Twenty-nine-year-old communications officer, Sasheena Douglas, was shocked when she tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) in August 2020.
The fitness fanatic, who maintains a healthy diet, thought that her youth and healthy lifestyle made her at very low risk for contracting the virus.
Even more surprising was how ill she became, telling Jamaica Government news agency JIS that she battled the effects of COVID-19 for about a month, and “had to put up one of the greatest fights of my life in order to survive”.
One year later, the Kingston native says that the “near-death” experience has made her vigilant about protecting herself against the virus.
“Last year this time I was in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 and feeling like this was maybe it for me – I am probably going to kick the bucket. However, God said, ‘No I got more work for you, so I am still here,” she says.
“I’ve upped the ante regarding my sanitisation protocol, so as soon as I touch a surface outside of my home I sanitise and I am still wearing my mask consistently,” she notes.
Ms. Douglas shared that after some initial skepticism, she is scheduled to receive the vaccine soon.
She notes that her initial reaction to the potentially life-saving jab was that it was “ready too quickly and I was not sure what was in it”.
“But instead of spreading propaganda and feeding into it, I did my own research. I read some papers from Yale [University] and some other medical journals about the vaccines [made by] Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca in particular, and I concluded that this would be the best way for me to safeguard myself against the virus,” she says.
“I am confident in the capabilities of the AstraZeneca vaccine based on the new information that has been presented,” she opines.
She admits: “Yes, there is still a little fear there, but I am approaching it with faith and doing my part and allowing God to do the rest.”
Ms. Douglas said that she still struggles with the after-effects of the virus.
“I am still having long-standing effects. I am still having chest pains; though mild and manageable, they are still there. When I have a sinus flare-up, the shortness of breath affects me again and the burning sensation along with the pain in the chest comes back a little bit more severely than I would like. Nevertheless, I am giving thanks.,” she says.
“I am in a place now where I feel like as much as COVID-19 is changing, so am I,” she says, noting that the Delta variant has brought a new level of fear, but “I will not allow fear to stop me from living my life. So, I will continue to do what I need to do to protect myself from it.”
Meanwhile, St. James resident, Jessica Grant, who contacted COVID-19 in July of this year, tells JIS News that her symptoms could have been worse had she not been vaccinated.
“I only lost my sense of taste and smell; I got my vaccine in May. I still cannot believe that I had caught COVID-19 because the symptoms were not much,” she says.
She notes that her two children, who also contracted the virus, had fevers, headaches, and stuffy noses.
As of Thursday (October 7), 809,471 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered. Of that number, 512,405 were first doses, 265,363 were second doses and 31,703 were single doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.