A Candid Interview About Covid, The New Omicron Virus, And Vaccines
By: Jason Morton
Another Variant Is On The Way-Omicron
By now, we all know that Omicron is coming. Not to be confused with the world-ending Transformer, Unicron, Omicron is likely to be less fun than the toy and cartoon character put out by the Hasbro Company. Omicron is just the latest in the endless pandemic emergency that the governments of earth, the best minds in the scientific community, and the citizens of the world have had to contend with during the past two years. We're all getting tired, even frustrated by the new world. The phrase, the New Normal, was coined in the mid-summer of 2020. Here we are, and it's nearly 2022, and nothing about this feels normal to most people. Especially those that have suffered through the hardships and suffering caused by the virus.
I've known many people now that have succumbed to Covid-19's effects. A few of them are no longer among the living. Some have been so sick that they prayed for death, and yet, even more, landed somewhere between not knowing they had anything wrong and just a miserable bout of something they thought was the flu. From a mid-20s athletic, clean living, you lady that first contracted the virus a year ago and could be four or five years from being over the effects to the time I, myself, had Covid-19 and had no idea I was sick until a test told me I'd had Covid.
Interviewing Someone Struggling With Covid Issues
We've all heard of the potential side effects from the vaccines that are supposed to protect us from Covid-19 and its many variants. As I was reading about Omicron, and what effects it might have on people, I spoke with my brother about how he's had to deal with Covid.
Me: What were your first impressions of Covid-19?
Jerome: That they were overhyped and that the media caused a lot of fear and apprehension than was appropriate at the time, considering what little we knew about the virus.
Me: Since you first heard about covid, how has your impression of the virus and the pandemic changed?
Jerome: I've come to accept that the virus is a very real threat and that it affects some portions of the population more than others. After hearing about how people with O-positive blood were more resistant to the virus, I didn't take it as seriously as perhaps I should have.
Me: How did the virus personally affect you as we faced our first global health emergency in our lifetimes?
Jerome: The lockdowns felt very confining. It was like a nightmare with the idea of not being able to get back to normal routines, the freedom to see a movie, the fear of going to public places, what were the authorities going to do if I was out of the home without a reason.
I work from home but am connected to people all over the world and hearing that one of our co-workers died from Covid-19 while on a job site was a scary reality to live with.
Me: We've all faced living in a different world now that we're in the middle of the pandemic. How has the pandemic changed or affected your life?
Jerome: Wearing a mask everywhere I go feels unnatural. I understand the need for the masks but don't feel physically comfortable wearing a mask. I think that there's an impact on people. You don't get to understand people by facial expressions. Nobody smiles in public, or if they do you don't get to see them. People are in more of a rush, nobody is getting the chance to stand and visit with people in the public.
Living in fear has been difficult. The fear of getting sick, or worse. Not feeling comfortable or safe when you are around strangers. At the same time, I miss socialization. Working at home, I didn't get the advantage of leaving the house like some people during the pandemic. Working from home is great, but when you're in a lockdown and don't have any escape it becomes mentally stressful.
Me: What have you done to help cope with life and the changes.
Jerome: I took up fishing, as you know. For me, it was a lifesaver. Not having much of a life before, picking up a new hobby that got me out walking, out seeing something other than the four walls, saved me from having a mental crisis. Then, the streaming services released things straight to streaming. As a huge movie fan and someone that looked forward to weekend trips to the theater, when the streaming services released new movies it saved my sanity.
Me: Vaccines? How did you feel about them?
Jerome: At first I had some hope that they would be the fix to the problems the world was experiencing. It was a chance to get businesses opened, get restaurants up and going, and get people moving again.
Me: How do you think the government is handling the crisis?
Jerome: Poorly. Honestly, the administration hasn't built people's confidence up while trying to keep them from getting sick. In America, instead of selling us on vaccines, they've tried to push the vaccines through mandates and the changes in regulations. Then, the media hasn't helped them. Depending on the media instead of talking directly hasn't worked out when it comes to getting people to volunteer.
Me: Recently you've had some issues that doctors are indicating could be a result of the vaccine. How does that make you feel?
Jerome: Honestly, scared, again. I'm not very confident in the vaccines right now. Why was the booster needed? The effectiveness wore off over time. Then the government pushed the boosters. I'm afraid that recovering from the side effects of the Pfizer booster won't happen anytime soon, if ever.
Me: So, reactions have you had to the Pfizer vaccine.
Jerome: Doctors have said that I'm having an immune response that has caused inflammation in my lungs. It's left me fatigued, debilitated, unable to walk around the house without getting winded, my heart strained, and it feels like I'm struggling to get enough oxygen.
I'm not against vaccines but I think that the reality is that the vaccines were put out to the public too quickly. There are scenarios that weren't tested, they were released under an emergency use with limited testing due to the rush, and there wasn't much of a baseline grouping. There should have been a larger sampling of testing done in my opinion.
Me: Where do you think we're headed from here?
Jerome: They need to cease the mandates and start trying to actually sell the public on the vaccines so that more people can see their doctors. There are questions that don't get answered at vaccine clinics and drive-thrus. If people asked more questions of their actual doctors then they would be able to make a more informed decision. A lot more common sense should have been involved with fighting the pandemic.
Me: Are you afraid of Omicron after the news blasts that have been put to the public?
Jerome: No. After seeing the video from the doctor that first discovered the Omicron Variant, the symptoms are mild. I don't like getting sick, but I'm not going to be overly concerned by the new variant even though some media may hype the fear of it coming our way.
Me: Thanks for doing this little brother.
So, there is an actual discussion with someone about Covid and what they have experienced. I'd have to agree with him about asking doctors about what vaccine to get. I had Covid. I've had the Moderna vaccine. A little bit of common sense and better health habits and I've managed to somehow stay healthy. Whether you choose to vaccinate or not, is entirely up to you as an individual and based on your circumstances. I'm not going to sell anyone on a vaccine because I'm not a doctor.
While it was easy to sit down with someone I know and ask them to do an interview with me about Covid, Covid has created a world far tougher than any of us were accustomed to just two-and-a-half years ago. It's a disaster still in some parts of the country, especially for the overworked and understaffed medical community. From the smallest of cities to the big metropolitan areas, our medical professionals and first responders have felt this the most of anyone. So, shot or no shot, I hope everyone is doing everything they can to stay safe and healthy. And, if you know someone working in the hospitals, clinics, or as a first responder, thank them for all that they're doing to try and get the world through this seemingly endless battle.
About the author
I have always enjoyed writing and exploring new ideas, new beliefs, and the dreams that rattle around inside my head. From the current state of the world to the fantastical ideas of science I've enjoyed exploring them. Time to share them.