When COVID-19 first made the news, I was skeptical — was this really any more serious than the flu?
When my friend got COVID and wound up in intensive care, I began to take things a little more seriously. However, I wasn’t entirely persuaded. I thought maybe he was just unlucky.
Then another friend got COVID, and died. That got my attention.
Then a different friend’s mom got COVID and died as well.
Then another friend who is 44 years old and in reasonable health got COVID and was admitted to hospital, his blood oxygen at dangerous levels.
Thankfully for his wife and six children, he returned home some time later, over the worst, but weak and physically exhausted. I spoke with him recently and he is still unable to work and still physically affected. That was last Christmas.
"Sometimes I feel like I’m shuffling about from better to worse to better again without making much progress."
There does appear to be slow improvement but doctors say it will take time to return to normal, hopefully later this year.
Two weeks ago another friend got sick with COVID and found herself in intensive care. Her family asked our whole church to pray for her while she wondered if she would ever see her grandchildren again. Thankfully she is now recovering at home.
I appreciate that others do not have so many friends affected by this virus, they are fortunate. I mention these situations because they changed my mind. I am no longer skeptical or unsure about the reality of COVID. That’s why my wife and I chose to get vaccinated.
Places in the world with high vaccine uptake are seeing far fewer cases and hospitalizations and resuming normal life, something all of us want.
We all hope the COVID-19 pandemic is a once in a lifetime event. No doubt there will be lessons learned, but one is already plain: this virus is something to take seriously. That’s why I chose to get vaccinated, and I hope my story helps others do the same.
Rossmere constituency report
Andrew Micklefield is PC MLA for Rossmere and the government whip for the Province of Manitoba.