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American ShipperNewsViewpoint

Viewpoint: Living proof of COVID vaccine’s death-defying power

Postponing in-person F3: Future of Freight Festival the right thing to do

I’m grateful to be back at my desk after a more than monthlong battle with COVID. I’m a statistic now — one of the unlucky few fully vaccinated people who wound up in the ICU.

My husband and I together went to a FEMA-run site in Jacksonville, Florida, where we live, and obtained the Pfizer vaccine as soon as we were eligible, receiving the first dose in late March and the second in early April. 

Over the next few months, our lives returned to “normal.” (One could argue that there is nothing normal about life in Florida under Gov. Ron DeSantis, but I digress.) Then came the deadly delta variant.

In late July, my husband contracted COVID, most likely from an unvaccinated person. (C’mon, people, the COVID vaccine will not make you sterile or turn you into a zombie or allow the government to track your movements.) It was a mild breakthrough case, similar to what most fully vaccinated people experience — a few days of fatigue and a low-grade fever. 

I was getting ready to run errands on Aug. 1 when I suddenly felt incredibly tired. It was only about 11 a.m., but I needed a nap. When I woke up, I was running a fever. I knew I had COVID, but I wasn’t worried. My husband slept a lot for about three days and then felt much better. Over the following week, I didn’t feel better. My fever would break only to return hours later. I was told by my primary care physician’s office that nothing could be prescribed for a breakthrough case of COVID. I just had to wait it out.

By Aug. 10, I couldn’t wait it out any longer. I’d lose my breath just taking a few steps. My husband drove me to the ER. (Because of COVID restrictions, he had to drop me off at the door and leave. I had no idea I wouldn’t see him again for two weeks.)

Thanks to the quick actions of the ER staff at Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside Hospital, I had an oxygen mask on my face within about five minutes of my arrival. After several hours in the ER, I was transferred to the ICU, where I spent nine days.

I don’t remember what day it was when I asked a doctor, “Am I going to be OK?” She reached for my hand and said, “I can’t tell you that. The mortality rate with the delta variant is very high.” It’s not easy to get your head around news like that, and I certainly had moments reminiscent of Nancy Kerrigan’s “Why?” wailing after she got whacked in the knee before the 1994 Winter Olympics. But then I got mad — really mad, mad at the unvaccinated who don’t take others’ well-being into consideration, mad at the nonsense coming out of Tallahassee. I was told several times during my 14-day hospital stay that the only reason I survived was that I was fully vaccinated. I know that to be true. I think getting fighting mad helped too, and I vowed to make a federal vaccine mandate a mission if I lived.

FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller announced last week that the long-planned F3: Future of Freight Festival, an in-person extravaganza slated for Nov. 8 to 10 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will instead be a virtual event because of continuing COVID concerns. I emailed Craig to thank him for making what I strongly believe was the right decision, telling him I don’t think people from throughout the country should stand shoulder to shoulder until there is a vaccine mandate.

Craig responded, “I am glad we are able to put safety before profit.” So am I. I know a lot of people put in a lot of work planning an in-person event. But FreightWaves did the right thing, and I have never been prouder to be part of the team. More companies, CEOs, politicians and citizens need to do the right thing. Follow CDC guidelines. Get vaccinated

Kim Link-Wills, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills has written about everything from agriculture as a reporter for Illinois Agri-News to zoology as editor of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Her work has garnered awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Magazine Association of the Southeast. Prior to serving as managing editor of American Shipper, Kim spent more than four years with XPO Logistics.

7 Comments

  1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I
    decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is where i started…….. w­w­w.j­o­b­s­7­0.c­o­m

  2. Well said, Kim!! It’s beyond time that folks start listening to science again and realize this virus doesn’t care what political party you belong to. It’s an equal opportunity killer. I find it interesting that people won’t trust medical science enough to get the vaccine, but when they get Covid, they sure trust medical science to try to save them. Glad you are back in the saddle.

  3. I did have Covid last year. I have not received a “vaccination” because my body has built up an immune to help fight it off. I have more friends who were vaccinated that have come down with Covid than friends who have not been vaccinated. The story says – “…my husband contracted COVID, most likely from an unvaccinated person.” My vaccinated friends caught it from a family member who, you guessed it, was also vaccinated. The “Science” that is pushed now says people who received the shots can carry & pass along the virus. This argument against us “unvaxxed” is nothing but a paper tiger.

  4. I sympathize with the author. I went through COVID last last year before vaccines were available and a close friend recently lost their father to complications from COVID. However, reading this account raises several questions and highlights how certain narratives have taken precedence over facts, data and science.

    “My husband and I together went to a FEMA-run site in Jacksonville, Florida where we live, and obtained the Pfizer vaccine as soon as we were eligible…”

    Of the vaccines, Pfizer has some of the strictest handling, transportation and storage requirements. Is it not possible that the dose you were given had been compromised? Especially since this was a pop-up site? Do we know how compromised vaccines impact people? Are they inert or can they cause damage?

    “Over the next few months, our lives returned to “normal.” (One could argue that there is nothing normal about life in Florida under Gov. Ron DeSantis, but I digress.)”

    You say “normal” in quotes which I assume means that it wasn’t actually normal. Did you continue to wear masks? Distance? Limit close contact with unvaccinated people? Also, while everyone is entitled to their opinion, the jab at DeSantis injects an unnecessary political tone into this story and hurts your credibility as an unbiased journalist.

    “Then came the deadly delta variant.”

    The data isn’t entirely clear on whether Delt is more deadly. https://asm.org/Articles/2021/July/How-Dangerous-is-the-Delta-Variant-B-1-617-2

    “In late July, my husband contracted COVID, most likely from an unvaccinated person.

    I understand that this is an editorial, not news, but what evidence does the author have about where the virus was contracted? Was the author’s husband around a lot of people that were unvaccinated? How would he know? Was he still taking precautions (maksing, distancing, etc.) to protect himself? Why or why not?

    (C’mon, people, the COVID vaccine will not make you sterile or turn you into a zombie or allow the government to track your movements.) It was a mild breakthrough case, similar to what most fully vaccinated people experience — a few days of fatigue and a low-grade fever.”

    This is just unnecessary. Again, I know this is an editorial, but conflating the decision not to be vaccinated with kooky theories is demeaning, condescending and shows a clear lack of empathy and understanding. As to the breakthrough, the CDC defines breakthrough as “the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or antigen in a respiratory specimen collected from a person ≥14 days after they have completed all recommended doses of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.” Was this a true breakthrough? Again how do they know? Were they tested for antibodies or immune response following the injection?
    “I was getting ready to run errands on Aug. 1 when I suddenly felt incredibly tired. It was only about 11 a.m., but I needed a nap. When I woke up, I was running a fever. I knew I had COVID, but I wasn’t worried. My husband slept a lot for about three days and then felt much better. Over the following week, I didn’t feel better. My fever would break only to return hours later. I was told by my primary care physician’s office that nothing could be prescribed for a breakthrough case of COVID. I just had to wait it out.

    By Aug. 10, I couldn’t wait it out any longer. I’d lose my breath just taking a few steps. My husband drove me to the ER. (Because of COVID restrictions, he had to drop me off at the door and leave. I had no idea I wouldn’t see him again for two weeks.)”

    This is heartbreaking and would be absolutely terrifying, and raises some serious questions about the policies that have been enacted in the interest of “the greater good.” Especially since her husband had been vaccinated and gone through COVID, there is no reason he should not have been able to accompany her.

    “Thanks to the quick actions of the ER staff at Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside Hospital, I had an oxygen mask on my face within about five minutes of my arrival. After several hours in the ER, I was transferred to the ICU, where I spent nine days.

    I don’t remember what day it was when I asked a doctor, “Am I going to be OK?” She reached for my hand and said, “I can’t tell you that. The mortality rate with the delta variant is very high.”

    Data seems to be mixed about whether the mortality rate for Delta is greater or on par with earlier variants (Source 1: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-02/delta-coronavirus-variant-symptoms-vaccines-spread/100255804; Source 2:https://www.science.org/news/2021/08/grim-warning-israel-vaccination-blunts-does-not-defeat-delta). Regardless, it seems like there is a better way for the Dr. to address such a question.

    It’s not easy to get your head around news like that, and I certainly had moments reminiscent of Nancy Kerrigan’s “Why?” wailing after she got whacked in the knee before the 1994 Winter Olympics. But then I got mad — really mad, mad at the unvaccinated who don’t take others’ well-being into consideration, mad at the nonsense coming out of Tallahassee. I was told several times during my 14-day hospital stay that the only reason I survived was that I was fully vaccinated. I know that to be true. I think getting fighting mad helped too, and I vowed to make a federal vaccine mandate a mission if I lived.”

    Again, what evidence does the author have that this was caused by “the unvaccinated,” and how can she possibly know their motivations and their concern for others?

    “FreightWaves CEO Craig Fuller announced last week that the long-planned F3: Future of Freight Festival, an in-person extravaganza slated for Nov. 8 to 10 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, will instead be a virtual event because of continuing COVID concerns. I emailed Craig to thank him for making what I strongly believe was the right decision, telling him I don’t think people from throughout the country should stand shoulder to shoulder until there is a vaccine mandate.

    Craig responded, “I am glad we are able to put safety before profit.” So am I. I know a lot of people put in a lot of work planning an in-person event. But FreightWaves did the right thing, and I have never been prouder to be part of the team. More companies, CEOs, politicians and citizens need to do the right thing. Follow CDC guidelines. Get vaccinated.”

    It is wonderful to hear that the author and her husband made a full recovery. We need more stories of hope, but the narratives need to stop. We need full, honest information. We need to be able to ask questions. We need to stop assuming others’ motivations. We need to stop meddling in people’s private medical decisions. Vaccine mandates are not the answer, they will only exacerbate the situation and further divide our already fractured nation.

  5. So the vaccine didnt keep your from getting it from your vaccinated husband. (Even though you are sure he got it from someone unvaccinated.) The vacinne didnt keep you out of the hospital and 10 days in the ICU. But it is surely why you survived. Why do unvaccinated people survive? Sorry – that isn’t science – it’s denial. Science will be found in the long-term

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