July 23, 2021 -- Jason Loos, MD, says he paid the price for not getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I’ve never had fever more than a day and a half in my life. I’ve called in sick maybe once in 20 years,” the pathologist at Covenant Health Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, told TV station KGNS.

But in May, his luck changed. One of his children got sick during the last week of school and soon Loos was infected with the Delta variant.

After eight days of fever, had to go to the hospital in an ambulance, he told KGNS. He still hasn’t fully recovered his sense of smell and taste.

“It took me about three weeks to get back to where I could walk up one flight of stairs,” he said. “Even today, if you race me in a 100-yard dash, you’d have to pick me up and take me back to the ER.”

Loos said he thought he could manage the virus if he got infected and wanted to make sure enough doses were available for other healthcare workers or highly vulnerable people, KGNS said.

“I’ll always say it’s always a personal choice. But the right choice is to get vaccinated,” Loos said.

Meanwhile, case counts are rising once again in Lubbock.

“This really is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Brian Schroeder, MD, chief medical officer of Covenant Health Medical Center, told KGNS. “We’re not seeing anyone who has been vaccinated requiring critical care.”