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I was a breakthrough case. Here’s what ‘mild COVID’ was like for me.

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When I woke up with pressure in my sinuses and a sore throat the morning of July 27, I was convinced it was a sinus infection. After all, my husband and I were vaccinated back in April with both doses of Pfizer.

I didn’t have a fever, I didn’t have a cough, and I could still smell and taste everything.

I was tired and dragging — but hey, the common cold still exists, right? So I did what I would normally do: Stayed home, had my husband bring me the ingredients for chicken soup, overdid the Vitamin C and water, and tried desperately to take a long, quick walk outdoors in an attempt to burn out the illness.

On Wednesday, I felt a little worse. But then Thursday came.

I woke up to my head feeling like the Hindenburg — inflated and on fire. The pressure in my sinuses could be felt from my eyeballs to my eardrums, and it continued up over my head into what I can only describe as similar to a migraine.

“That’s it, time to bring out the big guns,” I thought. I made an appointment online with the CVS Minute Clinic, with a plan to request some antibiotics. Clearly, this sinus infection wasn’t going to leave quietly.

If you had asked me that morning if I thought I would test positive for COVID-19 within the hour, I would’ve replied with a confident “no.”

That may be one important lesson to take away from this: Concerning one’s health these days, be confident of nothing.

Positive for COVID-19

At the Minute Clinic, a nurse practitioner checked my vitals, listened to my lungs and then asked if I’d allow her to test me for COVID-19 just to rule it out.

I agreed, and she swabbed me herself. She said results usually took about 10 minutes to come back if they were negative.

While she was looking into my throat and ears, the results of the rapid test “dinged” in the little machine.

I don’t think two minutes had elapsed, and her immediate response was “uh-oh.”

I looked at the little screen on the rapid test machine and the words “COVID-19 POSITIVE” were showing.

Putting my family at risk

I won’t repeat the string of expletives that came out of my mouth, but all I could think about was this: In the weekend prior to my symptoms starting, I had come into close contact with almost everyone I love and care about.

My parents, my in-laws, both of my brothers, my brothers and sisters-in-law, and almost all of my nieces and nephews had been in my home (or I in theirs) just that past weekend, only hours before I began to feel ill.

I was in tears, and I was scared. Whose life had I put at risk? Would someone I love have to endure worse than me because of my being near them?

Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D, rest and water

The nurse practitioner told me to go home and take it easy. She assured me that since I had been vaccinated, my bout with the virus would probably be short and mild.

She didn’t prescribe any medication, but told me that extra Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D, rest and water would help. She said lying down constantly was a bad idea as it could lead to fluid build-up in the lungs, which would lead to pneumonia; if I could get up and walk around, I should. Also, there were the obvious reminders to isolate and try to get fresh air.

Before I even left the parking lot to head home, I was on the phone with my family members to make them aware they had all been exposed to COVID-19.

Then I headed home to isolate.

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No smell or taste, coughing, shortness of breath

That very evening, my senses of smell and taste were gone. I picked up a bottle of rubbing alcohol, held it to my nose, and smelled nothing.

My husband grilled a ribeye steak for dinner, and though the texture was there, the flavor was not.

It was surreal, unnerving, and I found it funny from a place of dark humor – which I firmly believe we must all hold on to when things go wrong.

By Friday, weakness and headaches had fully set in. I was now coughing (dry, not deep in my chest), but I was also having to take very long, deep, labored breaths.

I would feel like I was out of breath after taking a quick shower or walking from one room to another, and I’d have to sit down as my heart rate would spike and I would feel like I had been running. As someone who has been accustomed to nearly an hour of cardio daily for the past decade or more, this was probably the most frustrating part.

This was the only day where I spiked a mild fever. By this point, I was taking Sudafed and Tylenol at the suggestion of my doctor. The Sudafed lessened the congestion, while the Tylenol lowered my fever.

From the frontline of Charlotte COVID testing: ‘It’s going to get very bad,’ doctor says

On Saturday, I woke up feeling a little bit better as far as headaches and sinus pain were concerned — and yet, the weakness was worse. I would get up to pour myself a glass of water and have to sit back down on the kitchen floor.

It made me extremely angry. Overall, I felt better, but my body was not cooperating.

For the next five days, I had lingering mild congestion, which I referred to as “my sinuses healing” as I could hear crackling in my nasal passages and ear canals. I had to moderate my activity as I would get dizzy spells, brain fog and tiredness with a rapid heartbeat whenever I walked more than a few yards or so. My senses of smell and taste are gradually returning.

“In the weekend prior to my (COVID-19) symptoms starting, I had come into close contact with almost everyone I love and care about,” Rebekah Maher wrote about her breakthrough coronavirus case.

Be cautious, even if vaccinated — and please get vaccinated

I hope my story helps someone. More than that, I hope that you will all take good care of yourselves. Exercise daily, drink water, use sunscreen, hug your families and faithful doggos a little tighter, and use caution even if you are vaccinated. The CDC recently released updated guidance after new data showed the delta variant of COVID-19 appears to be more infectious, leading it to spread easier, even when individuals have been vaccinated.

If you are not vaccinated, I ask you to please speak to your doctor (not a YouTube video, please) and discuss the pros and cons of the vaccine.

Need to get a COVID test? Here’s where you can find one around Charlotte

During these past two weeks, I have spoken with one epidemiologist and one trauma nurse, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my experience with COVID-19 was a mild one due largely to the fact that I was vaccinated.

I cannot choose for you, but if I could, I’d vaccinate the population of the entire planet against this virus before it can mutate again and cause more damage.

Rebekah Maher is a Charlotte resident.



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India tests nuclear-capable missile amid tensions with China

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NEW DELHI (AP) — India has test-fired a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 5,000 kilometers (3,125 miles) from an island off its east coast amid rising border tensions with China.

The successful launch on Wednesday was in line with “India’s policy to have credible minimum deterrence that underpins the commitment to no first use,” said a government statement.

The Agni-5 missile splashed down in the Bay of Bengal with “a very high degree of accuracy,” said the statement issued on Wednesday night.

Beijing’s powerful missile arsenal has driven New Delhi to improve its weapons systems in recent years, with the Agni-5 believed to be able to strike nearly all of China.

India is already able to strike anywhere inside neighboring Pakistan, its archrival against whom it has fought three wars since gaining independence from British colonialists in 1947.

India has been developing its medium- and long-range nuclear and missile systems since the 1990s amid increasing strategic competition with China in a major boost to the country’s defense capabilities.

Tension between them flared last year over a long-disputed section of their border in the mountainous Ladakh area. India is also increasingly suspicious of Beijing’s efforts to heighten its influence in the Indian Ocean.

Talks between Indian and Chinese army commanders to disengage troops from key areas along their border ended in a stalemate earlier this month, failing to ease a 17-month standoff that has sometimes led to deadly clashes. India and China fought a bloody war in 1962.



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Friedman, Dodgers facing decisions on FAs, Bauer this winter

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andrew Friedman is headed into an offseason filled with crucial decisions involving the Los Angeles Dodgers’ big-name free agents, a rebuild of the starting rotation and Trevor Bauer’s future with the team.

As always, Friedman is guided by the ultimate goal of the monied Dodgers, saying, “The number one objective is to put ourselves in the best position to win in 2022.”

After coming within two wins of reaching the World Series for the fourth time in five years, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations defined the team’s postseason as “our struggle to consistently score runs.”

“We needed someone to step up and pull an Eddie Rosario,” Friedman said, referring to the Atlanta Braves left fielder who was named MVP of the NL Championship Series.

“After we made the Trea Turner deal, in my opinion, one through eight, it was the deepest and best lineup I’ve been around. But it didn’t quite play like that over those two months. It was a little bumpier than I would’ve expected,” he said Wednesday. “Figuring out the why of that is the hard part.”

The turbulence began well before the postseason.

Reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Bauer went on paid administrative leave in early July under MLB’s joint domestic violence and sexual assault policy. MLB is conducting its own investigation and has yet to announce any findings. Bauer, through his representatives, has denied any wrongdoing.

Asked if Bauer will pitch for the team again, Friedman said they remain in the same position as before.

“It’s being handled by the league office,” he said. “Whatever they decide, we’ll have to figure out from there what makes the most sense for us.”

If MLB suspends Bauer, it could create a domino effect on the team’s payroll plans.

“The extent of it, I don’t know yet,” Friedman said.

The Dodgers began the season with eight starters and tried to get through the postseason with just Walker Buehler, Max Scherzer and 20-game winner Julio Urías. The lack of depth was exposed by the team’s decisions to use Scherzer in relief in Game 5 of the NL Division Series and Urías out of the bullpen in Game 2 of the NLCS that left both pitchers tired in their later starts.

“We’re got a really good group of young starting pitchers coming,” Friedman said, citing Mitch White, Andre Jackson, Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot and Landon Knack. “Gives us a really strong foundation of depth.”

Friedman and the front office have decisions to make on such key veterans as Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, Kenley Jansen and Chris Taylor, who will become free agents after the World Series.

“We’ll do everything we can to keep as many of this group together,” Friedman said, “but not standing in the way of a great opportunity and I’m sure there will be for different people.”

Kershaw, the 33-year-old three-time Cy Young Award winner, reinjured his left arm not long after returning from over a two-month absence for the same issue and wasn’t available to pitch in the postseason.

“He just wants to feel good again and get to the point where he’s healthy,” Friedman said.

Kershaw has spent his entire 14-year career in Los Angeles, where he’s been the longtime face of the franchise.

“There’s something nostalgic and great about Kersh playing for one team and winning another championship and having a parade,” Friedman said.

Offseason moves would be impacted if no agreement on a collective bargaining agreement is reached before the current deal expires Dec. 1.

“We need to be prepared accordingly,” Friedman said.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports





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Senators have heated exchanges with AG Garland over DOJ school board memo

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Senators have heated exchanges with AG Garland over DOJ school board memo



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Drinking Coffee Has Some Super Benefits—Here Are 4 Health Perks of Your Morning Cup

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Nor'easter has New England bracing for floods, power outages

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Trump Jr. Gets A Reality Check After Comparing U.S. To Communist Czechoslovakia

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Donald Trump Jr. was ridiculed this week after he likened shortages of certain products in the U.S. under President Joe Biden to living in communist Czechoslovakia in the 1980s.

Trump Jr. made the remarks during conversation Saturday on Newsmax with Sebastian Gorka, a right-wing media personality and former aide to Donald Trump.

Gorka asked Trump Jr. to discuss the “empty shelves” and backlog of cargo ships in California due to supply-chain issues, given his “perspective” as someone who, “as a child, traveled behind the Iron Curtain and saw real socialism.”

“When conservatives say, ‘They’re socialists. The Democrats have gone radical,’ this isn’t an exaggeration, is it? You’ve seen it, Don,” Gorka added.

Trump Jr.’s mother, Ivana Trump, grew up in Czechoslovakia before moving first to Canada and then the U.S. in the 1970s. He told Gorka his Czech grandparents wanted him to understand the “freedoms and blessings we have here” in the U.S.

“So I traveled with them there every summer, you know, six, eight weeks. I’ve waited in those bread lines,” said Trump Jr., whose father was estimated to be worth more than $1 billion in the 1980s. “We’re starting to see the empty shelves that I experienced then in communist Czechoslovakia in the ’80s in America right now.”

Grocery stores in the U.S. are having problems stocking certain products due to the coronavirus pandemic, a worker shortage and shipping congestion at the Port of Los Angeles.

Some social media users and conservative media personalities have shown images of empty shelves to attack Biden over the supply-chain issues. However, some of these images have turned out to be photos from years ago.

Trump Jr. was slammed on social media for the absurd comparison. A number of people also pointed out that last year, at the peak of the pandemic during the Trump administration, shelves in stores across the country were stripped bare of certain essentials and people lined up for miles in their cars or for blocks on foot to get aid from food banks.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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How a pro-Trump “command center” at a hotel near the White House fueled January 6 efforts to block election certification

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