Saturday, August 21, 2021

Breakthrough Covid Infections: It happened in my household

My partner had gone to two birthday parties among close friends on different weekends in late May. I didn't want to go because even though I am vaccinated for Covid-19, I did not want to be around big crowds and increase my chances of an infection. (I am also a bit of an introvert and don't like big crowds anyways but that's another story.)

But a few days after the last party, my partner began to present symptoms that included congestion and fatigue. He also lost his sense of smell and tase.  He found out that a little boy at the party had similar symptoms and tested positive for Covid-19. That prompted my partner to get a rapid test. The result was positive. I got the same test at CVS. My results were negative.

To be absolutely sure, we drove down to Cutler Ridge (about 25 minutes south of Miami) and got our noses swabbed during a drive-through test offered by the county. A day and a half later, my test came back negative. But my partner was still positive and another test he took a few days later also came back positive.

It was a scary experience. At that point, I didn't know anyone personally or in my immediate family who had Covid and here it was, in my home. We began wearing masks in the house and I slept in a separate bed temporarily.  I didn't get infected (thank God). I felt that my vaccine, the Johnson and Johnson shot I had received in March, protected me.

Inspired by the incident which left me with a lot of nagging questions, I wrote a story, an explainer in my paper, The New York Times, on what vaccinated people should do if they become infected with Covid-19.  The story was published in June and yet, we are seeing more and more of these breakthrough infections especially among the high profile set (athletes, senators, celebrities, etc.) as the new Delta variant envelopes the country.


  1. Hi Johnny, I had given up hope of an original post by you and only by chance (ten days late) looked at your site this morning. No wonder that you have been silent! I am glad that you were not infected and hope that your partner has recovered fully from his attack. Roderick

    1. Thanks Roderick. I appreciate it. I will be posting about one-year anniversary since my heart surgery.