As experts extol the life-preserving qualities of Covid jabs, a news story has claimed that the condition of a man who perished from the virus could have been worse had he not been vaxxed, kindling philosophical debate on Twitter.
The metaphysical social media chatter was triggered by national media coverage of the recent death of Texas native Patricio Elizondo, a diabetic who suffered from heart problems. After Elizondo fell ill in early August, his daughter suspected that he may be suffering from a resurgence of congestive heart failure. The 76-year-old was soon hospitalized after he began having difficulty breathing – a common symptom of heart failure, which can lead to fluid building up in the lungs causing shortness of breath.
But doctors said that a chest X-ray revealed that Elizondo had actually caught Covid. He passed away on August 3 due to lung damage caused by the virus, a cardiologist who treated Elizondo said.
The Texan’s age and medical history placed him at high risk for contracting a severe case of coronavirus – but the fact that he was fully vaccinated caught the attention of local, then national media.
Aside from being fully inoculated against Covid, Elizondo “rarely left the house, was always masked up, and even wore gloves,” Yvonne Rodriguez, the daughter of the deceased, told San Antonio news station KSAT. Although she said she couldn’t understand how her father caught the virus, Rodriguez stressed that she felt the vaccine had still been helpful.
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“I saw my dad, how sick as he was,” she said. “I can’t imagine how much more he would have suffered if he had not gotten the vaccine.”
KSAT spoke with a local doctor and infectious disease specialist who suggested that Rodriguez was “right” to think that the vaccine had aided her father.
The story then leap-frogged around several national outlets. A rendition published by the Hill claimed that despite Elizondo’s tragic passing, “doctors said the condition of the father could have been worse if he was not vaccinated at all.”
The curious wording soon captured the imagination of social media pundits, who began to philosophize on issues concerning life and death.
MAN DIES FROM COVID, BREAKTHROUGH INFECTION. DOCTORS SAY IF NOT VACCINATED — IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE!— The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) August 11, 2021
What the fuck is going on here? pic.twitter.com/3tKUUkbPUG
“What’s worse than being dead?” asked one observer.
Others proposed that perhaps the elderly man would be “double dead” or “super dead” if he had not been fully vaccinated.
Coulda been double dead.— Chris Welch (@WelchC8289) August 12, 2021
He managed to avoid super death.— Texas (@BigRedIron) August 12, 2021
"the father would've suffered more if not fully vaccinated" - really? Cause from the sound of it he suffered just as much as people without the vaccine and ultimately died. I can't tell if they were being sarcastic— Fox (@Fox88279836) August 12, 2021
While the creatively framed story elicited eye-rolling, medical authorities continue to point to data showing that inoculation keeps people away from hospitals. Even when ‘breakthrough cases’ occur among the vaccinated, the disease could potentially be less serious.
“There is some evidence that vaccination may make illness less severe for those who are vaccinated and still get sick,” according to the CDC.
Authorities have stressed that no vaccine is 100% effective and that severe cases and deaths among fully jabbed individuals are rare.
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