As COVID-19 restrictions have eased across British Columbia, many are wondering what they can personally do to protect themselves, and the health of those around them.
Northern Health board member Wilf Adam has a very personal reason for wanting to help us remember all the tools we have as individuals for staying healthy – and why the protection we get from the COVID-19 vaccine is at the top of his list.
Wilf is a grandfather of two, the youngest of whom is just seven months old. And in late February, while Wilf was visiting Prince George from his home in Burns Lake, the family learned that little Sebastian had been infected with COVID-19.
“He hadn’t been feeling well, and even though (the care staff at) the hospital told us he may have COVID-19, it was a gut punch when we found out for sure during our second visit to the emergency department, says Wilf. “The hardest part was seeing that he was in pain, constantly crying and very uncomfortable.”
While it’s never easy to watch an infant struggle with an illness, Wilf and his daughter – Sebastian’s mom – also had to decide how best to care for and comfort the baby, without getting sick themselves.
“It was a strategic move; because I’m triple-vaccinated, we agreed that I would do most of the cuddling, and comforting, and carrying him. My daughter, who is double-vaxxed, kept a bit more of a distance, but still did a wonderful job caring for her son,” says Wilf.
There was also a backup plan, where Wilf’s wife – who’s also triple-vaccinated – was ready to step in if Wilf caught the virus from the baby. But that didn’t happen, and Wilf says he knows why.
“My strong belief is being triple-vaxxed prevented me from getting the virus,” he says. “I believe that the reason I didn’t get COVID-19 while being so close and taking care of the baby, is because of vaccination. I want to encourage people – please, get vaccinated. It will save your life.”
Wilf happily shares that his grandson is feeling well now: “After four days, when he woke up in the morning, he looked at me with a big smile on his face – that was the best scene I could think of, because I knew his fever had broken and he was on his way to recovery… but the poor kid went through a rough fight with the virus. The resilience of young children is incredible.”