Almost three weeks ago, my 84 year-old father and 83 year-old mother tested positive for COVID-19. They were breakthrough cases. My mother had no symptoms, but my father, who has asthma and an irregular heartbeat, had shortness of breath, chest congestion and light-headedness. He was given powerful flu medicine to alleviate his symptoms and because of his chronic medical conditions and his age, he received a monoclonal antibody infusion, a cocktail of manmade proteins designed to boost a person’s immune system to fight off viruses. Both made him feel much better and he felt he had recovered several days later.
However, last week, his symptoms returned. His voice was almost gone, he had a hacking cough, and the shortness of breath and light-headedness had returned. He kept trying to see a doctor, but doctors’ offices and hospitals were overwhelmed with COVID patients.
I was worried he might suddenly stop breathing and my mother, who has dementia and whom my dad takes care of, would not think to call 911.
I drove six hours from Otsego County to Northern Virginia last Thursday to take care of them.
It took two hours, but I managed to get him a telemedicine appointment last Friday. The doctor could not do much for him at that point. She told him if his shortness of breath becomes severe, he should go to a hospital, but she warned there might be no available beds. Good thing my dad does not have severe shortness of breath — so far.
My father appears to be improving incrementally although he still gets fatigued and light-headed easily and coughs a lot. I have heard too many stories of people recovering from COVID who suddenly go into decline and even die from it. He is not out of the woods yet.
I am positive if it weren’t for being fully vaccinated, my dad would be dead now. I am also positive that he would not have had a breakthrough case of COVID if most people had gotten vaccinated. For those who refuse to get vaccinated and have no medical reason not to be, don’t send prayers for him. Just get vaccinated.