A young local San Diego couple is telling a cautionary tale about the importance of getting the vaccine.
Both got COVID-19, even though one was vaccinated. Considered a breakthrough case, she got coronavirus from her boyfriend who is not vaccinated.
“I was surprised. I thought with the vaccine, we’re invincible and you couldn’t get COVID-19, but that's not true,” said Elyse Clark, 30. “The nurse told me that with these break-through cases, you just have a milder form of symptoms, which is absolutely true."
Her boyfriend, Trevor Longmore, 36, tested negative for COVID-19 the day before taking a 36-hour flight from South Africa, that had a stopover in Istanbul. He said he is unvaccinated because he could not get the vaccine in South Africa. He believes he got COVID-19 on the plane or at the airport.
“I started feeling body aches and nausea,” said Longmore, who tested positive for COVID-19 the next day. Clark tested positive three days later. “I was definitely sick, but nowhere near what Trevor was feeling,” said Clark, “Congestion, achy, tired, low-grade fever, and I think I was feeling better a lot faster.”
Longmore got sicker, faster. At one point he collapsed, and Clark had to call 911.
“I was feeling dizzy, and I said to Elyse, ‘Something is happening, I don’t know what’s going on, but something is happening.' And I lost consciousness,” said Longmore. “I thought it was actually game over. I felt like I was done. I was really scared.”
Clark was scared too, knowing he did not have the protection she had with the vaccine.
“I had no idea what was going to happen to him if he was going to make it or not,” she said.
Longmore did not have to be put on a ventilator, but he and Clark were both given the monoclonal antibody treatment. They said they immediately felt better, like “day and night,” but say the treatment should not be used in lieu of the vaccine.
Finished quarantining for the state-mandated 10 days, they are no longer contagious. They caution people to get the vaccine.
“I am young, a runner and surfer. I’m super health-conscious and you know it [COVID-19] took me down. So please, I implore everybody to get the vaccine," Clark said it saved her from being in worse shape, like her boyfriend.
“I spoke to my dad today and told him I wish I could give him the vaccination in his sleep…. After the experience I had and how it attacks your body, it’s really important," Longmore said.
Longmore said he will get the vaccine as soon as he can. Because he had COVID-19, he must wait 90 days before being vaccinated. Both worry about long haul symptoms, and how long it will take to fully recover.
“We’re not sure we are the same people we were before COVID-19,” said Clark.