What are my benefits, of purposefully getting the virus ?

Leifer

Senior Member.
I'm thinking of purposefully contracting the Covid virus....and then stay in a 14day (or 20 day) quarantine to recover.
I'm 56, quit smoking for 2 months running. No other health issues.
After verified infection....
How would I know if I was still shedding the virus to other people after a 14-day run/seclusion ?? Would this simply be a "follow-up" test ? (YES)
 
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Leifer

Senior Member.
I realize this is an ill-advised idea (litterally) or plan.

Unfortunately, this idea may be on the minds of others...... and I wanted to explore the idea, nonetheless.
There are anti-vaxers that live by the idea that "you should go get the infection", to build a natural immunity to it. That has worked in the past, though with an unacceptable percentage of failure (possible death, in the case of this and other viiruses). A Vaccine works better and is more reliable.

But the difference with Covid is, there is no vaccine here yet - even if you wanted it.
So if an immunity CAN occur, and shedding becomes nil.... .A new 'living-through' the virus may be an option, via newly built-up, antibodies . ( ?? )

This is a "novel" virus, meaning it may not play to the rules we are accustomed. Just as a literrary Novel, it needs a thourough reading, and reviews.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
The benefit is there is a chance you will be immune and can travel around without fear of getting reinfected.

the cons are:
  • You cant be near your dad for 40 days (one patient still showed virus after 37 days). at least.
  • You'd still have to wear a mask in public because noone will believe you just saying "i'm clean honest"
  • 2 months of not smoking (congrats) with painter's lungs, isn't diddly squat, so you might end up on a ventilator.
  • The infection can go to your brain or you can get a blood clot and experience a stroke. ie. lifelong disability that may be severe in some cases, which means who will take care of your dad.
  • You could die and who would take care of your dad
  • We have no idea how long immunity lasts. If you even become immune (you need a certain amount of antibodies and everyone has different amounts)
  • Even mild sickness can be extremely unpleasant, read survivor stories.
  • You could be unable-to-move-sick for 7 days. are you prepared for this?
  • You will piss off medical staff. and make them waste resources on you.
  • etc

The real question is how would you even know you are infected? are you going to go out 1 day then isolate for 2 weeks? then go out for 1 day and isolate for 2 weeks. then go out for 1 day and isolate for 2 weeks?
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
Good points Deirdre.
.... and many of them apply to other people, not just me.

Getting the measles, mumps, and pox..... sucks too,
and I'm sure, rebellious antivax parents do that to their children (rare, but it happens)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanie's_Marvelous_Measles

I lived through Mumps and Chicken Pox, before there was a vax. I had both..... when I was a teenager.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
-- you might not develop a lasting immune response
-- you will miss advances in treatment
-- pneumonia may leave lasting lung damage (reported by a diving physician from Innsbruck in healthy, fit adults)
-- we haven't identified all of the risk factors yet
-- risk of stroke, lung embolism, ... (deirdre already said that, but just to reinforce) and we don't yet know how much of a risk it is
-- incubation time can be long and you could be asymptomatic
-- could infect and kill someone else
-- make this epidemic last longer
(Most countries with >100 cases now have shrinking case numbers)
-- could have a household accident and then have to be hospitalized on the isolation ward
-- could coincide with "second wave" if your state is reopening -> might have to spend time on the ward with a bunch of "libertarians"
-- help make the US look bad internationally / your state look bad nationally (some countries have pretty much beaten and contained this epidemic already)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I strongly agree with @deirdre here. You'd be gambling with your health, your life, and possibly the lives of others, just for a chance at improved yet uncertain convenience.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
It seems to be easy enough to "not get it", and much harder to "get it"....., so I will keep it that way, and not attempt to get it. .
Infection rate is way below 50% in my area.
I also have protective PPE gear. (for two).
I thought I'd bring-up the subject, , silly as it seems. It is an important issue.
 
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Hevach

Senior Member.
There's also still a question about future immunity to consider. Most coronaviruses in humans are common cold and don't contribute a long term immunity so you can be reinfected a few months to a couple years later.

The jury's going to be out on this for COVID19 for a while, early reports of recurrent infection are questionable to debunked but there has been no long term to allow long term studies.

There is some evidence in animals that suggest SARS and MERS might be capable of recurrent infection, but there are no cases of it but neither one hit stride like COVID19 to let it happen.

We really don't a heck of a lot about this disease yet.
 

Oystein

Senior Member
Hmmm going to play:
I am 52, no known risk factor except that I probably have increased family risk of congestive heart failure, and possibly a genetic disposition for thrombosis. I am a nurse in a senior citizen residence, and thus worried on a daily basis about the risks of what happens if the first resident or colleague is tested positive - how will we be able to handle the sudden burst of quarantining? If half the staff is out for 2+ weeks at the same time, and the others at immediate risk of contracting, will we be able to maintain a minimum level of care?

Right now, everybody is healthy and all nursing staff positions are filled, so I could "afford" being sick for the next 3 weeks from that point of view
Plus, in the next three weeks, I will have 17 days off anyway, so today would be the day to find an infected person and party hard with them!

So how about the cons? My personal assessment in italics. Green: Not a "contra" for me; Red: Clear Contra for me; Black: Concern that does not amount to a No-no:

The benefit is there is a chance you will be immune and can travel around without fear of getting reinfected.

the cons are:
  • You cant be near your dad for 40 days (one patient still showed virus after 37 days). at least. -> not much of an issue, my parents are dead. I'd have to stay away from my oldest sister, 64, who smokes, but quarantine means staying away from everybody anyway.
  • You'd still have to wear a mask in public because noone will believe you just saying "i'm clean honest" -> Huh? Quarantine means I am not in public for at least 17 days
  • 2 months of not smoking (congrats) with painter's lungs, isn't diddly squat, so you might end up on a ventilator. -> I bear no specific risk, my age is still in the "ok" range with low enough mortality rate
  • The infection can go to your brain or you can get a blood clot and experience a stroke. ie. lifelong disability that may be severe in some cases, which means who will take care of your dad. -> True, but the same is true for other deseases that we do catch with some frequency - the probability of such effects is not that high
  • You could die and who would take care of your dad -> I am single, and need not take care of anyone in my family
  • We have no idea how long immunity lasts. If you even become immune (you need a certain amount of antibodies and everyone has different amounts) -> True, but even some months of immunity will be great. It will bring me a lot closer to an eventual vaccine.
  • Even mild sickness can be extremely unpleasant, read survivor stories. -> Can be, but most are not, and working in a high-risk environment without immunity would be more unpleasant for me - I'd go for the unpleasant sickness
  • You could be unable-to-move-sick for 7 days. are you prepared for this? -> See above
  • You will piss off medical staff. and make them waste resources on you. -> Right now, the German health system and hospitals have plenty of capacity and they are not running under a lot of stress. They'd thank me for getting sick now and not in the prosprective second wave when they may get overwhelmed
  • etc
The real question is how would you even know you are infected? are you going to go out 1 day then isolate for 2 weeks? then go out for 1 day and isolate for 2 weeks. then go out for 1 day and isolate for 2 weeks? -> Uhm - get tested? If I call my doctor, tell him I partied hard with an infected person AND I am a nurse in a senior citizen residence, I surely will get tested even without symptoms (Germany is far away from using all her testing capacities!)
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Green: Not a "contra" for me
Quarantine means I am not in public for at least 17 days
you'd really have to be quarantined longer than that, unless you have access to sufficient testing (which Leifer likely does not). The mask thing means AFTER you think you are healed. even if you test negative after sickness, you'd still have to wear a mask in public.

but even some months of immunity will be great
but you wont know if you are immune or not.

I'd go for the unpleasant sickness
cool. you can start a thread and give us the play by play of your illness. plus this way if you stop posting we'll know you didn't make it.
 

qed

Senior Member
Hmmm going to play:
Right now, everybody is healthy and all nursing staff positions are filled, so I could "afford" being sick for the next 3 weeks from that point of view
What if many other people follow your idea? All the other nurses in your organization, for example. It seems a selfish idea that works provided others don't copy you.

If you get seriously ill, will you go take up a bed in hospital?
 

Oystein

Senior Member
What if many other people follow your idea? All the other nurses in your organization, for example. It seems a selfish idea that works provided others don't copy you.
For starters: Of course I am not actually doing it, I was just thinking out loud, to provoke reactions.
For this to have any chance of being ethical, I'd have to involve my organization, ask for permission - and of course would never ever get it.
But hypothetically: The idea could be to send all of us into "Covid vacation" sequentially for 3 weeks each.
Because make no mistake: The epidemic will be with us for many many months, perhaps years. Thus, the sword will hang above our heads well into 2020.

If you get seriously ill, will you go take up a bed in hospital?
Of course. There are free capacities now.

I have a point of reference: A friend of mine is a doctor in a hospital and already caught the disease and was hospitalized, and has recovered, and she IS happy she is immune for now (and that was her outlook already while she was sick in hospital: Looking forward to being able to work without worrying that she might spread the virus in the future).
 

Oystein

Senior Member
you'd really have to be quarantined longer than that, unless you have access to sufficient testing (which Leifer likely does not).
People are released here as recovered after 14 days, or several days after last having has symptoms, whichever comes later. And yes, I would have access to testing - I am in Germany, remember, not in struggling-to-cope America.

The mask thing means AFTER you think you are healed. even if you test negative after sickness, you'd still have to wear a mask in public.
Got a source for that claim?

but you wont know if you are immune or not.
It's a reasonable assumption.
I am not claiming I can drop the measures everyone else has to abide by. I am claiming that I'd have an excellent chance of being immune.

cool. you can start a thread and give us the play by play of your illness. plus this way if you stop posting we'll know you didn't make it.
Uncalled for.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Uncalled for.
: ) I didn't mean that as mean. I would be interested in a day to day account. most stories ive seen just summarize, but I did follow Chris Cuomo's illness and it was rather enlightening. he had doctors skyping with him throughout, giving specific instructions and sending him stuff to help him through. I don't have one of those oxygen readers you stick on your finger, but I do feel a bit more knowledgeable in case I do get it.
 

Leak

New Member
Got a source for that claim?
Do you really think other people will just take your word (or rather, some random guy they don't know's word) that you have had the virus? Nevermind that no one knows how long any kind of immunity you might have (if any) is going to last?

And even if there were some sort of certificate, or card, or tattoo or whatever you could present as evidence like a "get out of jail free" card (which the WHO has very vehemently advised against, for the reasons above) that'd be one heck of an incentive for unscrupulous people to get a fake one...
 

Oystein

Senior Member
Do you really think other people will just take your word (or rather, some random guy they don't know's word) that you have had the virus? Nevermind that no one knows how long any kind of immunity you might have (if any) is going to last?

And even if there were some sort of certificate, or card, or tattoo or whatever you could present as evidence like a "get out of jail free" card (which the WHO has very vehemently advised against, for the reasons above) that'd be one heck of an incentive for unscrupulous people to get a fake one...
I think we had a misunderstanding here. deirdre said that "even if you test negative after sickness, you'd still have to wear a mask in public". I understood that to mean that I would have to wear a mask in public even while all other people do NOT have to wear a mask in public (where I am, there is no general order for all to wear masks in public - only when you go inside like shopping).

As I said already, " I am not claiming I can drop the measures everyone else has to abide by. I am claiming that I'd have an excellent chance of being immune."
 

Oystein

Senior Member
: ) I didn't mean that as mean. I would be interested in a day to day account. most stories ive seen just summarize, but I did follow Chris Cuomo's illness and it was rather enlightening. he had doctors skyping with him throughout, giving specific instructions and sending him stuff to help him through. I don't have one of those oxygen readers you stick on your finger, but I do feel a bit more knowledgeable in case I do get it.
If I get ill, sure, I'll do that.
As already indicated, I am not really planning on getting sick on purpose. I just argued that the reason against getting sick on purpose do not apply to everyone and may well be personally acceptable for some. Certainly, every person who already got through an infection is an asset because of high chance of immunity. Certainly, my employer would rejoice if I could get immunity with a pretty limited number of off-days. They'd still not give me the go-ahead to do it on purpose.
 

Leak

New Member
I think we had a misunderstanding here. deirdre said that "even if you test negative after sickness, you'd still have to wear a mask in public". I understood that to mean that I would have to wear a mask in public even while all other people do NOT have to wear a mask in public (where I am, there is no general order for all to wear masks in public - only when you go inside like shopping).

As I said already, " I am not claiming I can drop the measures everyone else has to abide by. I am claiming that I'd have an excellent chance of being immune."
Yeah, I guess I misunderstood, but then again I'm pretty sure I also interpreted deirdre's claim different than you did, and your question wasn't very specific... :)
 

Jon Adams

New Member
Do you really think other people will just take your word (or rather, some random guy they don't know's word) that you have had the virus? Nevermind that no one knows how long any kind of immunity you might have (if any) is going to last?

And even if there were some sort of certificate, or card, or tattoo or whatever you could present as evidence like a "get out of jail free" card (which the WHO has very vehemently advised against, for the reasons above) that'd be one heck of an incentive for unscrupulous people to get a fake one...
Yeah, I tend to think this is going to shake up the whole food prep business. I was always quite aware that the people making my sandwich at the Subway or Jersey Mike's weren't wearing facemasks, and occasionally I'd see the spray as they spoke with another worker or patron. Gross, but that was then. Now, I think there's going to be a new sensitivity as evidenced in comments from restaurant owners and patrons.

You might think, "that's silly and stupid". But nowadays, at least in my part of the US, hair nets and gloves are common for even the lowly sandwich shop, and not that long ago someone could be cooking your meal and smoking their cigarette. Weird how things change as public perception changes...

The restauranteur who tells their clients "just take my word" may find it more and more difficult to attract patrons, when their competition doubles down.

Cheers - Jon
 
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