A healthy 39-year-old, David Garcia never thought he’d end up clinging to life after contracting COVID-19 in May.
“I was dying on the bed and had to get life support, that’s when it really hit home for me,” the Merritt man said. After 23 days in the hospital, Garcia, a single father, lost 40 pounds and had to learn how to walk and breathe again.
While he is now back at home with his 12-year-old son, and working, doctors say he will never regain 100 per cent lung function. Garcia wasn’t vaccinated.
“I was kind of waiting to see how things were playing out, I was very naive to the fact I was young and healthy and maybe a bit invincible, had that kind of mentality as many people in my age group do,” he said.
There are currently more than 80 COVID-19 patients in critical care across the province. Among them is a Victoria man in his 40’s, according to an update from the province Friday.
The Friday update also said from Aug. 12 to 25, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 82.0 per cent of cases and 85.9 per cent of hospitalizations.
Over one week in August, unvaccinated people contracting the virus were 181 per 100,000 people whereas vaccinated people only made up 15 per 100,000 people, according to the BCCDC.
BCCDC stats show the majority of those fully vaccinated who are ending up in hospital are over the age of 70.
Vaccinations continue to rise across the province after vaccine passports were announced Wednesday. People lined up for shots at Island Health’s ‘Vax Van’ which was in Nanaimo Friday.
Dave Garcia and his son got their first shots two weeks ago. He hopes his story is a reminder that the risks of COVID-19 are real.
“We can’t deny the fact that there’s something out there, something that has the potential to harm us, it is a bit of a lottery on who it’s going to affect and how badly it’s going to affect that one person,” he said.
“Whether it be getting vaccinated or staying isolated or whatnot just be cognizant of the fact there is something out there.”