So You’ve Made It Through Covid-19. Now What?

What responsibilities do we have now?

Will Leitch

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As of today, it has been 16 days since I contracted Covid-19. I have not had any symptoms in 12 days, I’ve been fully 100 percent recovered physically (I’m back to my daily five-mile runs) and am, by any measure or recommendation, free to be back around other people again. I made it.

So, now what?

This was the first time I had contracted Covid-19, and I was fully vaccinated and received my first booster back in November 2021. (I am 46 years old and not yet eligible for my second booster.) There is pervasive anecdotal evidence that those, like me, who had never been infected before are finally having their number called: Surely there are people in your life who have tested positive during this most recent wave without ever having done so before. All told, thanks to Moderna and the good fortune of not being immunocompromised, it was not all that physically taxing: I had a fever on the first day, I was achy for a day or two after that, then I was fine. But now, I’m through it. So, does that mean I am done with Covid-19?

It doesn’t seem that way. An October 2021 study said you were clear for three months, at least, but that was before Omicron; a non-peer-reviewed study found some people getting Covid-19 as soon as 20 days after recovering from their last bout. That sounds scary, and I have to say that I’m going to pretty annoyed if I get this thing again in three weeks, but I think you can make a case that if people can get reinfected with something that soon after recovering from it, that’s ultimately going to make people less scared of Covid-19, rather than more. I have a friend who has had Covid-19 four times at this point. She’s very annoyed that she keeps getting Covid-19. But it’s fair to say that each time she’s gotten it, she’s found it more irritating than terrifying. How scared can you be at that point when you’ve had something four times?

There are surely more variants coming down the line, and we’ll have to stay up to date with boosters to make sure we remain ahead of them. (I’d argue that quickening those timelines as to who is eligible for second boosters wouldn’t hurt either.) But one expert told the Times that, well, this is what endemic looks like. Remember endemicity…

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Will Leitch

Author of six books, including “How Lucky” and "The Time Has Come." NYMag/MLB.. Founder, Deadspin. https://williamfleitch.substack.com