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Dan Perkins: COVID-19, my personal nightmare that is not over

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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Let me start off by saying this is a true story. It’s my story, and unfortunately for me, it’s not over. My story began when more and more reports of breakthrough infections of COVID-19 and the Delta variant were being reported. In addition, stories emanated from the CDC that it was possible to be infected by the virus even though a person has been through the complete immunization process.

The story started when my wife and I started talking about going from Southwest Florida to the northeast for Christmas to be with our children and grandchildren. It’s no longer practical to drive such a great distance, so we have flown north for the holidays in past years. We didn’t fly last year because we didn’t have the vaccine, so we had a virtual Christmas. While we now both have shots, I was concerned that I didn’t know how many antibodies I have in my system.

I am the co-host of an internationally syndicated talk show called “Black and White” so I get to talk to experts with whom many people never get the chance to talk. Over the last six months, I have had many opportunities to interview scientists and doctors about COVID-19 and the vaccinations. In fact, I interviewed the doctor/scientist who developed the mRNA COVID-19 process. I have interviewed other experts to try and keep my audience updated on what is going on with the virus and the vaccines. I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, who is both an MD and a Ph.D. His Ph.D. focused on the area of cellular and molecular immunology. We talked about my concerns about getting the virus traveling on planes and infecting my grandchildren. He suggested that I take blood tests to determine the level of antibodies in my system as a result of the two shots.

I went to my primary care physician to ask him for a prescription for the tests, and I was advised they could not authorize testing outside the practice’s laboratory. But I could call the laboratory and see if they would be willing to perform the test. I called and talked to a person at the lab, told them the tests that I wanted, and was not called back. After a second fruitless try with my doctor’s lab, I went to the local walk-in clinic and the doctor there said he had never heard of the two blood tests, but if that’s what I wanted, he would be happy to write a prescription. Three days later, I got the test results. To say that I was disappointed would be an understatement. On my show website, Blacksandwhites.us is a copy of the results of the bloodwork. There is also a copy of my shot card showing that I received both doses of the Moderna vaccine.

I sent the report to Dr. Noorcashan for his review and advice. He said the first test should tell the level of antibodies from the COVID-19 shots. The doctor said, “Ideally, the score should be over 1000 but, as a worst-case, a minimum of 500.” As you can see, my test score was 47. It’s impossible to know whether I got any significant level of antibodies from the initial shots or if I got them and they have dramatically declined. Dr. Noorchashm strongly recommends that I get the booster.

In my state, I have to wait for the booster from Moderna to be released by the FDA. Without the booster shot’s immunity, I am vulnerable to the Delta variant or the original COVID-19. Getting the shot is the next step in my journey. Thirty days after I get the booster shot, the doctor wants to rerun the tests to see if I have any immunity from the shot. Assuming I get good immunity, I will test again in three months to see if I have at least the minimum level. I worry, of course, that I will have low or no immunity from the booster. If so, then I have to decide if I want to take the risk to fly north for the holidays.

My original intent in this journey was to give people who, for whatever reason, have decided not to get the vaccine shots a way to find out if they already have immunity. According to President Biden, with the president’s mandatory shot program covering 70 million people in America that have not been vaccinated, he and his advisors don’t know how many of the 70 million already have acquired immunity from exposure. In a study of 835,000 Israelis that have recovered from the virus, 72 people became reinfected. By comparison, those who were vaccinated were 6.72 times more likely to get infected despite having gotten the shots.

Now we know that you can find out if you have any immunity to the virus with the tests. Armed with that information, you can make an informed decision. I plan to keep you updated on Blacksandwhites.us regardless of how good or bad the news is. We have over 160 million Americans who have taken the shots, and some untold number of Americans could be like me and have no protection at all and not know it. I feel strongly that the president and health professionals need to promote these tests so people can make informed decisions about inoculations.

If you have not had the shots, think seriously about going to Blacksandwhites.us and getting the test number off of my report and talk with your doctor and tell him you want to know if you have COVID antibodies and at what level.

I hope you have found this life experience helpful. I will update you when I have something to report.

Dan Perkins
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