'No pulse': Unvaxxed, healthy father of three dies of Covid

·4-min read

Healthy and in their 30s, Christina and Josh Tidmore figured they were low-risk for Covid-19

With conflicting viewpoints about whether to get vaccinated against the virus filling their social media feeds and social circles, they decided to wait.

On July 20, Josh came home from work with a slight cough initially thought to be sinus trouble. 

On August 11, he died of Covid-19 at a north Alabama hospital as Christina witnessed a doctor and her team frantically try to resuscitate her husband.

“She would say, 'I need a pulse'. I would hear, ‘no pulse’,"Christina recalled through tears. 

“They were trying so hard.

“Nobody should go through this. He was only 36 and I’m 35 and we have three kids.”

She is now imploring young adults not to dismiss the risk and to consider getting vaccinated.

“Josh was completely healthy, active, not a smoker.” He was just shy of his 37th birthday.

This photo provided by Christina Tidmore shows Josh Tidmore Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021 at Marshall Medical Center South in Boaz, Ala.
On July 20, Josh Tidmore came home from work with a slight cough they initially thought was sinus trouble. On August 11, he died of Covid-19. Source: Christina Tidmore via AP

Spike in young hospitalisations

Doctors say they are seeing a spike in cases among young adults and children as the highly contagious Delta variant sweeps through unvaccinated populations. 

Medical officials say there is conflicting information on whether it makes people more severely ill or whether young people are more vulnerable to it, but it's clear the contagiousness means more young people and children are getting sick.

“There is no question that the average age of people who are being hospitalised is going down,” State Health Officer Scott Harris said Friday (local time).

“I don’t know if it’s clear that Delta is worse in that age group or worse than any of the strains we’ve seen before ... But what you have though is one that is just much, much more transmissible. 

"Because seniors are the ones that are predominately the vaccinated population in our state, the most vulnerable are these younger people. So you see them getting infected at much higher rates than we had before.”

Many of the Covid hospitalisations in Alabama, are people who are not vaccinated. Source: EPA
Many of the Covid hospitalisations in Alabama, are people who are not vaccinated. Source: EPA

In the past four weeks, people ages 25 to 49 years, made up 14 per cent of all Covid deaths in the state of Alabama and people 50 to 64 years made up about 29 per cent.

The state is also seeing a surge in Covid cases among children, although deaths so far have been rare. The state this week set a record for paediatric hospitalisations with 50 children hospitalised with Covid-19.

Social media fuelled decision not to get vaxxed

Christina also had Covid-19 but recovered. She said she and her husband were not against vaccines - their children are current on their childhood immunisations.

But the couple was unsure about the coronavirus vaccine due to conflicting viewpoints on their social media feeds and in conversations.

She said that they didn’t “know hardly anybody that had gotten real sick and figured we would be OK.” Josh himself in the spring shared an article critical of Dr Anthony Fauci, writing, “this is why I don't believe 99.9 per cent of what's said about this virus.”

Now, eligible family members are getting their coronavirus shots.

This photo provided by Christina Tidmore shows Christina and Josh Tidmore, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019.
Healthy and in their 30s, Christina and Josh Tidmore figured they were low-risk for Covid-19, and they decided to wait to get vaccinated. Source: Christina Tidmore via AP

“It’s just a fight out there. This side and that side, and political garbage. ... You don’t know who to believe," she said. Christina said she has no doubt they would have made a different choice now, knowing so many more people who have contracted the virus.

A jokester with a heart of gold, Josh loved to help others and to make people laugh, especially kids. He sauntered into Easter and Christmas gatherings wearing an inflatable dinosaur costume and ran around hugging family members. 

He would cheerfully photobomb beachgoers. He didn’t hesitate to rush to help a motorcyclist injured in an accident near the north Alabama church his grandparents founded.

“He could make you feel better when nobody else could. He would listen. He genuinely cared about everybody,” Christina said.

The family is relying on their faith to get through and Christina wants to share her husband’s story to help people — as Josh would have wanted.

“If you can try to save your life, then you probably should,” she said of vaccinations.

“I have lots of feelings and lots of regret and lots of what ifs," she said. 

"You don’t want to do that. You don’t.”

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