I’m a Covid-19 virgin – does that make me a sitting duck?


With people continuing to get infected and reinfected with Covid-19, it doesn't seem likely that this wish is will come true any time soon. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

Now that most Americans have been infected with Covid-19 – more than 70%, according to a recent estimate from the White House – the rest of us are the outliers.

There’s been lots of speculation about what makes us different.

Is it genetics, diet, exercise, good air quality, or as one South Korean doctor implied, are we just friendless losers who spend all of our time home alone? (He later retracted that.)

Researchers want to study us, especially if we’ve been in high-risk situations and still managed to stay Covid-free.

There’s been lots of news coverage about our shrinking pool – and not all of it is comforting; a recent piece in The Atlantic referred to us as potential “sitting ducks”.

Here are a few other takes on our situation, ripped from recent headlines:

  • “If You’ve Never Had Covid, Should You Relax or Worry?”
  • “Never Had Covid? You May Hold Key To Beating the Virus”
  • “Are you still a Covid virgin? In reality, you’re probably not.”

“Virgin”, by the way, is just one of our special names.

“Novid” and “Covid dodger” are others.

Some say we’re lucky; others believe we’re deluded.

They say we may have already had an asymptomatic or mild case without realising it.

That’s true, but without a test to prove it, I’m still inclined to believe that I’m in the "Novid" group – and I’m wondering how I got there.

I’ve haven’t been super vigilant, especially over the past six months or so.

Beyond being vaxxed and boosted and masking up when required, I’ve been leading a more-or-less normal life, which for me means being slightly messy, disorganised and forgetful.

I don’t carry around hand sanitizer or Kleenex.

I’ve never worn those blue gloves.

And I occasionally shake hands when I meet someone.

When it comes to crowds, I’ve been avoiding them less and less.

On the safe side, I have not been to a movie theatre since pre-Covid-19 – mostly because there’s nothing I really want to see.

But I have been to several restaurants, including some in hot-spot communities like Los Angeles, a few packed-house concerts, and not long ago, I stood elbow-to-elbow at an indoor wine event with hundreds of strangers.

Oh, and I went on a 20-day cruise to Alaska this summer (2022).

And did I mention my millennial son went through a not-so-brief anti-vax period while he was still living at home?

So on the Covid-avoidance scale, I’d give myself around a C+.

And yes, I do believe I’m a sitting duck.

Every sneeze, every ache and every pain has me convinced that my turn to catch Covid-19 has arrived at last, and honestly, it’s something of a relief to believe I’ve finally joined the herd.

I make plans to isolate, to notify all of my recent contacts, to cancel upcoming appointments, to figure out what’s left to binge on Netflix while I rest and recuperate.

But then I take a Covid-19 test, only to get another negative result.

Again, I take absolutely no credit for that.

I’m convinced the main reason I’m still in the select group is this: I may have been lackadaisical about other precautionary measures, but I have been super careful about getting vaxxed and boosted.

That’s my secret sauce.

With that in mind, I want to extend an overdue thank-you to all who’ve had a hand in supplying us with vaccines.

That includes the scientists who developed them.

The folks who had a hand in their production and delivery.

The healthcare workers who gave us the jabs – especially the kind person who fit me into the schedule when I showed up at a SLO County Rite Aid when my appointment was actually at a CVS (or was it vice versa?).

If I were a better person, I might even give a tiny nod of thanks to Donald Trump, whose Operation Warp Speed may or may not – depending on what you read – have contributed to the rapid development of Covid-19 vaccines.

But that’s a column for another day.

Right now, I think I’ll check out the show times for “Nope”.

It’s been getting good reviews, and it’s been a while since I’ve been to a movie theatre. – The Sacramento Bee/Tribune News Service

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