As states across the country see an increase in COVID cases because of the Delta variant, a fully vaccinated man from Oak Park is sharing his story about becoming a “breakthrough” case and getting COVID despite taking necessary precautions.
Barton Haneberg, his wife and twin daughters flew to Spain earlier this month to visit relatives. Everyone in his family is fully vaccinated, he said.
“We were still masked, distanced, sanitized,” Haneberg said. “My wife brought a bottle of Lysol with us as well just to kinda make sure that things we’re on the up and up.”
Haneberg said everything was fine on the trip, but just days before they were scheduled to fly back to Illinois, he wasn’t feeling well.
“It was that evening when I was having dinner at my parents or in-laws house and he asked me was the food okay, and I realized I couldn’t taste or smell anything,” he said.
In order to fly back to the United States, Haneberg and his family had to test negative for COVID.
“I thought I was just tired,” he said. “Once the senses went away I knew I was in trouble.”
Haneberg said he and his 13-year-old daughter tested positive for COVID and had to quarantine. Despite being in close contact with his wife and other daughter, they tested negative and flew back home.
“We did what we were told to do,” he said. “We did the right steps, we didn’t take any shortcuts. But again I think this virus is mutating as we go along.”
Haneberg experienced flu-like symptoms while his daughter was asymptotic.
“The majority of people having the breakthrough cases are having very mild effects,” said Dr. Nimmi Rajagopal of Cook County Health.
Dr. Rajagopal said getting the vaccine is the best way to fight the virus, but admits no vaccine is 100 percent.
“I think the importance is getting vaccinated dramatically decreases your risk of getting COVID, and if you do get COVID it’s a much milder case of COVID, decreases the risk of you being hospitalized, or having a severe case, decreases the chances of you being in the ICU or having any of the more severe complications from COVID.”
Haneberg doesn’t know who he got the virus from. He and his daughter tested negative Wednesday after spending more than a week in quarantine in Spain. They plan to fly home on Friday.