The Washington Post has an article about the people who haven’t caught covid yet. We know that no longer includes many famous people and lawmakers, including President Biden and top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci. Even the most cautious and well-vaccinated are catching these new variants. Many of the people who haven’t had it yet chalk it up to dumb luck. WaPo includes anecdotal close call stories from the covid-fortunate that rang true for me and sounded like people I know. These stories are getting more common with this latest wave.
There are no winners in a pandemic. That said, if you’ve made it to the summer of 2022 without yet testing positive for the coronavirus, you might feel entitled to some bragging rights. Who’s still in the game at this point? Not Anthony S. Fauci. Not President Biden, who tested positive this week. Not Denzel Washington, Camila Cabello or Lionel Messi. Not your friend who’s even more cautious than you but who finally caught it last week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that nearly 60 percent of Americans had contracted the virus at some point — and that was as of the end of February, before the extremely contagious BA.4 and BA.5 variants became rampant.
You might suspect that you are special — immunologically superior, a super-dodger. You also might have come up with some bizarre theories about why you’ve lasted longer.
Scientists have found no conclusive evidence of innate genetic immunity. “It would be extremely unlikely that any innate immune system properties could protect against all infections,” said Eleanor Murray, an epidemiologist and professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. But Moss’s ability to duck the virus — to her knowledge, we should add; a disclaimer that applies to all these folks, since in theory they could have had asymptomatic cases at some point — does cry out for an explanation. Consider that she’s a pediatric nurse who has been staring covid in the face (while fully masked) for 2½ years now. And that she rode in a car with her ex-husband, with the windows up, three days before he tested positive. And that a woman at the camp where she works every summer gave Moss a henna tattoo one day and reported a positive coronavirus result the next.
Moss’s mysterious good fortune has not made her less worried about contracting the virus. She wants to stay in the game as long as she can, because she knows it’s not a game at all. What Moss fears the most is the potential long-term effects of covid. “I just keep thinking, ‘I don’t want it. I just don’t want this disease,’ ” she said.
[From The Washington Post]
I am still a smidge under 50 but I’ve had two boosters and I will get one as often as they’re recommended. I’m like the pediatric nurse quoted above, I don’t want covid and work to avoid it. I don’t think I’ve had it yet, although it’s possible I had it early in the pandemic. About two weeks ago my 17-year-old son caught covid at a small party. He is boosted, but got moderately sick. My son and I live together and started masking around each other and in common areas after we heard he was exposed. We open windows and have two air filters running. Knock wood I didn’t test positive on rapid tests and as far as I know I didn’t catch it from him. We will keep masking around each other for a couple more days to be safe.
To be clear I am not being smug about not catching covid. Some of my most cautious friends, like Hecate, have caught it recently. That’s why this story resonated with me – avoiding covid feels like a crap shoot at this point. We know that reinfections increase the risk of long covid, so the longer the odds stay in your favor the better.
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