As detailed in the previous instalment, after a couple of days I considered myself the textbook case of a fully vaccinated individual that has caught COVID but has pretty mild symptoms. I was starting to wonder if this was going to be a one-entry COVID diary.
However, by day four it got a bit more challenging. The annoying cold that had emerged on day three was solidly in place – nose streaming, headaches, tightness across the temples. Classic stuff. It reached the point where I had to tell the crew at work I might not be around at all times with the need for a nap here and there.
I realised this was somewhat like how I felt after both my vaccine doses (but without the weird chills that I experienced).
I feel like our small house is a pretty good case study. 18-year-old Gawu, with one dose, and really nasty cold. 58-year-old me with two doses, and a standard cold, and Nicola with two doses and barely a symptom. Who would have thought vaccination would make so much sense…
The past few days have also been more of a realisation around what “living with COVID” will actually be like. Yes, we will catch it, and while everyone’s experience will vary, as a vaccinated person the odds are that it won’t be the worst thing in the world. Since mid-July in Victoria there have been roughly 25,000 cases, with 84% unvaccinated, 11% partially vaccinated and 5% fully vaccinated.
Of course I absolutely know that not everyone can be vaccinated for a variety of reasons, so we are still going to need to make sure that we have all the usual protections in place, such as being vaccinated if we are caring for them.
It’s also been interesting to watch the reaction of friends around the country to our “positive” news. In NSW and Victoria the reaction has been simply that they are happy we weren’t too sick, however in the states where there haven’t been many cases – South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and even Queensland – there’s been a real sense of shock and worry. It does make me wonder how challenging those states will find the opening up process.
Chuck Smeeton is Chief Operating Officer of the Royal Institution of Australia.
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