An epidemiologist has broken down why deliberately getting infected with the coronavirus in a bid to become immune after recovery is a “really horrible idea right now.”
“It is all about how much we just don’t know yet,” warned Greta Bauer, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Western University in London, Ontario, in a column for The New York Times published Wednesday.
Bauer listed seven reasons why people should not attempt to contract the virus on purpose, noting how some people have considered avoiding social distancing or hosting parties where they can expose themselves to the disease.
Immunity “isn’t a sure thing” and “reinfection could be possible,” Bauer said.
The long-term consequences of the condition on its victims is also not yet truly known, she added, cautioning that “the virus could continue living inside you” and “even the young can be hospitalized.”
The professor pointed out how so-called mild cases of the virus are “hardly mild” and there is “no shortcut” or easy way to boost one’s immunity.
“While it is hard to be patient, the best way out of this will likely be much clearer to us in a month or two than it is now,” Bauer concluded. “In the meantime, it is important that we don’t take unnecessary risks with unknown consequences. If we can avoid infection, we need to do exactly that.”
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