Covid expert says he suffered irrational panic, feared his triple-vaxxed ‘overweight’ son may die

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In a classic example of fear causing rational thinking to move to the back of the line, renowned doctor Bob Wachter took to Twitter in an extended 25-tweet journaling of his 28-year-old son’s experience with COVID-19.

Dr.  Wachtman, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, is generally considered to be a leading expert on COVID, but hearing that his overweight son had tested positive for the illness caused him to panic even though he knew that the odds of a younger vaccinated person dying from COVID are “near zero.”

Wachter has been living life very carefully throughout the pandemic, it would seem, and has encouraged his moderately-high-risk son to do so, as well; his son had recently switched from two-ply cloth masks to KN95 masks at his father’s request in response to the Omicron outbreak.

Here is the initial post, leading to the entire thread:

His father lived with constant concern over his son’s exposure: “I’ve worried that he’d get it from work, or from the bus,” Wachter wrote. “But that’s not how it happened.”

His son, who is triple-vaxxed, reportedly watched a movie Monday night with a fully-vaccinated friend. Wednesday morning, his son woke up with flu symptoms, “felt awful.”

The doctor, wearing a KN95 mask, brought his son outside and ran an initial rapid test — that the doctor conveniently had “stashed away” — which showed negative, but Wachter was not convinced.

After prescribing his son rest, fluids, and Tylenol, Wachter, according to his tweets, “heated up some chicken soup, bought an oximeter (97%, whew – though his heart rate was 120: concerning) & told him to call me if his symptoms changed or his O2 sat fell <95%.”

Ever the doting father, he remained anxious through the night and recounted his fear on Thursday morning: “Next day, I called him at 9am – no answer. My brain knows the odds of a fully vaxxed young person dying are near-zero. Still, I wondered briefly if he’d survived the night: evidence-based medicine meets parental emotion. I tried again at 10, still no answer. I let myself into his place & found him sleeping… and breathing.”

About an hour later, they heard that his son’s friend had tested positive, so Dr. Wachter immediately administered another rapid test — also stashed away, it would seem — on his son by swabbing both his nose and throat; this is apparently a more definitive way of testing. It, of course, came back positive.

Wachter took to Twitter again to express his “strange guilt – not entirely rational, but real – for not having protected him.” Although he knew his son was likely to recover with no issues, “when it’s your kid, you freak out a bit.”

He also reported that they canceled a scheduled PCR test. “One more case omitted from the public #’s,” the doctor wrote, seemingly in disappointment.

His son is recuperating well, it seems. By Sunday, Wachter updated on Twitter: “Better today, though throat’s still bad. Many going through far worse….Grateful to people who offered test kits – we snagged a few so all set.”

While Wachter had well-wishers respond to his story, not everyone felt so inclined:


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