The number of new Covid-19 cases is constantly declining in the last couple of weeks and as of Thursday, some 98% of the U.S. population live in locations where Covid-19 levels are low enough that people do not need to wear masks indoors, as per the most recent CDC mask guidelines and Covid-19 data.
Currently, more than 254 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while more than 216 million are fully vaccinated with two doses of the vaccines (65.2% of the US population), the CDC data shows. Majority of the vaccinated people got their shots in the months after the vaccines were authorized for emergency use since December 2020.
The 47-year-old J. Welch was one among many who were still unvaccinated last summer and exposed to the deadly virus even though he was able to get a shot easily at any of the local vaccine sites. Welch, his wife and their children don’t declare themselves as anti-vaxxers, but they decided to wait to get vaccinated against COVID-19 until a shot was granted full approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the first of which wouldn’t come until late August.
The Welchs decided to go on a holiday because they were feeling safe from Covid-19 taking into consideration the fact that the situation with Covid-19 seemed stable at the time, with only couple of thousands of cases statewide daily, which was low compared to other periods with tens of thousands of cases in a single day.
When they returned home in Texas early July, Welch started feeling sick, feverish and struggling to breathe. Having every known corona symptom, he tested positive on Covid-19, but the situation worsened when his oxygen started dropping and he was immediately taken to hospital for treatment. After two emergency room visits, he was sent home with medication.
In the end of July, Welch went to the hospital again since he was still ‘feeling terrible’ and he thought the doctors will send him again back home with other medication. At that point, no one could have imagined that would be Welch’s last day with full memory in months and that he will spend almost seven months in hospital fighting Covid-19 once he was admitted there.
Speaking to Fox News 4 few days ago, Welch’s wife Emily said those several months have been the most challenging she and their children experienced in their lives. She was thankful to the local community, family relatives, friends, neighbors and the church for all the support they provided during the 197-day-long hospital treatment. Welch was sent home early last month and he will continue his treatment home.
“I thought he’d be in the hospital a few weeks and be home,” his wife recalled. “Every single day was unknown. He’s completely a miracle. He has fought through having lung collapse, GI bleed, kidneys failing, he was on dialysis,” she added. “It was definitely one of the most challenging things I’ve had to face in my life,” Emily said.
As soon as Welch returned home, dozens of supporters who showed up earlier in the months, showed up again in front of their house welcoming Welch. So many people showed up that the whole thing looked like a parade.
He continues his treatment at home and he is still on 24/7 oxygen support. The road to recovery will be a long one, but the family is positive everything will be completely fine with Welch at the end.
Since the full FDA approval of the vaccines, the whole family got their Covid-19 shots.