I am sure most of you know nothing about me so some background is in order. I am a 73-year-old, twice divorced, overweight, right-handed, far left leaning, Democrat Dude. I live with my dog in the Northeast quadrant of the very blue Louisville Metro area (which is in the sea of red that is Kentucky and rural Southern Indiana.)

I have health issues which include, but are not limited to, type II diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, allergies and sleep apnea.  The good news is that I see my doctor’s regularly, take my medications like clockwork and get exercise within my limitations.

Because of the above medical issues; I knew that contracting COVID would likely be a death sentence for me. Therefore, starting in March of 2020, I did all my shopping on-line, used only drive throughs and curbside pickup, masked anytime I was required to be near people and sanitized everything that came into the house.  

I anxiously awaited the availability of vaccines and worked tirelessly on line and on the phone to get an appointment. On February 12th I, along with about 5000 other lucky folks, got my first Modera jab at the Kentucky State Fairgrounds. The follow-up 2nd jab was March 12th.

I knew that the Moderna has an impressive 94.1 % effective rate but that also meant that it was less than effective 5.9% of the time. I have worked with numbers all my life; a 5.9% chance of danger is greater than no chance of danger.  That 5.9% is comprised of people who are now a statistic. I did not want to be one.

I did not change my isolating, mask-wearing, social-distancing behavior after being vaccinated.  Admittedly, I did loosen some as everyone I knew became fully vaccinated.  The last month I have visited a few restaurants with vaccinated company, had a masked haircut at a barber, been to the grocery a couple of times, visited a furniture store and did counter pickup food—all masked of course.  

Early last Thursday evening, 8/4, I returned home after a meal at the home of my daughter, her SO and my 16-month-old grandson.  I was sitting out on the patio enjoying the break in the oppressive heat we had in mid-July when I noticed my nose and throat starting to stuff up. In my mind I wrote it off to some allergen in the air or the Ohio Valley’s, summertime, generally yukky air quality.  

However, as the evening turned to night, the congestion got worse in my chest and bronchial tubes. There was tightness and an occasional light, dry cough which was annoying and contributed to me getting very little sleep.

By the time I got up on Friday the congestion and cough had lessened and my nose had cleared. I had an appointment with my cardiologist late Friday morning which I kept. When they checked my temperature as I entered the office it was normal.

Since I was exhausted from the sleepless night before I went to bed when I got home. Napped some and then when I got up about 4 PM; I realized I felt feverish. A little later I started feeling chilled as I sat at the PC.

I checked my Temperature and it was 100.1. I also pulled out my Blood/Oxygen monitor and it was 93.  I concluded I was dealing the allergy driven bronchitis that usually hits me about once a year.  I took some acetaminophen for the fever and used my inhaler to open my airways. In about 15 minutes my O2sat was back to normal at 96.

I passed Friday night fairly comfortably thanks to a soothing vapor additive for my BIpap’s humidifier. Waking Saturday, I knew all was still not well.  I had no fever, O2sat was normal but the tightness and congestion in my lungs was still there.

About 5 PM the chills returned and my fever spiked at 101. It was then I knew this wasn’t going to self-resolve and I got on line and booked a time slot for a nearby Urgent care center for Sunday Morning.  While COVID was in the back of my mind; I was confident of the vaccine. In addition, I had made a run to the Emergency Room in early summer of 2020 with the same symptoms. It turned out of be a bacterial bronchial infection.

I pulled into the Urgent care lot and, as instructed, called to inform them of my arrival.  About 15 minutes later they called my back and told me to come in. I was met at the door by a nurse in full, Haz-mat getup and led to an exam room. Temp was again normal at 98.1 but O2sat was a disturbing 93.

It was a fairly typical medical practice visit but the nurse did ask if I wanted a COVID test to which I gave and affirmative response.  She then said that they were going to recommend one anyway. They used the nasal swab test that is sent to a remote lab which takes one to two days for results. They also wanted a chest ERay to look for signs of pneumonia.

A radiologist wasn’t immediately available to look at the X-rays but the in-house staff concluded that I did have a bronchial infection with slight pneumonia in the lower lobe of my left lung. I was given prescriptions for two antibiotics and prednisone which I got filled immediately and took my first doses about lunch time.

Sunday afternoon 5 PM came and went without feeling feverish or chilled. Temp and O2sat were normal.  Sunday night was comfortable. I awoke Monday feeling better than I had any morning since last Thursday. Again, my numbers were normal.

Late afternoon Monday Urgent care called to tell me that my X-Ray had been reviewed by a radiologist and I DID NOT have phenomena but I was dealing with an infection regardless and to not change treatment.  About 5 PM I was feeling good. Again, no fever or chills. Numbers were good. Then the call came with the COVID result, as one could guess by now, it was positive.

Of course, I freaked. I do believe, until proven otherwise to me, that the Delta variant caught up with me.

I have spent the rest of Monday evening and Tuesday talk

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ith family and friends, contacting my Family Physician, resting and calming down.  I don’t want to sound Pollyannaish but it could well be that since I was fully vaxxed my COVID “breakthrough” case will be/has been mild. Possibly it was at its worst starting Thursday and lasting though the weekend.  I will continue to check my Temp and O2sat about 4 times a day. My family physician has directed me to rest and up my intake of liquids, vitamin C and vitamin E.

Is there trouble ahead locally and possibly nationally speaking?

Looks like Kentucky’s COVID reproduction rate is at about 1.3 and the Louisville Metro’s is at 1.35. So, about every 3 COVID infected citizens are passing the virus on to 4 new citizens. Geometric progression anyone ??

This is before schools and colleges resume classes and before the more aggressive and deadly Delta variant fully takes hold of the pandemic. Further, Kentucky is not in complete denial like Florida and Texas. We have a sane, Democratic Governor who has to fight the Red state headwind every day to try to protect the citizens.

If a relatively careful, fully vaccinated individual such as myself can be infected; what does that say for our unvaccinated children? What about those who reject all masking all social distancing?  Finally, the worst of all of them; those who refuse the free and effective vaccines? Sadly, IMHO, the Delta variant is coming for them and I believe with a vengeance.

Sorry, this was so long winded but I don’t think I have seen a first-person account of a COVID infection on here, at least in a while. Writing has always been cathartic for me; so, I needed to let it out. Especially with this community. I appreciate your attention.

UPDATE:

First, I want to thank all the KOSSACKS who have read my story today. Your response has been overwhelming and I sincerely appreciate the good thoughts, well-wishes and prayers from each and every one.

I have read every comment and when I had snippets of time, I have responded to many. Two questions that have popped up a few times have been, “How do you think you were infected” and “Why do you think the Delta variant is the cause/”

In addressed both in a response to COSSACK Stevoreno earlier and I am repeating it here.

Good questions

Let me address the Delta Variant question first. This is just my opinion but in the period from Sunday before last, 8/1 to the onset of symptoms on Thursday evening 8/4, I was not in prolonged, close quarters contact hardly anyone.  Plus, I was masked in every situation. Although, I must admit I have not been wearing a KN95 mask since mid-June. Regardless, I just feel that if the non-Delta COVID was going to hit me: it would have before this. IMHO the massively larger viral loads from Delta overwhelmed whatever defenses in I had up at the moment.

As for where I picked it up; frankly, I let my single-minded determination to accomplish a goal overcome my good sense. However, again I was counting on my mask and my vaccinations protecting me.

I moved March 1st and still had not gotten my living room set up to suit me. I needed a love seat but I wanted a loveseat/dual recliner. I shopped Craigslist and Facebook market place for about a month with no luck. So, I decided to bite the bullet and buy from a furniture store.

I shopped online first and found a couple of options for what I needed. I went to the store on Tuesday, 8/3 about 2 PM in the afternoon when I figured it would not be crowded put on my cloth mask with a nose wire and plunged in. the store was virtually empty—good. First, I got a young man to assist me. He was masked but constantly pulled it down to talk with me. I tried to stay as far away from him a possible but, who knows?

Second, after I selected a loveseat; I had to go talk with the delivery and “same as cash” payment person. He is my prime suspect. He was in a 10×10 office. He too kept pulling his mask down. He had a plexiglass shield on the table that was, I assumed, supposed to separate us. It was pushed to one side. I should have run out of there but I wanted to get my loveseat. In short hubris got me.

(BTW, I was contacted by the Metro Health Department last night and related the above. I suspect that the furniture store will be getting a visit or at least some questions by phone.)  

Finally, an update on my condition. My Temperature and O2sat numbers have remained normal today. Continuing to see no signs of respiratory symptoms.  However, my senses of taste and smell disappeared this morning. I again had a minor freak out thinking that I had a more deep-seated, continuing infection that was doing neurological damage.

Thank goodness for Mr. Google. The loss of taste and smell with COVID, I read, is due to damage to sensor cells in the roof of the mouth and the nose, nothing more.  Further, it generally clears up after a few weeks.

Thanks again to all my fellow COSSACKS !!

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