I got vaccinated. Then I got covid. Then I got dengue.
This story begins late-December 2020, when I came across this
This headline catches my eye and I skim to see what kind of a volunteer shortage there existed. It turned the company hired for the trials for the then-controversial Covaxin was short by well over 50% of the required volunteers. Being a sucker for trying out things and giving myself a false sense of moral superiority, I signed up for the trials immediately. Actually, there was no such thing as “signing up”. I just walked to the center, which was conveniently a few kilometers from house and asked to be injected with their virular concoction.
The rules of a clinical trial are fairly simple. They are conducted in what is called a “double blind” fashion. What this means is that neither the doctors, nor me know what I have been injected with. In case of my trials, the split up was something like this
- 50% volunteers get the real vaccine.
- 50% volunteers get nothing, just a inert liquid (placebo/control)
After my first dose, I had to return mid-Jan for another dose of my vaccine/placebo as usual.
The trials are over when about ~140 people (out of about 27000) get infected with covid. To get the final efficacy of the vaccine, out of the 140ish infected people, it is revealed how many got the real vaccine, and how many got the fake.
If out of the 140 infected,
No. of people who got real vaccine = 70
No. of people who got fake vaccine = 70
Efficacy = 50% (as good as random, the vaccine is useless)
The Wait I.
Fast forward to April, the government has opened vaccination for everyone over the the age of 45. As a result of this, the covaxin authorities are forced to un-blind the trials for my parents on ethical grounds. My mother has already got covid once, and it is revealed that she had received the placebo, and my father received the real deal. He was unaffected by covid when my mother got it, which I credit the vaccine. My results are still blinded.
The Wait II.
Fast forward to May, the trials seem to have concluded, with the efficacy data shipped away for peer review. It is revealed that I have received the real vaccine, whereas my brother has received the placebo. This was a very fortunate event for me. Luckily for my brother, right around the time it was revealed he got the placebo, our apartment had a vaccination drive, which he promptly participated in and got a shot.
Up until now, the series of events have been quite fortunate for me. I was, generally speaking, having a good time in the month of May (despite working on a project at work with a really tight deadline). I was set to have a perfectly enjoyable May, but it all started going downhill on my birthday, May 23rd.
The plan for my birthday was pretty straight forward, see the Monaco GP and work on some personal projects. At around 3 PM on the afternoon of my birthday, I started feeling cold, uncharacteristically cold. I took a long hot water shower and then I started feeling worse. Basically, through the course of that afternoon, I went from a nice 98.6F to an extra toasty 103F. My birthday plans were ruined, I couldn’t see the Grand Prix (though I am really happy Vettel scored some points) or even work on any side project. Instead, I was really sick and couldn’t even enjoy the nice dinner prepared.
That night was no good. I didn’t know you could feel so cold and hot at the same time. There was this chill that went up my spine every 5 mins for no good reason. I was pinging and ponging between feeling very hot and way too cold.
The next day, I took an RT-PCR test, but because of my vaccination I was convinced it was not covid, so I also took a Dengue test. Turns out I got both.
The Double Whammy.
I was very annoyed that I got sick. Even at work, I was at a really important part of a project that I had the most context on and I didn’t want to bail on it last moment due to bad health. Unfortunately, I was in no position to work so I called in sick.
Dengue is one of those diseases that I can never say right. I have never said dengee, it just sounds comic. Anyways, having dengue and covid at the same time is not as bad as it seems. I think I got off particularly easy since I had been vaccinated against covid, so it was mostly dengue with a touch of covid. Both of these diseases are mostly a set of symptoms that have to be treated. After munching on paracetamols and multivitamins after a week or so, the fever was under control and platelet count was also back to the normal range.
One of the most annoying things that I had to do during my main recovery was drink lots of water, which is vastly inconvenient. Having to pee every 45 minutes is like having a phone that discharges every 45 mins and needs a quick charge - it’s something I hope nobody has to go through.
It’s been a week and a half since I got diagnosed. I have mostly recovered apart from a still mildly inflamed liver marker and the feeling of being a little more sleepy than usual.
One thing I noticed during this whole thing, this is the longest I have gone without working since I started working. Thanks to covid, I had never taken a leave of more than a day. I had decided that I would take a week off work during May end, just as a break. Unfortunately, I got Monkey’s paw’d.
If there is a takeaway here, it would be
- Get the vaccine.
- Mosquitos, no good.
- Death to covid and dengue
Another thing I noticed through this, there is no such thing as a Dengue vaccine. There are trials, but nothing I can get today right now. I guess the economics don’t add up.