In November, 2020 my partner and I elected to skip my family's Thanksgiving celebration due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. My mom was sad, but said she understood.
On Thanskgiving I called my family to tell them I was thinking of them, loved them, and missed them and the dinner we would make together every year. My mom told me in passing she had had to get a COVID test that day, as she was exposed to a positive case at work prior that week.
"It's probably just sinus stuff, I wanted to get tested so I could get a script to help alleviate the symptoms," she told me.
The next day she tested positive. In the following weeks she became very ill, with high fevers and intense headaches. She lost her sense of taste and smell, of which she has not regained to this day. At one point her blood oxygen levels were low, and she went to the doctor. They sent her home, but she kept a close eye on her symptoms.
After a few weeks she was symptom free, but still deals with the longterm effects of this new virus. We are fortunate she was not more ill. We are now all vaccinated and I am proud of the work the American Lung Association has done to promote the vaccine movement and help end the COVID-19 pandemic.