Why intentionally getting COVID is a dangerous idea


January 13, 2022 – As the COVID-19 cases from Omicron in the United States rose sharply to what appears new records every other day, there is growing speculation among some experts and novice scientists that infection seems inevitable to many.

At a Senate hearing Tuesday, even acting FDA commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD he told the panel, “most people will get COVID.”

In mid-December, World Health Organization Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said vaccines it just won’t protect us from Omicron. In late December, an epidemiologist told BBC News: “We have to be realistic; we will not stop Omicron.”

Easter posts are now appearing on social media ideas similar to chickenpox parties, where you deliberately socialize with infected people. One restaurant in Italy is charging $ 150 for the opportunity not only to get good wine with dinner, but also COVID-19.

So, if everyone is likely to be infected, why not listen to the chatter outside, just intentionally get infected and end it?

Because it’s a very bad idea, public health experts say.

“No, it’s not inevitable that everyone will get Omicron infection,” said Greg Poland, MD, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, MN, and editor-in-chief of the journal. Vaccine. “There may be higher rates of infection and high rates of exposure, but vaccinated, boosted and masked people have a very high chance of protecting themselves from infection.”

Infecting requires a series of events that are not inevitable, he says.

“I think it’s certainly spreading like crazy,” says Aaron Glatt, MD, head of infectious diseases and hospital epidemiologist at Mount Sinai South Nassau in Oceanside, NY. “It’s very contagious and will affect even the vaccinated and the stimulated.”

Even so, he says, “There’s no way to say, ‘Everyone’s going to get it.'”

With intensive care units crowded across the country, tests are hard to find truffles, ” it’s certainly not the time to raise our hands in the air and say, ‘Everyone will get it,’ “says Dr. Omai B. Garner, director of clinical microbiology for the UCLA health system in California. He’s sending the wrong message, he says.

To say that Omicron will affect us as a whole “means we need to stop fighting it, he says. If that happens, he says, “you will put the immunocompromised and unvaccinated at risk. This is still a very dangerous disease for people who have not been vaccinated.”

And the unvaccinated, Garner recalls, includes “the entire population under the age of 5” for whom no vaccine against COVID has yet been approved.

Narrative Get-It-on-Purpose

The idea of ​​intentionally contracting COVID is also a misconception, Poland says.

People may mistakenly assume that what they call “natural”. immunity– and what he prefers to call “caused by disease”. immunity“- will not have any negative consequences, and that after they become infected, theirs immunity it will be long lasting.

Another problem, Poland says, is a misunderstanding of what “milder” means when it is said that Omicron is generally milder than Delta variant. If you are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated and get infected with the Omicron variant, he said, the prognosis is better than with Delta, but you can still get very sick and die.

“I certainly wouldn’t recommend people go out and try to get Omicron,” Glatt says. “If someone gets infected and recovers and is well, it would boost immunity, e.g. [from] any infection. ”“ But that means you have to get sick, ”and that’s not a good idea.

Another misconception, says Poland, is the assumption that experts already know everything there is to know about Omicron.

It’s not true, he says. He cites recent studies, such as newly published a CDC study that showed a higher risk of diabetes after children were infected with COVID-19.


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