Covid in the Community – Some Teachable Moments

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Submitted by  Councillor Doreen O’Sullivan

Doreen O’Sullivan

Having avoided contact in the first and second waves, this time I have not been so fortunate.

On Sunday, March 21, I tested positive for COVID-19.

I had been isolating since March 15, so there was no risk to anyone in the community. My symptoms started on March 18 and I am happy to report that I am feeling much better every day. 

What does it feel like to have COVID-19?  For me it started like a head cold or seasonal allergies. Then it progressed to feeling like the flu. I experienced nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and cankers in my mouth, headache, muscle aches, chills and fatigue. Only a few times did I experience chest tightness or cough. 

If I had not been identified as a high risk contact with a positive case of COVID-19. I would not have suspected that I had this virus. I also may not have been tested if not for being identified as at risk.  So, an important lesson from this is, don’t ignore any symptoms. If you are not well stay at home! Get tested and stop the spread! 

It is important to note that I did receive my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on March 5. However, I did not acquire complete immunity to the virus. My symptoms were much milder than they might have been. The vaccine has been proven to significantly reduce the severity of the illness, the number of hospitalizations and deaths, but it does not guarantee complete immunity. 

This means that even once you are vaccinated you may not achieve full immunity and you still need to be diligent to avoid contact with the virus. Masking, hand hygiene and social distancing must still be practiced until more people have been vaccinated.  

Every family’s circumstance is unique and must be respected. I have been diligent in protecting myself and my family, and despite taking all the precautions and following public health protocols, I still got the virus.  COVID-19 got into our bubble. We didn’t go looking for it or invite it in!

I am sharing my story not in an attempt to shame or blame anyone, any institution or organization, but to emphasize how easily the virus can spread. I am sharing this to help keep our community safe and healthy. 

Stigmatizing anyone, any institution or organization for having positive cases of COVID-19 is a form of discrimination and bullying. It can contribute to the spread.  I am including a  message from the World Health Organization regarding the stigma of having COVID-19.

We really are in this together. #Solidarity Not Stigma.

I’d like to express my most sincere appreciation to everyone in the community who has been so kind to me and my family. The messages and phone calls, along with groceries, treats, meals and puzzles dropped at our door have been very much appreciated.  We live in a very caring community. We love North Grenville.  I’d like to close with the words of a country song by Luke Bryan, “I believe Most People are Good.”  Stay safe, stay healthy and be kind to each other!

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