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LETTER: Vigilance must be maintained, even for the double-vaccinated

'Public Health provides technical guidelines but we also need to use common sense and consider our social responsibilities,' local resident says

MidlandToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected]. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication).

Dear Editor,

A friend recently said to me “I’m tired of living in fear.” If we are double-vaccinated and vigilant there is no reason we should be living in fear.

We are all trying to go forward and live our lives but there is one thing that is critical to keeping this virus at bay: openness and honesty. There is no shame in contracting COVID and there should be no hesitancy in communicating that you have COVID, have been exposed to COVID or are living with someone who has COVID.

There are those who might prefer not to share personal information, but they then have an added responsibility not to put others at risk.

Case in point: I and three others, so far, have tested positive after being at an event where one of the attendees (who has now also tested positive) did not disclose in advance or even at the event that their absent spouse had COVID. They believed because they were adhering to basic Public Health guidelines they didn't need to disclose.

There were 13 attendees, we were outdoors, then indoors for the meal – unmasked. Everyone was fully vaccinated; we thought we were safe.

We only realized our predicament when one of the group reported some symptoms and only then were told that the absent spouse had COVID. We all immediately arranged for testing, which is ongoing.

It is important to realize:

  • Double vaccination is no guarantee against infection. 
  • The incubation period after exposure is 10 days, a negative test prior to those 10 days does not mean you are no longer at risk of getting or spreading the virus
  • Those who are fully vaccinated may have very minor symptoms that might not lead them to suspect they are infected unless they were aware that they had been exposed.

We need to work together to keep everyone safe. Public Health provides technical guidelines but we also need to use common sense and consider our social responsibilities.

Anita Fegarty