What Are You Afraid Of?

Photo of Kay wearing a flowery light blue mask

I’m shielding.
I’ve seen posts on social media saying people like me are cowards, making a mountain out of a molehill, or making Covid an excuse for what we don’t want to do etc.

None of these things are true!

No one has actually asked me what I’m afraid of, but I’m aware there are some who don’t understand why I’m being so careful.

I’m writing this knowing a friend with similar disabilities to me is in intensive care with Covid. They have been double vaccinated, and they have been careful.
I know many others with the same or similar conditions to me who have caught covid and their disabilities are now much worse as a result.

Here’s some of my recent history for you:
In 2019 I had two severe infection reactions.
Both caused a temperature of over 41º C. One remaining at that level for over a week (38º for a couple of hours on paracetamol, then swinging back with full force).
The other infection had the same temperature issues for 6 weeks.
I also had a heart rate above 150 for both infections and was sent to A&E for the second infection querying whether I had sepsis.
Both had a severe knock on effect with my muscles, mobility and pain levels. Both impacted my vision. 

Six months after the first infection I was just beginning to get back to near normal (for me) when the next one hit. I still have the after affects of that including a marked deterioration of my previously mild asthma, increased muscle spasm and a further dip in mobility levels.

If I caught covid – you can imagine what would happen, especially when you look at how I was affected by what would be average infections to others.

Now I’ve been vaccinated, I might not die from Covid, but my health would suffer and my disability deteriorate even more.

Yes, I have a couple of diseases known to deteriorate over the years – but it should be just that….over years. The covid virus would bring that down to months, and gaining back what would be lost would be minimal, and hard work.

I don’t want that.

So, I will do what I can assess as a minimal risk, and not do what would be a huge risk.

The High risk factors for me (As advised by professionals) are being around those who are both unmasked and unvaccinated, and sadly – children. 

High risk is being in enclosed spaces with large groups of people who are mixing with lots of other groups of people. This risk reduces to moderate if the room is big, has a lot of height and the windows are open….and I wear a mask! 

High risk is also being in a room where people are singing. Once again mitigated to moderate risk by a bigger room with open widows, and if I sit at the back (Behind the flow of air from the singers) wearing a mask.

While infection rates are still high I will be very careful, but as they drop (hopefully soon!) I will take a few very carefully calculated risks.

So you see, I’m not afraid or a coward – I’m being careful for very good reasons.

PS: It’s also worth noting that along with many others, I might not die from covid, but I could however die from the flu – which is also beginning to circulate now.
I’m struggling to get the vaccine for that, but add to this – the makers of these vaccines have no flu virus circulation map to make it appropriate to what is currently circulating (something that they do carefully every year).
More good reasons to be careful!

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