My COVID-19 PTSD & Stories

As my wife has just left to do a 2nd COVID-19 test, my anxiety has shot up again.

The last time this happened, I was at work and it was bad news. We ended up isolating from each other for weeks. This was when the CDC did not really give clear guidelines and before the vaccine was even close to being approved for the US population.

i’m kicking myself over and over for not getting vaccinated when i had the chance.

– a young covid-19 patient

You look at the statistics and they are improving, but the stories are the ones that can be more profound. Nursing assistants catching COVID-19 twice (despite being vaccinated – yes I know it’s still possible, but can be still unsettling to hear), 40-year-olds contracting COVID-19 and dying in my work’s emergency room, someone who went to a party and got the whole family sick and the grandparents passing away.

True story: then there are folks who contract COVID-19, go to the hospital (where I, my family, friends, and colleagues risk our health to treat and attend to these individuals), the patient seeks medical treatmentand turns down the vaccine when provided another yet opportunity to turn things around. But they consent to other ‘experimental’ treatments to help with their breathing. I don’t know if it’s a lack of education, denial, or something else.

I have learned that misinformation can spread like wildfire and can fundamentally change people’s beliefs and attitudes, much to our detriment.

I remember one patient telling me, “did you know they put mercury in vaccines?, that’s why I’ll never get one”.

Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that has been used for decades in the United States in multi-dose vials (vials containing more than one dose) of medicines and vaccines. There is no evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure. – CDC

Anti-vaccination activists promoting the incorrect claim that vaccination causes autism have asserted that the mercury in thiomersal is the cause. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

No matter how hard it is to trust, trust in science.

It’s not art, politics, religion, history, or something else that has gotten us this far in human civilization in terms of overall impact, but if you think about it, it’s science. Cures to conditions, eradicating diseases, prolonging life, medications that help to control our symptoms – it’s all thanks to science.

What also makes me anxious is my little one has not been vaccinated but hopefully is receiving some antibodies from Mom’s breastmilk. If given the opportunity, I would likely have my little one get vaccinated, despite being so young. The benefits far-far-far outweigh the risks.

By now, it seems everyone is an ‘expert’ when it comes to COVID-19. We all know to wash our hands, to isolate inside, to vaccinate, etc. Thankfully, most of the older population has been vaccinated. But as society is semi-opening up and ‘returning to normal’, the delta variant is on the rise. This is not meant to be an alarmist post, but it is a reminder to remain cautious and to take precautions.

Please get vaccinated or encourage those you know who haven’t and who are eligible to – it can literally save a life or several. Per the CDC, it’s the best way to help control SARS-CoV-2 variants. Getting vaccinated is not about you it’s about the health of your community.

Wish me luck. Take care, everybody.

(CDC) To find a COVID-19 near you:
http://vaccines.gov
Text your ZIP code to 438829
Call 1-800-232-0233

References

“Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism Concerns | Vaccine Safety | CDC”www.cdc.gov. 12 December 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2019.

Jeff is a licensed occupational therapist and lead content creator for OT Dude. He covers all things occupational therapy as well as other topics including healthcare, wellness, mental health, technology, science, culture, sociology, and philosophy. Consider supporting my continued free content by sending a tip.