When COVID-19 Entered Our Home

My brother recently tested positive for COVID-19. As an asymptomatic fellow, this is actually the second time he’s had the virus and we can’t even tell he has it. The previous time was just a handful of months prior.

When we got the news that he had it again, I worried for my parents. My brother is living at home, which makes my parent’s exposure chances extremely high.

Worried about the risk

Dad, who has Parkinson’s, but who recently got his vaccine is still worried. My mom chooses to be unvaccinated, but she’s in her mid-60s which makes her a high-risk virus receiver.

When I spoke to my dad about the whole debacle, he shared that he’s still worried. Even though he got vaccinated, there’s a very small chance that it could still be ineffective, which would put him at risk.

Despite living in close quarters with my brother, my mom somehow managed to stay clear of COVID-19. She never developed any symptoms and my brother remained vigilant about quarantining once he’d discovered his own contraction.

And my dad never developed the symptoms, which seems like a good indicator that he may not have it. I feel grateful that my parents seem to have dodged the debacle. But what if they’re not so lucky next time?

Changes in breathing

According to a recent study, those who have Parkinson’s disease seem to also have a higher mortality rate from COVID-19. The main cause of death is actually pneumonia, to which people with COVID-19 and Parkinson’s seem to be particularly susceptible.1

While I was home last, I’d already noticed changes to my dad’s breathing. He went from having strong days to having weaker days and strained breaths.

Throughout the winter, exercise seemed to become harder to accomplish, and I worried that he’d be a particularly vulnerable COVID-19 candidate, should he catch it.

My dad is convinced that he and my mom already had COVID-19. But it has been over a year since they had symptoms that might mimic the virus.

My brother has had the virus twice in the time that my parents think they had it once. Does this mean that they’re still at risk? And what does that mean for the future of social interactions?

Learning as we go

I find comfort in knowing that my parents are fighters. Even if they were to contract the disease, I’d like to think that they’d give it quite the fight.

Dad has done everything he can to stay safe. Mom lives a mostly socially distant life. And, ultimately, I can’t make these decisions for them anyways!

As for me, I’m mid-way through my vaccination. And I don’t plan to return home until I’ve received the second dose. Sure, there could be risks associated with a vaccine that was rushed so quickly. But I feel that the sense of safety that it provides is worth the risk.

And I couldn’t live with myself if I knew that I gave the virus to my parents. Especially when one of them has such ugly odds stacked against him.

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