COVID-19 x2: Can you get the virus twice?

COVID-19+x2%3A+Can+you+get+the+virus+twice%3F

Merritt Dismuke

 

Potentially contracting COVID-19 twice has been a long-debated issue. Unfortunately, there are
too many unknowns about immunity to novel coronavirus to be sure. According to the CDC,
there here have been a few recorded cases of coronavirus reinfection, but they remain rare. There
is currently no conclusive evidence that points to how long coronavirus immunity lasts.

Firsthand, GC students have expressed experiencing COVID-19 more than once. Many consider
whether this is fact or fiction. Although some students assume they’ve contracted it again, others
received testing to know for sure.

“Yes, I have actually been diagnosed with it twice,” said an anonymous sophomore marketing
major. “The symptoms were not near as bad as the first time, but still wasn’t fun. The doctor
knew I had just got strep and bronchitis, and when my test came back positive, he said I still had
antibodies. But it wasn’t enough to fight off the virus.”

Many at GC believe that antibodies last 3-6 months based on what they’ve heard from the news,
peers and other random sources. In a sea of information, students often don’t know where to turn
when it comes to knowing the facts about COVID-19.

“I am not sure what to think,” said Kate Studervant, junior psychology major. “I never know
what sources to trust.”

Vaccines and mask-wearing also come into debate when discussing the possibility of contracting
the virus twice. Although some are comfortable with wearing masks and plan to get vaccinated
once long-term studies are conducted, others are not so sure.

“I am not saying I agree with a government mandated mask requirement, because I do not,” said
an anonymous senior exercise science major. “However, I do understand this recommendation
from the CDC because the vaccine is still very new, and there has not been adequate time to
thoroughly research the immunity level or spreading capability of those who have been
vaccinated.”

Rosanna Jaramillo, a first year grad student involved in athletic training, said that GC’s athletes,
who are tested for COVID-19 frequently, have yet to receive a second positive COVID-19
among players.

“If vaccines have been made to stop something, then what are the masks going to continue to
do?,” Jaramillo said. “Makes you wonder what the vaccines are for. And how ‘helpful’ the masks
are in general. If I were to get vaccinated, I would do so with the promise I don’t have to wear a
mask ever again.”

Recently, a vaccination clinic was established at GC. As of March 18, individuals 55 or over,
individuals with disabilities, and those 16 and older with certain high-risk definitions were
eligible to attend the clinic. Nursing students and medical workers were also able to attend,
hoping to combat the virus’s vicious spread. The only downside to vaccination: experiencing
COVID-19 symptoms after receiving dosages.

“They say if you have already had it and get the vaccine your body recognizes it so you react
worse to it than someone who hasn’t,” anonymous said. “And I believe it because my mom and
dad both had the virus and got the vaccine after. The shot took them down for the count. Round
one and two.”

 

Luckily, contracting COVID-19 one time prepares most for the second round. Experts add that
being infected once is not a hall pass to ignore all of the protocols put in place. Masking, hand
washing and physical distancing are essential to stop COVID-19’s spread. Even after the
infection has passed, antibodies remain in the body to help the body fight off future infection.
How long these antibodies last in the body varies, ranging from days to a lifetime.

“I “I have had COVID twice,” said Suzanna Fields, public health major. “The first time was not
bad at all. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have known I had it if I didn’t get tested. The second
time I got it was 6 months later.”

Although much is known about COVID-19, much more is unknown. Opinions vary when it
comes to potentially contracting the virus more than once. Although guidelines have lessened
over the past few months, continue to mask-up and do your part to prevent the spread— and the
possibility of contracting the virus twice.