(Image: William Dent, CCO, via Wikimedia Commons)
For more than two years I've felt as if I've been evading Covid, much like a fox evades being hunted. Unlike the fox, I've been much more in control of my life, as I spent most of the first year sequestered at home. When I finally went out, it was masked, socially distanced, and not in a crowd. I got both jabs of Moderna as soon as I could. The same for boosters 1 and 2. Alas, last Friday I tested positive with a home test. The virus finally captured me.
Things aren't as bad as I thought. In fact, it didn't occur to me that I was infected. I tested myself at home only because someone with whom I'd been in close proximity with for a week tested positive. That person, I, and 20 other guests were on a small boat adventure in the San Juan Islands. Everyone who boarded, including the staff, had to show proof of vaccination and one booster. No one had to be tested prior to boarding. (Which I think should be a requirement.)
Post cruise I spent an additional three days in Seattle, but the timing of this other's person's symptoms along with both of our participation in the cruise points to the cruise as the vector. One passenger had a fever for a few days. Another was sniffling quite a bit. So who knows? I know only that I have to move on in my life. Travel is a passion of mine, so it is worth the risk of testing positive. I am convinced that the four jabs accomplished their goal in preventing severe illness—or any symptoms at all. In some ways, I'm relieved. I've been captured. Now I can move on. I plan to mask more than ever and I've already turned down dinner engagements and anything that involves close contact until my main travel for this year is over. No dentist, no hair styling, and so on.
The biggest drawback of testing positive is the chance that my PCR test will continue to be positive for up to 180 days. It turns out that the test detects a small trace of the virus genetic material, whether that material is active or inactive. My upcoming travel requires testing (as it should) so getting a positive test when I am completely recovered could hamper my plans. Fortunately most travel companies and USA border control honors a Certificate of Covid Recovery from a medical professional that states the date of the positive PCR test and attests to full recovery of the patient. In only a few days I will be eligible to get that certificate.
Medical professionals say that reinfection is extremely unlikely after 4 jabs and one positive encounter. It is also quite possible that in the next month (when I travel again overseas) that my PCR test will be negative. But if the test is positive, I will have the Certificate that allows me reentry to the USA and (hopefully) participation in small group travel.