The number of new Covid-19 cases in the last couple of weeks has been on the rise and the trend is expected to continue in the upcoming period until the end of month. According to the health experts, the Omicron peak is expected to take place somewhere between mid-January to the end of month when the country is about to record the highest number of cases in this winter wave.
All the ongoing studies about the recently discovered Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus show that majority of those infected with Omicron will have mild to no symptoms, but there are rising concerns of how the winter wave will end up because Omicron spreads easily in unvaccinated, fully vaccinated, boosted and even those with natural immunity. The reason for the spread is the high number of mutations which makes it easy for the virus to evade all types of immunity.
The effectiveness of two doses of the vaccines drops to nearly 40% when it comes to Omicron and that’s the reason why health officials and experts warn people to get their booster dose as soon as they become eligible to get one. With a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccines, the protection against Omicron increases to around 80%.
Although vaccines are proven to work in keeping people out of hospital and fatal scenarios, a decent number of Americans still remain vaccine hesitant for all the wrong reasons. Multiple recent polls show that a decent percentage of those unvaccinated never plan to get the vaccine. Until recently, one of them was the 37-year-old R. Figueroa who admitted he made a mistake for not getting vaccinated on time after he spent three months in hospital because he was infected with Covid-19.
Figueroa’s wife, L. Hernandez, is a medical assistant and works at a local vaccine clinic. She often works extra hours in her main and other vaccine clinic in an effort to vaccinate as many people as possible. She was the one who pushed Figueroa to get the vaccine in the last couple of months before he contracted the virus, but he was stubborn and decided to remain unvaccinated despite the fact that their children were already fully vaccinated.
“I was just happy for all the patients that were there and people getting vaccinated, and I was always hoping that one day my husband would be in that line,” Hernandez said.
“He was just against it,” she said. “We would have conversations. We sometimes even had little arguments because I would beg him to get vaccinated and he was against it.”
In September, he contracted the virus and developed symptoms shortly after his positive test. In a matter of hours, his condition worsened and collapsed at home before going to the hospital. His wife said he immediately regrated his decision for not taking the vaccine on time.
“The first thing he told me when he could talk to me was that he was sorry and that he’s so stupid for not listening and he wishes he would have gotten vaccinated,” Hernandez said.
Unable to walk, his lungs scarred from pneumonia, he now knows he was getting the wrong advice about the vaccine. Speaking to a local television, he later confirmed that he listened to people online advising him to not take the vaccine. He spent three months in hospital, he was put on oxygen support and barely survived. Figueroa is finally improving and is expected to be discharged from hospital by the end of January.
“I lost 75 pounds. I was nearly dying,” Figueroa said. “I was pretty much a vegetable at one point. “I highly regret it now,” he said. “It’s the worst thing I’ve ever gone through in my life.”
“I feel like I’m almost there,” he said. “It’s just learning how to walk. Learning how to maintain my oxygen as I walk, as I talk, so I can have a normal life again.”
“If he would have got the shot, all of this could have been avoided,” his wife said.