gasping for air. My lungs were on fire. My throat hurt so bad I couldn’t swallow my ear burned and so did my intestines. I literally felt fire inside me! I called my doctor she sent me to the ER. I got there and literally waited six hours to be seen. I remember crying at certain points when I could literally feel the virus as it squeezed my heart and burned my lungs! I went to the front desk sev times to ask for an inhaler or help stating I couldn’t breathe and they told me to sit down. I felt so alone. I felt like no one cared. I looked over at a young man who was crying. I could see he had COVID. We weren’t allowed to have anyone sit with us so I knew he was scared. I offered to buy him a water and he looked at me with bright red eyes and said no thank you ma’am. I wanted to hug him but of course I knew I couldn’t. I told him gently it shouldn’t be much longer! It’s going to be OK! I knew he appreciated it. 

I finally got called. They were so busy they put me in a storage room. I told them I had COVID and they said “Oh, our PA marked you down as coming in for diharea." I couldn’t believe it! No wonder I sat out there for six hours! At any rate I recieved a fluid push and was sent home stating my oxygen levels weren’t low enough to be admitted. The next day I woke up and my foot was blue. I called my doctor, who I truly believe saved my life, and she told me that I needed to get the antibody IV as soon as possible. After a few hours I was able to get this done and started feeling better immediately.

I am still healing but feeling so grateful that I had such an amazing doctor advocating for me and for me being strong enough to advocate for myself. I just can’t stop thinking about the doctors and the misinformation out there! All the different advice and the different quarantine orders. I am one of the lucky ones but things need to change! The reason I spent the past 20 minutes writing this is to send this message! GET VACCINATED my husband was only sick for a few days (only one vaccinated) and the rest of us were sick much longer and much harder! I also keep thinking about that scared young man in the ER. Talk to your kids! Get them vaccinated! No one deserves to feel like this ever! Not when there is proof that there is A way to avoid it! God bless everyone! Stay safe!

First Published: September 13, 2021

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