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Nickolas: “The vaccine is not 100%. I think I let my guard down.”

Updated: Sep 2



Nickolas:

I want to let you know I tested positive for Covid today. I’ve been very sick for last 3 days.


The Insider:

Oh, no!


Nickolas:

Oh yes! My birthday present. Yikes! I’m doing okay.


The Insider:

Which day did you start to feel sick?


Nickolas:

I started coughing on Friday, but really felt something was up Sunday.


The Insider:

Which vaccine did you have?


Nickolas:

Moderna.

The Insider:

How do you feel now?


Nickolas:

My throat hurts quite a bit. I can’t talk because it irritates it. I’m sweaty but no temperature.

The Insider:

Can you believe those lousy vaccines?


Nickolas:

Nothing is 100%.


The Insider:

Do you feel well enough to text right now?


Nickolas:

Let’s text tomorrow.


The Insider:

Of course!!! Feel better and get in touch when you feel well enough.



TWO DAYS LATER



Nickolas:

Hi. Definitely feeling better today. Still a bit of sore throat and slight cough. It’s been a rough couple of days. But I can text now. My throat is not so sore.


The Insider:

A few background questions for readers. Where do you live?


Nickolas:

Manhattan.


The Insider:

And how old are you?


Nickolas:

57.


The Insider:

Are the pandemic rules in your office the same as they’ve been since the beginning of the pandemic or have they gotten more lenient?


Nickolas:

The rules were more lenient! But now we are back to being more strict.


The Insider:

That’s been the pattern all over Manhattan, I think. Did it worry you when it got more lenient, or did you assume the worst was over?


Nickolas:

It was a bit jarring at t first to have more people around. I kind of got used to all the space. But yes, I thought the worst was over.


The Insider:

When were you vaccinated?


Nickolas:

March.


The Insider:

With which vaccine?


Nickolas:

Moderna.

The Insider:

Did you have any side effects?


Nickolas:

Not really, I expected worse


The Insider:

Where did you get it done?


Nickolas:

Duane Reade [a NYC pharmacy].


The Insider:

Were you eating at outside restaurants?


Nickolas:

Yes. I was and I also ventured inside if doors were open and there were not too many people.


The Insider:

Did your vaccinated visitors wear masks in your apartment?


Nickolas:

No, we were vaccinated. Thought it was safe.


The Insider:

When did you start to feel sick?


Nickolas:

Last Sunday. I was feeling tired a bit off. Thought it was the heat.


The Insider:

What in particular seemed off that day?

Nickolas:

Felt lazy. Sunday night, I took a shower and when I stepped out of the shower, my whole body started shaking uncontrollably with cold chills. I grabbed a blanket and jumped into bed to warm up. The whole night was hot and cold. I don’t know when I fell asleep. When I woke up in the morning, the whole bed was just soaking wet with sweat. The day after my birthday. Happy birthday Covid.


The Insider:

Did you know immediately what it was? Did you take your temperature?


Nickolas:

I had a very bad sore throat and a cough. I wondered, is this an allergy or strep throat?

No temperature.


The Insider:

Did you go for a Covid test the same day?


Nickolas:

I went to the doctor on Tuesday, thinking it was strep. I had just had a Covid test on August 5th and it was negative.


The Insider:

Why did you have a Covid test on the 5th?


Nickolas:

Because I had been away for two weeks prior to that and I was around a lot of people and with all the talk of the variant I thought I wanted to get tested.


The Insider:

Where were you were on vacation?


Nickolas:

Fire Island [part of Long Island].


The Insider:

Were you aware of anyone in particular whom you interacted with who was sick? Did you hear from anyone else afterwards who got sick?


Nickolas:

No one was sick that I knew of. After listening to all of the Delta variant news, I just got a little paranoid.


The Insider:

Were a lot of people wearing masks on Fire Island, or very few?


Nickolas:

Mask mandates were lifted everywhere.


The Insider:

Were people partying and going into clubs there?


Nickolas:

People were relaxed. Everyone was being social again, not like last year.


The Insider:

When your test came back positive, how did you feel?


Nickolas:

I was pretty calm about it. It’s been almost two years of dodging the beast! Okay, now I have to deal with this.


The Insider:

Did it feel impossible, though, because you had had a vaccine?


Nickolas:

The vaccine is not 100%. I think I let my guard down. I started going in elevators without a mask I went in some stores without a mask I was hugging people. I just wanted normal life back.


The Insider:

So understandable! People are sick of this.


Nickolas:

Everyone was saying, ‘You’re vaccinated; I’m vaccinated. We’re good.” I guess we are not!


The Insider:

What have you gone through in the last week? What has it been like to have Covid?


Nickolas:

It’s not been fun. Very sore painful throat. Dry painful cough, body pain and headache. Not being able to sleep. Sweating. Very scary. I’m glad I was vaccinated. Can’t imagine what it would be like without it.


The Insider:

Do you assume that you had an easier time because you were vaccinated?


Nickolas:

I think so


The Insider:

Did you have to go through this alone?


Nickolas:

Yes I’ve been alone. Friends and family coworkers have been amazing, checking in and texting. Very supportive and loving.


The Insider:

Did you have to contact the people you’d been with recently?


Nickolas:

It was my birthday. I was around a small group. Everyone was tested and is negative.


The Insider:

Did you eventually get a temperature?


Nickolas:

No. No temperature.


The Insider:

Did you lose your sense of taste or smell?


Nickolas:

I never lost my taste or smell. Thank goodness.


The Insider:

What are you still going through now?


Nickolas:

The sore throat and cough was the worst. I can feel myself getting better A slight cough. Headache, tired.


The Insider:

Did the doctor give you any advice when you tested positive?

Nickolas:

Stay home, rest, take Aleve, drink water. If your symptoms get worse, go to the ER. I’ve been really healthy with what I’m eating and drinking tons of fluids.


The Insider:

Have you lost weight? Do you have an appetite?


Nickolas:

I look like I lost weight. A friend is dropping off ice cream soon and I’m very excited!!!!


The Insider:

How long have you been told to quarantine?


Nickolas:

10 days


The Insider:

Meaning the 10th day after you were diagnosed?


Nickolas:

From the time of your positive test


The Insider:

What advice would you give to vaccinated readers, based on your own experience?


Nickolas:

Don’t let your guard down. Keep masks on indoors. I just got off the phone with Testing & Tracing NYC and the woman told me that someone had got infected three times.

The Insider:

Did any of your coworkers get tested?


Nickolas:

The people who might’ve thought they were at risk probably did.


The Insider:

Does Testing & Tracing NYC get in touch with you? What do they say?


Nickolas:

They took all my info and they gave me a bunch of numbers if I needed help. I can call them. They were very good. In New York, there are a lot of perks if you’re sick and you need help. They call every day.

The Insider:

That’s great! Anything else you’d like to say?


Nickolas:

Be safe


The Insider:

I am so glad you’re getting better! Thanks so much for doing this interview.


The interviewee's name has been changed at his request for personal and professional reasons.

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