My COVID Week.

Like Millions of Americans, I have now been infected with COVID. I felt symptoms on Saturday May 1 and did a rapid test the following day. Positive. Ugh.

On Monday May 3 my primary doc prescribed Paxlovid, a new anti-viral Pfizer drug, which has emergency use authorization from the FDA, and I immediately started the 5-day regimen. BTW, there’s no percentage in denying that you are positive (test yourself if you are the least bit unsure) or waiting to use Paxlovid if are eligible as you can’t wait more than 5 days before beginning on Paxlovid.

The reported stats are 1 in 4 Americans have now had COVID. The more likely data is 1 in 2 Americans have been infected and the #s are increasing. As COVID continues, people are testing themselves at home with rapid tests and then followed by quarantine (or I hope so). The (hardly) “good news” is that percentage of those who test positive and are hospitalized is declining but the sheer numbers of those infected are increasing again, so the sheer #s of those hospitalized will increase as cases increase.

As we all were, I was deeply worried about COVID in 2020. I am “at risk”—currently 69 and a diabetic. I was truly in fear in 2020 as were most Americans. I was doubly fearful since my late wife Beth was suffering from ALS and I was her primary caregiver. Beth passed away in September 2020 and though my fear didn’t go away, it subsided as time passed. In late 2020, I still masked, distanced, ate only in outdoor restaurants. Yet I was still afraid.

Then my brother-in-law died suddenly in January 2021 after complaining of symptoms but tested negative (falsely?) in a rapid test. Subsequently it was believed he had died from COVID.  

So when I had the opportunity to get vaccinated I spent hours on my computer seeking any location in NJ where I could get an appointment. I got the first date I could (late January 2021) and then got the second shot 4 weeks later in late February. I tried every facility in New Jersey and ultimately was vaccinated 25 miles away in Trenton. I did not understand then or now why someone would avoid a vaccination shown so effective in dramatically reducing hospitalization and death. “What are the long-term effects”, people asked. That was an understandable, intelligent, yet unanswerable question in the short term. Yet the “long term” effects of death were clearer.

I remember being euphoric after my second vaccination in 2021. I thought I was “safe”. I am appreciative of the mRNA technology which led to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The technology was years in development and obviously accelerated by the onslaught of COVID. However, as the original vaccinations lost their effectiveness I happily got boosted in August and then for a 2nd time just a few weeks ago in March. I learned about breakthrough infections, first a rarity but several strains later now very common.

And on May 1 I learned that I was indeed infected. I understood that since I had become more active—going to concerts, ball games, restaurants, business, etc.—that my risk increased. Alas, my # came up. I am VERY thankful to have been vaccinated. In my case, my symptoms—coughing and congestion—were moderate, but manageable and fading quickly.

I continued to be disappointed in people who refuse to get vaccinated (“my right to do whatever I want”). You do have the right to not get vaccinated and those who chose not to get vaccinated also do have the right to die, as many unvaccinated and a far smaller # of vaccinated people have as well. The selfishness of unvaccinated people not only creates a large risk for themselves, but also a greater risk for all.

The pandemic may have slowed for the moment, but it is surely not over. 1 Million Americans have now died (probably more) and Millions more throughout the world have passed. To put American deaths in perspective, 1 Million people is greater than the population of 6 states—Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Delaware. Our American hubris have led to far more deaths than had we been more cautious. The majority of deaths since the vaccines were introduced would not have occurred. 

We may be tired of COVID, but COVID is not tired of us. At least not yet. New variants become even more contagious and spread rapidly. We are now 2 variants removed from Omicron. Cases are increasing and while deaths have fallen to “only” hundreds per day, they continue.

As a result of having been infected I am:

1. Even more thankful for having been vaccinated/boosted and, as a result of vaccination, have had a more modest short-term impact of the disease (who knows long term or what long term means for anybody?)

2. Even more angry with selfish, ignorant deniers, who care little for anyone but themselves (and foolishly in the end don’t care much for themselves or families either).

I do not wish harm on anyone yet is hard to mourn the plight anyone who was eligible to get vaccinated but chose not to. I mourn for their families. The ripple effect of someone’s passing is deep.

Nurses (who are angels on earth) can tell you the pronouncements of unvaccinated, failing patients—“I wish I had gotten vaccinated”. My prayer is that we can end this pandemic in the near future and, having learned from our mistakes, have a smarter approach to the next public health crises around the corner.

More Strumings


  1. Gary Barnes says:


    Best wishes for a speedy recovery. I’m very glad to hear your symptoms are tolerable and the new Pfizer pill has helped along with the vaccinations and booster shots. Stacey and I just got our second boosters and feel like we have done all we can to help keep ourselves and everyone else safe.

    I do not get how people can be so selfish either, but many do not know any better and are also being misled by people who definitely know better. I blame those charlatans and opportunists more since they only care about making money and/or political power. Shameful.

    Take care and be well,

  2. Larry Chrzan says:

    Hope you are feeling better soon. And now you will have super-immunity!

Leave a Reply