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Let’s be a bit more cautious out there

Monday, May 16, 2022

* Rep. Joyce Mason (D-Gurnee) on Facebook five days ago

I had managed to avoid covid for the past 2+ years. Vaccinated and double boosted, I had been feeling pretty confident lately. Honestly? Kind of invincible. It felt so great to be returning to life and people and events, unafraid, normal.

But that all changed Sunday afternoon as I suddenly developed a weird, barky cough and started feeling bad. Mothers Day dinner was canceled as I crawled into bed. My at home test: negative. My fever spiked as high as 104 during the night and I froze with chills and my body ached. Monday - I canceled my attendance at a press conference with the Governor, a school visit, and A Safe Place board meeting. Home test: positive.

Worst headache ever, chest pain, wheezing and coughing non-stop, my doctor sent me to the ER. An EKG and chest X-ray, curled up on a small bed, shaking, freezing, sweating, aching, coughing. They sent me home with an inhaler and a prescription for antiviral medication, which was hard to find at local pharmacies.

Canceled everything for the week including speaking at a Veterans event in Springfield I had been looking forward to for months, breakfast with a community member I admire so much and have been wanting to get to know better, a visit with the Speaker, big meeting with the Zion community leaders, another school visit and surprising a school group during their Springfield Capitol tour, and much more.

Today I’m still quite sick, I can’t stop coughing, it’s hard to talk, and I’m exhausted. Incredibly sorry to those I had been around and didn’t know I was infected. Grateful to those who have reached out. We’re fine - Just do me a favor - please please please don’t let down your guard. This vaccinated, double boosted mom can attest to the fact that covid is still very much alive and well and still very dangerous. Take care friends, and keep those masks handy. Be safe.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Commisar Gritty - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 9:17 am:

    Get well soon, Rep!

  2. - Honeybear - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 9:18 am:

    Love me some Joyce Mason. I know this is purely anecdotal but my social media friends are getting hit hard with covid. Much more than in other peaks. I think we’re in for heavy seas coming up.
    Honestly, I need to keep these folks in mind when I choose to or not to mask up.

  3. - Lake Villa Township - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 9:20 am:

    Get well soon Rep Mason you are an exemplary public servant for people like me in northern Lake County.

  4. - froganon - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 9:28 am:

    Peace and strength to you Rep. Mason. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I’ve been feeling a little foolish with the mask thing lately. No more, it’s mask on for me.

  5. - illini - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 9:30 am:

    My younger brother and I had plans for today - that is until he called last night to cancel. Like Rep. Mason he was vaccinated, double boosted and always observed the suggested precautions ( masking etc. ).

    To my point, he and his wife finally took a long overdue Anniversary vacation to Cancun. Two days after his return he started with all the normal symptoms and it hit him hard. Did he catch the virus at the resort or on the “masks optional” flights? But Rep Mason has good advise - Be Safe.

  6. - Norseman - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 9:33 am:

    It finally caught me about a month ago - 4 days after receiving my 2nd booster. One bad night, week of weird food taste and a few weeks of cough and fatigue. I had worn masks when in stores. Don’t know for sure, but the weak link might be grandson who is too young to be vaccinated.

    I’m certainly glad I got vaccinated and boosted because one bad night is better than one bad death.

  7. - illdoc - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 9:42 am:

    Finally got me last week. thankfully double boosted. Some fatigue and joint pain. Stay safe everyone

  8. - cermak_rd - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 9:46 am:

    Wise words. I just got my 2nd booster, this time, Moderna! Good reminder to continue avoiding close contact with people and poorly unventilated spaces. I am very glad work has upgraded their ventilation and has functional tracking (we all wear tracers–they also beep if we get too close together).

  9. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 9:54 am:

    Two texts this weekend from folks who are on the cautious side of things telling me they are sick.

    I’m resigned to the fact the family will get it this month before school is out. It’s been a good run, kids in school, competing in sports, going to events with friends. But vaccinated, boosted and the like I know that its still coming for us.

  10. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 10:00 am:

    My household had it a few weeks ago. My fever lasted 8 days. Still fatigued.
    I’m going to continue masking indoors, it’s a lot less of a hassle than being sick.

  11. - Masker - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 10:04 am:

    Another readon why they should be masked up still at minimum and most likely locked down, it aint over, back to 100,000 cases a day with little to no testing, its bad…just glad hospital use is low, for now.

  12. - Nick Name - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 10:05 am:

    Fully vaxxed and boosted, when mask requirements relaxed I relaxed on wearing a mask. Got my first cold in more than two years. Not COVID, thank God, but still pretty miserable.

    I am back to mask wearing and now am double boosted.

  13. - Cheryl44 - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 10:14 am:

    My nose is running just like it does every year at this time. I’m masking up, just in case it’s not seasonal allergies. Even if it’s just a cold, that’s still not something I want to spread.

  14. - Suburban Mom - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 10:18 am:

    We caught it for the first time the last week an April, all vaxxed, boosted, and careful with masks. (And not socializing much outside of family.) One of my children was exposed at school, because a lot of people are pretty shruggo about it now.

    We’re all reasonably healthy, and all vaxxed, so it wasn’t terrible. Two kids ran fevers for 24 hours and had the sniffles; the third kid had ZERO SYMPTOMS EVER (but a positive test). Spouse and I were knocked on our butts for about 48 hours, and then had lingering cold symptoms for a week, and honestly we’re both still post-viral coughing.

    We are probably going to take our 60 days of super-immunity and go on a tiny family vacation, which we haven’t done in two years.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 10:37 am:

    - Birds on the Bat -

    Are you vaccinated? Why or why not?

    My sincere best to Rep. Mason, hopefully things will get better, quicker.


  16. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 10:43 am:

    I’ve been using -slightly modified for my own use to put more weight on the 2nd derivative- community/county spread metrics the same way I would use a severe thunderstorm warning.

    Similar in that I wouldn’t go out and play baseball outside when there is a state of warning for the area.

    When a specific level is reached, I pull back on my indoor dining and other close-to-people activities. In Will county, that means I’ve already pulled back about a week before the county went into a higher rank.

    And like severe thunderstorms, when the risk has passed normal activities can resume.

    After more than 2 years now, the changes are pretty easy to make, and with only a little planning the changes are at worst only minimally disruptive if at all to my comings and goings.

    Hope the rep and her family have a full recovery.

  17. - Ok - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 10:43 am:

    COVID is at a level right now that might be higher than January, but is obscured by the fact that most people are doing at-home tests. The good news is that the latest impacts on hospitalizations and deaths is really low. But that doesn’t mean it is just sniffles for everyone, just that we are finally getting better at treating and treating early.

    It is particularly acute in schools. It is a MASSIVE issue in schools right now. To quote my teacher acquaintances: “everyone has it.”

    Funny, it’s almost like masks were actually doing something in schools.

  18. - Avocado Toast - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 10:47 am:

    Yeah… someone tell Goddard Daycare in Springfield to mask their teachers again, because they don’t listen to the parents of the children that go there. It’s infuriating. 10 day quarantine each time. DCFS needs to fix this NOW.

  19. - Cheryl44 - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 10:51 am:

    No, Birds, I don’t remember that. If he really did say that, I hope Dr. Fauci corrected him.

  20. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 10:55 am:

    Thoughts and prayers for Rep. Mason in her recovery.

    Fully vaxxed and double boosted, hoping this fall or next year there can be a combo flu and COVID booster vax, all in one dose. Still not giving up on the masking anywhere I go. I Always continue to double mask at work and other high-risk exposure locations, especially since I still have a lot of cloth masks leftover from the early days of the pandemic that I still use.

  21. - Pundent - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 11:02 am:

    =Remember when President Biden said you couldn’t catch it if you were vaccinated?=

    Yes. It was in last years’ town hall. But he also said in that same discussion that you were significantly less likely to become seriously ill and die if vaccinated. Which is ultimately what vaccines are intended for.

    There’s no dispute that being vaccinated significantly reduces the likelihood of serious illness and death. Now if you want to discount the benefits of being vaccinated simply because you don’t like Joe Biden that’s your choice. You certainly won’t be the first. But it seems like a silly reason to put your life at risk.

  22. - Demoralized - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 11:03 am:

    ==most likely locked down==

    What in the world for? As long as hospitals aren’t filling up I would say we’re in pretty good shape right now. Covid isn’t going away. At some point we have to learn to live with it.

    New Zealand, which had one of the strictest responses to Covid, begain opening up in the middle of Covid exploding in their country. Why? Because they had good vaccination rates. We know that vaccines keep you from getting really sick. They are doing their job.

    I, for one, have moved on. I’m living my life exactly as I did before Covid. I’m vaccinated and boosted. I had Covid in January and had mild symptoms for a couple of days. I don’t live in fear.

  23. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 11:03 am:

    Is it that difficult to say if you’re vaccinated or not… especially if you want to go after the idea of what vaccines do?

  24. - Demoralized - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 11:06 am:

    ==since I still have a lot of cloth masks leftover from the early days of the pandemic that I still use==

    Those aren’t very useful. I think the recommendation, especially with Omicron, is that if you are going to wear a mask it should be an N-95 or a KN-95 if you truly want to be protected. I think you can get those fairly easily now, unlike at the beginning of the pandemic.

  25. - northsider (the original) - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 11:07 am:

    Fully vaxxed, double boosted, reasonably cautious. It caught me last week (probably because of a flight for work a few days before. I was tightly masked, the others in my row were not). Wicked sore throat, hay fever type congestion, but the exhaustion & body aches were the worst part.
    First home test negative, called the doctor anyway. He was adamant that I test again the following morning. Positive.
    Much better now,6 days in. I still have a mild cough but all the rest has subsided. Please be careful everyone– this isn’t over.

  26. - illinifan - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 11:08 am:

    Vaxxed and single boosted. Caught it in March. Thank goodness mild case with no fever. That said a month and a half later I keep having off taste and smell and other issues.This virus keeps on giving. Hope all who catch recover.

  27. - workingfromhome - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 11:11 am:

    My wife and I were hit hard with COVID-like symptoms during the past 10-12 days. We’re both vaccinated and boosted. High fever, crazy chills, fatigue, sore throats, cough, the works. Our fevers broke a few days ago and slowly feeling like ourselves. Four at-home tests, four negative results. Geez

  28. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 11:17 am:

    ===Four at-home tests, four negative results. Geez ===

    Same thing happened in my brother’s family. He started swabbing throats and it worked.

  29. - New Day - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 12:10 pm:

    Double boosted and had Covid in December. I’m probably more reckless than I should be. Not wearing masks and yet I know it is all around me. Notices from the kids schools are at a higher clip than ever, including during December and January. I’m just not prepared to go back. And yea, I know, denial is not a smart strategy.

    I also completely agree with OK. Everyone is testing at home so the public numbers aren’t remotely accurate in terms of cases. But hospitalizations are low so I’m hanging my hat on that. Fingers crossed.

  30. - ArchPundit - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:25 pm:

    I had it last week after avoiding it. My wife got it as well, but the two college age kids avoided it. I’m still a bit tired, but doing fine. I got a little too lax. It was mostly like a bad sinus infection for me. Lots of sleeping.

    ==There’s no dispute that being vaccinated significantly reduces the likelihood of serious illness and death.

    Being vaccinated also helps reduce the chance you get it at all. It’s not as good as say the measles vaccine in doing so, but it still significantly reduces transmission. For some reason the anti-vaccine groups have tried to present this as some binary option instead of a probability.

  31. - Keith - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 2:15 pm:

    I’m vaxxed, double boosted, and as a home-based state employee, am masked anytime I’m outside of my home. Currently working at a charter school in South Chicago where the entire 7th, 9th, and 10th grades are in quarantine due to COVID exposure. Somehow, masks are still optional here. With cases creeping up to 100K again, it’s far from over.

  32. - JDuc - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 4:14 pm:

    Still wearing masks around people out of my circle, always wear mask in public at any store. Only eat indoors, occasionally, if it’s away from other people. Pretty much the same for last 2.3 years.
    Luckily, haven’t caught it and will do everything I can to avoid it.

  33. - Peanut - Tuesday, May 17, 22 @ 4:49 pm:

    I am immunocompromised & my work wants me to come into the office after working from home successfully for 2 years. I was told that the governor’s office advised state agencies to deny these accommodation requests for medical reasons. SO for now I am on medical leave- still no pay..

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