I must admit to feeling rather smug about the fact that I have had both Pfizer shots and both Pfizer boosters. Hey, I had to be pretty close to being bullet proof, right?
Well, two weeks ago, I found out that Omicron BA.5 wasn’t at all impressed with my COVID credentials. In fact, it hit me like a cement truck with no brakes. I started feeling ill on Tuesday the 2nd of August but came into work on Wednesday because we’re in the middle of a registration madhouse, and my presence was much needed. Unfortunately, by the afternoon, it was quite apparent that things were getting much worse. My boss got me a test kit, and the results were identical to the “positive” example on the packaging.
I had body weakness, an awful headache, sinus drainage like a waterfall, a throat so sore that it felt like I had swallowed broken glass, and a heavy tight chest. This intensity lasted until Sunday, then the headache and sore throat disappeared. It took all of last week for the other symptoms to slowly subside.
This virus is so strange. My wife and I (both Pfizer shots, one booster- we’re too young for 2) basically had about 4 days of feeling somewhat cruddy, and then I had some weird afternoon fever/morning sweats for a few more days, and a residual cough for about a week. I didn’t actually feel bad after the initial 4 days, and even then it wasn’t all that bad. Wife had a sore throat, and I never did. She never really had much of a cough.
During my arm infection hospital stint, I chatted with the nurses (I was in the COVID wing because I still tested positive on the PCR test) , and they said that the unvaccinated are still getting hit HARD by BA.5, and that pretty much every vaccinated person in the wing was there for something else and just happened to test positive as part of the intake process.
As a vaccinated person, that’s why I was surprised at the intensity of my COVID. Of course, school districts are Grand Central Station for pathogens of all kinds, and COVID is no exception. You have 1,000 kids in one building, crammed side by side in classrooms all day and filling the halls between each period. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
There’s no default course of COVID. Many people have gotten through it with either no symptoms or very light symptoms, even before the vaccines. Accordingly, there were and are also many people on the other end of the spectrum who fared far less well.
This is definitely a case of YMMV, and it’s difficult to extrapolate one own’s experience onto others. I got what I assume is BA.4 or 5 six or so weeks ago, and it knocked me on my ass for about 6 hours, then I was okay by the next day. No sore throat, no loss of smell or taste , just body pains and fever. My wife got it from me and was, largely fine. Just sniffles for three days, like a light cold (both of us vaxxed + boosted. One kid also got sniffles; the other managed to avoid Covid.) For this wave, most of what I’ve heard from vaxxed and boosted people has been they had mild flu-like symptoms that lasted a couple of days, nothing much worse than a cold. But there have been plenty of exceptions (maybe a quarter of the people I’ve talked to) that had more severe reactions to it. Plus also in the opposite direction: unvaxxed people who have gotten it and had a relatively mild response to it (and others, like my parents, who are unvaxxed and still managed not to have gotten it.)