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    • #31280
      Jen Cueva
      Keymaster

      I hate to be a “negative Nancy,” but it’s no secret that this new COVID variant is popping up all over. Some areas are seeing several different variants, like here in the Houston Medical Center.

      I’ve heard that it affects the vaccinated and unvaccinated. The vaccinated hopefully have a less serious case.

      Is anybody here worried about the new COVID strand with the recent news of cases rising again? Are you staying home or masking up again?

      If you have had the vaccine, would you be interested in or recommend getting the newly discussed booster? Why or why not? Let’s talk about this “elephant in the room”.

    • #31282
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      Such an important topic @jenc that I wish we didn’t need to discuss.

      I have been worried about the variant because WA state has been claiming many cases. As you know, my son’s best friend tested positive last week and he was fully vaccinated. Luckily he has only complained of a severe sore throat. Perhaps he would have been sicker if he hasn’t been vaccinated?

      We have been reading article that transplant recipients might benefit from a 3rd dose because their immunosuppressants make the vaccine less effective for them. But then Cullen read about men in their 20’s, like him, experiencing concerning heart issues from the vaccination, so now he is hesitant to go in for a 3rd round.

      This pandemic seems to be getting more complicated as time passes…yet so many are letting their guard down. It’s scary to think about.

      I have a friend who had a cruise planned in September and was going to stop and visit us in Seattle before taking off, but he and his travel friend decided to postpone it for another year because of all the concerns you mentioned.

      • #31305
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Yes, so true, @colleensteele; it is scary and frustrating. I, too, wish we did not have any concerns or worry about this. It is not my favorite topic to discuss, but I know that it is popping up around the globe, unfortunately.

        I hope and pray that your trip to NJ goes well. I know that you are already well-versed in taking precautions.

        I can feel the concerns that Cullen has. That is true; I have read many credible articles creating this complication in young adults.

        I pray each day for the world and trying not to worry. But this is often a struggle.

      • #31337
        Jill Upshaw
        Participant

        Getting very concerned. I have a lot of medical workers in my family and their emails are definitely real. Several hospitals going back into lockdown and limiting visitors. I will definitely take the booster if it is available. Don’t want to but sure don’t want COVID again even more. I am also limiting my exposure. Got 2 DR appointments this week and I am definitely going to ask their opinion.

        • #31346
          Jen Cueva
          Keymaster

          Hi @, I hope that your family working in medical care stays safe. This is serious, I agree. I, too have started, limiting my interactions.

          Like you, I do NOT want COVID again. I hope and pray that all of us stay safe.

          Has anyone had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine? They tried giving that one to my hubby, but I said no because he had stents a few years back. He got Pfizer, only a sore arm yesterday afternoon, thus far.

          Thanks for updating us in your area, @upshtcx. are your family members nurses and doctors? @mamabear007 has a daughter in law that is a nurse, so hoping that all keep safe.

        • #31349
          Jill Upshaw
          Participant

          Jen, They are doctors and nurses in different areas. Several are in the New Orleans area and then Missouri and Illinois. Also in Georgia. I know nothing about Johnson and Johnson but since it has a clotting issue, I would not want it either. I meant to ask today about a booster but I forgot. I hate when I forget. Hopefully, we will avoid it and stay safe.

        • #31360
          Jen Cueva
          Keymaster

          Thanks for your views, @upshtcx. I pray that your family of doctors and nurses stay safe. So many in many different areas. What area are you in again?

          I can relate to asking for things and forgetting. I call it CRS. I often make notes on my phone to ask my doctors. But, at times, I forget that, too.

          I, like yourself, am a bit nervous about J&J because of the issues you mention of clotting and some heart issues some were seeing.

        • #31381
          Jill Upshaw
          Participant

          I am in middle Tennessee. I have really good doctors and I am so thankful.

        • #31394
          Jen Cueva
          Keymaster

          Hi, @upshtcx; that is one area that my hubby and I have discussed retiring to one day. I know several PH friends who recently relocated to TN from California and Mass.

          I was asking my husband I that was a sign, lol.

          How long have you been there? What’s your favorite thing about living there?

        • #31397
          Jill Upshaw
          Participant

          I am south of Nashville so we have all kinds of Healthcare available. The economy is great. More jobs than people. Lots of entertainment. Sports. Music. Our weather really is mild. It gets hot in the summer but mostly high 80’s not the high 90’s. It may snow once or twice a year or ice but it does not last long. Winter temps mostly in the 40’s and 50’s but it does get colder sometimes. Some winters are just long-sleeve winters. No state income tax. Well run state with plenty of reserves financially. Overall, it is a very upbeat area with a high quality of life. Lots of opportunity for pretty much everything. The only thing we are lacking is an ocean. Lots of rivers, lakes, pools, and mountains but no ocean.

      • #31426
        Jill Upshaw
        Participant

        On the variant – it is definitely real and a killer. A man younger than me was taken off the vent in my hometown today. He was totally healthy before. I saw 2 of my doctors this week and both said I was to absolutely take the booster when available. One even said if he got of hold of the correct dose, he would call me asap. That being said, he said they were working on the booster but also a booster that would cover the variant. If I find anything else out on the variant booster, I will definitely post it.

        • #31441
          Jen Cueva
          Keymaster

          Hi @upshtcx, it is so sad to hear of these stories. This variant is taking over in so many areas. I am grateful that my PH team decided that I could go ahead and receive the vaccination. I did yesterday.

          After almost losing my life last year with COVID, this new variant is a major concern. As my team, my body cannot survive another bout like that. I pushed to let me get the vaccine. They said I had antibiotics, but I wanted more protection.

          Yes, we all need to talk with our healthcare team and make the best decision for us. My PH team told me not to get the booster, so time will tell.

          Stay safe, my PHriends. Yes, please do keep us posted, Jill.

    • #31284
      Susi Steppins
      Participant

      Hi @jenc and @colleensteele.

      Here in the Denver area the new Delta strain is most prevalent.

      It is very concerning to me.

      I am afraid of the vaccine because of heart issues I have.

      I can’t help but wonder why I should even get the vaccine and risk having something happen because of the shot itself if people are getting the virus even if they have been vaccinated.

      I really don’t want to go back to having to stay in the house as much as possible again, but I am on the verge of doing that.

      I am interested in what others here have to say about it.

      • #31307
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Hi @s-steppins, I can certainly relate as I have not been vaccinated. My PH team had me hold off because of my horrible experience with COVID at the end of last year. I was tested multiple times for antibodies and tested positive. But unsure which variant that I would be protected from, either way.

        At this time, my docs still suggest waiting as vaccinated folks are spreading this variant, too. I do read many accredited articles that those vaccinated usually do better when contracting the virus.

        I continue to mask up, order groceries online, and pick up. I’m also taking precaustions as I limit where I go. I also am not feeling like lockdown again or a year or longer, so you are not ane.

        Prayers are with all that we can all keep safe.

      • #31309
        Colleen Steele
        Keymaster

        @s-steppins my son had similar concerns. He is a transplant recipient and has worked so hard to protect his new organs. Getting the vaccine was scary for him but he did end up deciding on getting it.

        As you probably know if you follow the news, Covid experiences seem to vary from person to person. For what it’s worth…my son’s best friend was fully vaccinated yet tested positive last week. The only reason he got tested was because they had an outbreak at work.

        The only symptom he ended up getting was a sore throat. Although the vaccination didn’t keep him from getting it, perhaps it at least kept the symptoms at bay. Just a theory.

    • #31288
      Carol Volckmann
      Participant

      Thanks Jen for bringing this issue up. For my husband and myself we have not stopped wearing masks going inside anywhere.

      Too many people are still not vaccinated  and some that are are no longer wearing masks and going to functions and restaurants etc. We are not.

      As to getting a booster shot, we are not sure. We would like the opinions of my PAH and Cardiologist before making that decision.

      I just think we must stay vigilant and still mask up – the alternative is not a good option.

      • #31310
        Colleen Steele
        Keymaster

        Ditto to everything you said @cdvol3gmail-com.

        How are you feeling? How is recovery going?

      • #31314
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Hi @cdvol3gmail-com, I agree with you about checking with your PH team and cardiologist.

        Yes, masks are still common in our house, too. I had been to get groceries like twice before starting back to ordering pick up and delivery. I limit my exposure again.

        Stay safe.

    • #31289
      V.R. Peterson
      Participant

      Here in Utah, the Delta variant accounts for 86% of all new cases. I can’t get the vaccine for medical reasons. Frankly, I’m more scared of the vaccinated Utah residents are reacting to the unvaccinated than I am of the virus. Many are blaming people like me for the Delta variant and the breakthrough cases that are now affecting them. It doesn’t seem to matter to many of them, who have actually said that people like me are lying about having medical issues and that we should “take one for the team.” I’ve never seen such hatred from those on both sides of the issue. It saddens me to see such an “us vs. them” attitude.

      I never stopped wearing a mask in public because if the vaccine is a danger to me, so is COVID, whether the original or any of the variants.

      • #31311
        Colleen Steele
        Keymaster

        @mamabear007 I’m afraid that Covid has brought out the bad side in some people. My family is still wearing masks with no plan of stopping any time soon. I’ve noticed weird looks from non-maskers when I’m wearing mine. You have me wondering if they are making assumptions that I’m masked because I’m not vaccinated.

        Just do what you need to do…and don’t do what you can’t, even if that included not getting the vaccination. Fear, ignorance and judgement seems to have become a pandemic of it’s own.

        You are understood and supported here. Always know that.

      • #31315
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        So very sad, @mamabear007; I hate that so many are turning to hate. This should be a time to stock together, who staying apart, lol.

        Like, you, doing as my PH team suggests ad not being vaccinated, I feel like I am being blamed. So many are blaming the unvaccinated for this new variant.

        [email protected] says, maybe our step in the right direction supports everyone here without being hateful, although so many do not agree.

        Here in our area in Texas, I am looked at like I am nuts, but I will educate anyone if they would kindly ask. I continue to limit my outings and wear my mask. I am wearing oxygen, which should tell them that I am immunocompromised. I wonder if they think I have COVOD. Who knows?

        Again, I am sorry that you are being mistreated. People can be so rude and judegental. Let’s do our best to lift others, not knock them down.

        Yes, @cdvol3gmail-com, I, too, feel an embarrassment as to what we have become as a country. So sad; big hugs to each of you.

    • #31293
      Carol Volckmann
      Participant

      It is so sad – seems this whole country has turned to us vs them! Hate for someone who does not believe what you believe – turns into violence, rage. No one is willing to listen to the other side. I am no longer proud of what this country has become.

      I can only hope that this hatetrad can get turned around and we can respect each other. It all frightens me frankly.

      Here on the forum we do have respect for each other and are willing to listen. Maybe that’s  our beginning.

    • #31295
      Terry
      Participant

      Over here the delta variant has arrived and it is pretty scary how quickly it spreads albeit in my State we only had one locally acquired case yesterday. Masks are mandatory indoors and outside where one cannot distance themselves from another. It seems that having two shots of a vaccine will not guarantee you will not get the virus or pass it on to another however what it does do is make it unlikely that if you get it you will end up in hospital.According to experts the worse you may experience is similar to the common cold. From what I have  read this is being borne out in the UK where covid cases are up but hospitalisations way down.

      I read today that for pfizer  a booster shot will be needed 6 months after the second.
      Personally I believe some news sources and so called experts should be ashamed of themselves for the scare tactics used to gain headlines or political advantage by scaring the hell out of the public about the dangers of various vaccines.

      • #31316
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Hi @terry, thanks for adding to the discussion and sharing the updates in your area.

        It is confusing and frustrating, to say the least. The media certainly tends to do what they want, not taking into consideration how others may react. I tend to limit my news and only read accredited sources. But these, too, have uncertainties as these new variants and this virus, in general, are too new to know much.

        Please stay safe and keep us updated. Have a nice weekend.

    • #31312
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      @terry thank you for sharing the status in your area. The news does tend to get off track, don’t they. Fear sells I guess. It’s often difficult to know what to believe. I’m still up in the air about the booster shot. Cross that bridge when I get to it I guess. Do you plan on getting it if recommended?

    • #31313
      Carol Volckmann
      Participant

      Thank you for asking Colleen. Recovery is slow, but that may be normal. As prepared as I thought I was, I am overwhelmed and anxious.

      I know in my head this is a process, it will take 6-12 weeks, I will get ues to it and it will just become one more routine. I am hoping for 6 weeks!

      The quality of my life already is better I am able to take walks and mild exercises.

      Hope all is still well in your home and you and Aidan have recovered and looking ahead for your trip!

      • #31317
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Hi @cdvol3gmail-com, I am s grateful that you are noticing some improvements in your quality o life, although recovery has just begun.

        You are one tough coffee and living on SubQ for years; I have n doubts that you will recover and see even more improvements in your QoL.

        Please don’t overdo it with your exercises and brief walks as you help. I know you will listen to your body. Easier said than done, right?

        We are here to support you each step of the way—big hugs from Texas.

    • #31319
      Carol Volckmann
      Participant

      Hey Jen, thanks for your encouragement! Yes, I will listen to my body and go slow. Lots of w a rm hugs coming your way!

      • #31322
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Hi @cdvol3gmail-com, I know that you will listen to your body. You do an awesome job of this, I must say. You have had a ton of experience with PH and scleroderma do long. You are a true warrior.

        How are things going for ya this week? Are you seeing the ostomy nurse that you like this week?

        Thinking of you as you are recovering. I am sending healing thoughts and prayers your way from Texas.

    • #31320
      V.R. Peterson
      Participant

      Thank you, everybody, for your support. I do feel safe here, which is why I felt comfortable sharing such a sensitive subject. I wish you all health and happiness (which is an odd wish, considering why this forum is here — nevertheless, I wish it for you all).

      • #31323
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Well said, @mamabear007. This forum is a safe place to offer our opinions and respect one another, regardless of our own thoughts.

        I hate that you have seen such hatred from others. It is sad.

        On another note, I don’t know how far you are from Salt Lake City, but my kiddos were through there this weekend and enjoyed a
        nice hike. The pictures were beautiful.

        Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. I hope that you have a nice week ahead.

        • #31331
          V.R. Peterson
          Participant

          @jenc, I live quite far from SLC. Depending on traffic and road construction, it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours for the drive.

        • #31334
          Jen Cueva
          Keymaster

          Thanks for sharing that, @mamabear007. Utah is one of the many locations that I hope to visit eventually. How is the altitude in your area? I know that it varies across the state.

          I hope that you are doing OK this week. Anything that you are looking forward to?

        • #31338
          V.R. Peterson
          Participant

          @jenc, my altitude is about 4,500. I’m looking forward to cooler weather. We’ve finally got some rain, and the temps are too bad right now, but they’re expected to go up next week. In Utah, August is usually the hottest month of the year. I remember some years that it reached 110, but I think the highest this year might not pass 105. I can handle that — as long as I stay indoors where we have an evaporative cooler.

        • #31347
          Jen Cueva
          Keymaster

          Hi @mamabear007, geez, 4500 ft in elevation, I guess I can’t visit. My PH doctor said 3000 ft elevation is about as high as I can tolerate.

          Once in Southern California, we drove from San Diego to the high desert. It was about 3000 ft. It was where my hubby, Manny, and I met and where we both attended high school. I was so sick and did not realize that a little bit of elevation would affect me.

          I had my appointment with Dr. Channick that following week. I told him, and he said it was from the elevation. It is crazy how differently our bodies react to certain things.

          It sounds like you are ready for some cooler temps. I am, too, although I prefer sunshine, LOL.

    • #31423
      Randolph Reynolds
      Participant

      If this posts I will be surprised.  This is what I sent before:

      Hello again

      I mentioned that we are seeing a spike in our area and due to my PAH I have to be especially careful.  I I live at 5500 feet and just going down to Phoenix improves my oxygen level by 2-3%. I am back to using a mask.

      I agree with Carol that civility in this country has begun to fade under the culture change.  We ‘few’ who communicate on the forums are of like mind.  I fear that we are beginning to move towards an unacceptable state.

      Again there is something greater out there and within us that can carry us forward.

      • #31438
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Hi @ripple76, thanks for your feedback. Yay, this post worked for you.

        I, too, have been wearing my mask and limiting outside activity. Unfortunately, the world seems to be nuts at this time. When we should all be working together, there is so much loss of values and respect.

        Like yourself and @cdvol3gmail-com, I believe that we will get back on track. We are stronger together, not divided. I am grateful that a forum is a place where we can respect others’ opinions and continue to work together.

        Take care, my PHriends.

    • #31472
      Cris Dingman
      Participant

      I was doing an online order at Kroger, and the heading said that they are now giving 3rd COVID vaccines (boosters?) to immuno-compromised. I followed a link to information they had, and it looks as if my RA medication does NOT cause any loss in efficacy with the vaccine. You guys may want to ask your docs, I know I’m going to. Stay safe.

      • #31476
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Hi @crisincincy,

        I always know you before I see your name but your mini schnauzer pic. Mine is sitting right here next to me as I type, LOL.

        I do know that some doctors are suggesting the booster. If available and your PH team approves, I would go for it.

        Stay safe, and thanks for sharing the information about Kroger.

      • #31477
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Hi @crisincincy,

        I always know you before I see your name with your mini schnauzer pic. Mine is sitting right here next to me as I type, LOL.

        I do know that some doctors are suggesting the booster. If available and your PH team approves, I would go for it.

        Stay safe, and thanks for sharing the information about Kroger.

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