We did everything right.
We took stay-at-home orders seriously. We wore our masks everywhere. We got vaccinated as soon as we could and then helped and encouraged others to get theirs.
But my fiancé still tested positive for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). I tested negative.
At the time of publication, the Delta variant is the most contagious form of COVID-19. It’s normal for viruses to mutate, and for the most part, changes aren’t that concerning. What is different during this pandemic, however, is that unchecked spread can fuel more mutations and produce variants that are even more contagious, cause more severe illness or even completely evades vaccines altogether, according to AP.
There are breakthrough cases of people getting sick even though they were vaccinated, though. My fiancé is one of them, he can attest to this. But because he was vaccinated, it prevented him from having to be hospitalized.
“I can’t imagine what things would’ve been like if I didn’t have the vaccine. Just because I got it [COVID-19], it doesn’t mean that the vaccine doesn’t work - it makes it less likely that I would get a severe case. I never felt at any point that I would have to go to the hospital. I got tight chest pains, but they were brief,” says Dalton Miles.
According to a July 30 NBC article, there has been over 125,000 vaccinated Americans that have tested positive for COVID-19, and 1,400 of those people have died. According to NBC, the breakthrough cases represent 0.08% of the 164.2 million people that have been fully vaccinated.
“The vaccine is a barrier and I’m not exempt because I had it. We should take those precautions, especially for those that are immunocompromised. Even though I’m not immunocompromised, there’s still people that are, and we need to be considerate of them,” Miles continues.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more and more people are going to get sick, which is only fueling the labor shortage and will contribute to supply chain disruptions. It’s why companies like Tyson, Walmart, Google and united Airlines are mandating that employees get vaccinated to help contain the spread of the virus.
“Tyson Foods and Matrix Medical have worked together since the beginning of this pandemic to develop and implement strategies to mitigate the risk of the virus to Tyson employees and their families, as well as the communities where they live and work,” said Matrix Chief Medical Officer and Group President, Daniel Castillo, M.D., M.B.A in a press release. “Matrix clinicians and Tyson team members have worked hand-in-hand to implement a broad array of workplace safety measures at Tyson, and we now feel the rising number of new cases across the U.S. warrants advanced clinical strategies – including requiring vaccinations.”
While the goal is to keep supply chains moving, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has yet to formally adopt the CDC’s recommendations. The agency has updated its guidelines, as of June 10, 2021, to focus on protections on unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers and to encourage workers to get vaccinated.
Still, according to a survey by Alignable, 76% of small businesses believe that the Delta variant will hurt any potential economic recovery that has been seen in the last few weeks. With fears of another state-wide lockdown, 87% of travel/lodging professionals, as well as 86% of event planners, 83% of photographers, 81% of entertainers/artists, 77% of retailers and 76% of gym owners/fitness trainers are concerned about looming Delta Variant repercussions.
Protection programs, masks, vaccines – they all can prevent people from getting sick. But, you can also still do everything “right” and still test positive. We must continue to protect one another because this pandemic is so much bigger than all of us. We rely on the global supply chain to provide for us, but now it is time to do our part so we can prevent further disruptions.