. . . About Jenn's brother. For purposes of this story, let's call him Rob.
Rob is 2 years younger than Jenn. In recent years, his health hasn't been good. It hurts him to walk, so he doesn't walk much. He's overweight, and short of breath most of the time.
Rob's wife died in January of '20, and has lived by himself since then. Understandably, he feels lonely a lot, and we do what we can to keep him in touch from 2 hours away.
Last Thanksgiving (2020), Rob called us a few days before the holiday, and told us that he wanted to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. If you recall, last Thanksgiving virtually our entire family had COVID, and Thanksgiving dinner was basically part of our quarantine, since all of us were sick at the same time. We told Rob that he shouldn't come, that we all had the dreaded virus, and we didn't want him to get sick, since he was kind-of a poster boy for the category 'HIGH RISK'. Rob said no, he was going to come, and expected to join us for dinner. We reiterated that we didn't want him to come, but we never could dissuade him.
Thanksgiving morning came, and, about an hour before dinnertime, sure enough, Rob's car pulled up in front of our house, and he hobbled up to our door, toting a bag full of pies.
"I brought five pies with me, and I'm not gonna eat 'em by myself!" he exclaimed.
We sighed and invited him in. If he was that determined to have dinner with us, what we we gonna do? So we gave him a spot at the table.
We had a good dinner, and a few hours later, he got in his car and went home.
Every day for the next couple weeks, we waited to hear from him, or another family member, informing us that he was down with COVID and would be dying soon. We even speculated that, living alone after his wife's death, he was effectively killing himself, and wanted to spend time with loved ones at the end of his life.
But the call never came.
Finally, after a couple weeks (while she was still in the hospital), Jenn called to check up on him.
"How are you?"
"Great! I'm fine!"
"You were in our house when we all had COVID. . ."
"Nope! I'm good!"
We checked back in with him a few more times, but he never did get sick.
The whole situation was perplexing to us, and we kept trying to figure out how it was possible that, high-risk as he was, he came into our house and sat at our table while we were all still sick, and never showed the slightest symptom.
Then it occurred to us. . . His wife had died in January of '20. A couple months before the lockdown. COVID wasn't front-page news yet. We saw photos from China, and still hoped it might not come to us. But if anything, Rob's wife was even higher-risk than he was. She was only in her late 40s, but she had MS, and maybe a couple other things besides. Her death was very sudden - one day, she had trouble breathing, and within a couple days, she was gone. Suddenly, it became clear - Rob's wife had died of COVID, even before any of us was really aware of it. And he had been exposed to her - hard. I don't know what symptoms, if any, he experienced at the time, but it seemed clear that he had breathed plenty of mask-less, non-socially-distanced COVID-air while he took care of his wife in her final days. And so, when he came to our house for Thanksgiving, he had a body full of COVID antibodies, even 10+ months after his wife's death, and whatever exposure he had at our house was quickly dispatched.
And so, the punch line. . . Natural Immunity is real, and robust. Instead of calling us un-vaccinated and part of the problem, we COVID survivors are a key component of the end of the pandemic. . .