Cape Cod coronavirus survivor spreads hope through #ExitCovid campaign

POCASSET, Mass. — Claudine Wrighter is grateful to be able to walk on the beach with her dog, Tucker, once again.

“I was COVID, double pneumonia, sepsis. I was very, very ill. I was 44 with no underlying symptoms, so it was a shock to me, my family, my friends and the community,” she said.

Wrighter, from Pocasset, said she was one of the first people on Cape Cod to be diagnosed with COVID-19 in March 2020. She had respiratory distress and spent nine days at Falmouth Hospital.

Now, a year later, as more people get vaccinated, including 86-year-old Paula Mello, who just received her second shot, Wrighter is encouraging them to hang a teal heart in their window or on their front door.

It’s part of a campaign she recently launched called Operation Exit Covid.

“The idea behind it is hopefully we can start back opening up and welcoming people back into our homes, which we all miss so very much,” Wrighter said.

The sign has a teal heart (which you can print for free) with the word VACCINATED! across it. The heart is inside the outline of a house, as Wrighter is a real estate agent. People can download the sign, print it and hang it up.

“In your place of business, in your window at home. For the UPS drivers making a delivery maybe it’s nice for them to see. They’ve been working at this the whole time. It’s a visual reassurance that you know this is getting safer,” Wrighter said.

Wrighter has not yet been vaccinated. A year later she is a COVID-19 long-hauler and is still recovering from the effects of the virus.