family health

Covid – Blech!

It finally happened. After managing to avoid Covid through the pandemic lockdowns and beyond over the past almost-three years, I finally contracted it. Hubby had it once before and we were so diligent about staying in separate rooms that I didn’t catch it then.

We’ve been pretty good about getting our shots, but over the past year, we hadn’t been back to get the fourth one due to getting a house ready for sale, buying a new one, and almost continuous illness since October. I’ve had RSV, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, the flu, and some unknown illness that left me with an awful cough that lasted for almost two months and made my ribs ache so badly that I was worried I had fractured one. The cough was finally on its way out, so Erik and I scheduled our Covid shots and got them last Friday.

The next day, we both felt like our arms had been punched and we were tired, obvious effects of the shot. Over the next couple of days, Erik developed a fever and cough, and within a couple more days, I developed the same. That damn, nasty cough was back … argh!

These did not feel like normal after-shot effects, so I decided to test for Covid yesterday evening. I was shocked to find that the test was positive. I have taken so many tests for Covid that have been negative, at one point during the pandemic testing almost every other week, that I expected it to be the same.

iHealth plastic test box for at-home Covid-19 test showing two lines indicating testing positive for Covid.
My positive at-home Covid-19 test, January 2023.

I had Erik take a Covid test, too, choosing a different brand from the ones we had on hand. He, too, tested positive.

Black and white test strip from QuickVue at-home Covid-19 test showing a pink and blue line indicating a positive Covid result.
Hubby’s positive Covid test, January 2023.

Now, in case you’re thinking, like I was, that maybe the Covid shot led to the positive Covid tests, that is not the case. According to the Centers for Disease Control, none of the authorized vaccines will cause a positive result on antigen tests, like the at-home tests. (Scroll to the last entry on the CDC page for this info.)

This article from NPR is even clearer on that: “Coronavirus (booster) FAQ: Can it cause a positive test? When should you get it?” It says that it would be impossible to test positive from the vaccine because the tests test for something that isn’t in the vaccine.

It also points out respiratory symptoms are not a side-effect of the vaccines, so if you have a cough or other breathing problems, you’ve got something else going on.

We likely contracted Covid right before getting our shots and the incubation period coincided with the days following the shot, making us connect the two. But, correlation does not equal causation, as the kids these days like to say, so we had to tease out what was happening with the help of some online searches. (Thank goodness for the CDC and NPR!)

While we didn’t get our latest shot soon enough for it to take effect prior to getting Covid, hopefully all the shots we’ve had in the past will keep our current infection mild.

I’m also hoping this is our last illness for a while. I can’t remember any other time in my life where I’ve gotten one illness after another for months on end. Has anyone else experienced that over the past four or five months?