Is there any freedom in having had the virus?

(38 Posts)
SuperAlly Sun 15-Nov-20 12:08:08

Just that really. I can’t find a straight answer to this.

If you’ve had the virus (and a positive result), can you (or should you be able to) move freely? Are you any less of a risk to other people?

I have a feeling the answer is no...but I don’t know anyone who has had the virus or anything

OP’s posts: |
Remmy123 Sun 15-Nov-20 12:08:52

You will only have the antibodies for so long so you can get it again after time

StealthPolarBear Sun 15-Nov-20 12:09:14

I think the jury's still out on immunity, particularly lomg term

Waxonwaxoff0 Sun 15-Nov-20 12:10:20

My mum has had the virus, has antibodies and is still following the rules. I think there's too much doubt over how long antibodies last.

TheTurnOfTheScrew Sun 15-Nov-20 12:11:38

no. there's no evidence as to how protective the antibodies are, or for how long.

work colleague had it in April, positive antibody test. Still had to self-isolate for two weeks when his wife tested positive in June, and his son in August (family of healthcare workers, not just unlucky!)

CodenameVillanelle Sun 15-Nov-20 12:11:39

No. The evidence suggests that antibodies wane over time.
I had probable coronavirus in March (sandwiched between two colleagues who all had the same symptoms) we all had antibody tests through work in august - the others had them and I didn't. So either I coincidentally got a different virus at the height of corona transmission after being in close contact with both of them or I didn't produce enough antibodies to still have them 5 months later.
Vaccines will likely need to be topped up.

Looneytune253 Sun 15-Nov-20 12:11:48

No I don't think they've proved whether or not you can get it again or not but I think it's almost certain even if you don't get it again you can still carry it and pass it on. Personally though I don't worry so much about catching it. I have a tendency to worry a lot about illnesses so I think if I hadn't had it already I'd be a proper wreck now panicking


Sirzy Sun 15-Nov-20 12:11:59

Not enough is known about the virus to know if having it gives long term immunity and means you can’t pass it on.

WitchesBritchesPumpkinPants Sun 15-Nov-20 12:12:57

No, because they don't know how long the antibodies last & you're likely to be hit harder subsequent times - so no, there's no 'freedom' in it.

PolarBearStrength Sun 15-Nov-20 12:13:11

I think it depends massively on your viral load and individual immune response. I’m not an expert by any stretch though. I do know a woman who got it in March, has had long COViD, and recently caught it again and ended up hospitalised.

SuperAlly Sun 15-Nov-20 12:13:56

Ah that’s disappointing.

OP’s posts: |
Redolent Sun 15-Nov-20 12:15:03

Prof John Bell of Oxford was arguing last week that those who test positive for the virus should be given a 3 months 'freedom' period during which it is judged that they are extremely unlikely to contract the virus again.

But there is evidence that antibodies wane particularly after 6 months.

SocialBees Sun 15-Nov-20 12:26:06

Can you? No, there's no allowance for this in the current guidelines.

Should you be able to? Scientifically speaking, yes I think there's a strong argument for this (for a period of say three months after a positive test). But in terms of the social acceptance, I think it would be unpopular. Too much room for disagreement (I'm sure I had it but didn't get a positive test, I don't believe my colleague actually had a positive test etc etc).

QueenStromba Sun 15-Nov-20 12:54:03


No I don't think they've proved whether or not you can get it again or not but I think it's almost certain even if you don't get it again you can still carry it and pass it on. Personally though I don't worry so much about catching it. I have a tendency to worry a lot about illnesses so I think if I hadn't had it already I'd be a proper wreck now panicking

It has 100% been proven that you can catch it more than once and that you can have worse symptoms the second time.

OwlOne Sun 15-Nov-20 12:56:12

Maybe, a little, but they (govts) don't want us to believe that there is.
They don't want people who've had it to relax.

I know it's been proven that you can catch it twice but I believe that that's still rare? I hope that that is right.

Smelliethenelephant Sun 15-Nov-20 13:04:33

@WitchesBritchesPumpkinPants @QueenStromba do you have evidence for your scaremongery coments please?

sirfredfredgeorge Sun 15-Nov-20 13:05:50

Even if it did confer immunity - and it almost certainly does in the short term - the main reason not to provide this is it would specifically encourage risky behaviour, at the moment millions of people are avoiding catching the virus not because they're worried about what would happen if they did, but simply because they don't want to isolate.

If you give them the reward of one isolation and then the guarantee to carry on freely then they would all jump at the chance. Such a "infect the low risk" strategy has been rejected.

Sitt Sun 15-Nov-20 13:07:45

I don’t know if we know how likely it is that having it for a second time will be worse, because anyone who has had it a second time and was (for example) asymptomatic is unlikely to have known about it. We will only pick up the cases where it was worse. So in terms of risks it’s hard to know how high that is.

QueenStromba Sun 15-Nov-20 13:08:07


*@WitchesBritchesPumpkinPants* @QueenStromba do you have evidence for your scaremongery coments please?

Smelliethenelephant Sun 15-Nov-20 13:18:15

@QueenStromba thank you but if you are pointing towards the first report on the link you sent, it does not provide evidence of your assertion.

Lifeispassingby Sun 15-Nov-20 13:45:50

the guidance to isolate/quarantine is the same even if you have antibodies detected

Kitcat122 Sun 15-Nov-20 13:54:56

No the opposite. I wasn't too concerned about catching it. Now I've had it definitely abit anxious about catching it again.

Porcupineinwaiting Sun 15-Nov-20 14:29:19

@Smelliethenelephant it is well established that you can catch COVID twice, just take a look at the covid Facebook groups. Lots of people (mostly Americans) posting their positive test results from March and then again from the summer/autumn. There are posters right here on these boards who will tell you the same story, or speak to NHS staff.

In order to be a proven, scientific case of reinfection you need to have the viral genome sequenced for both infections. Strangely, not many people are offered the opportunity to have that done. Lots of people didnt even get tested the first time round.

Subsequent infections can be better or worse. Certainly the ones that are worse tend to be more heavily reported which makes sense - if you had a mild infection the first time then an even milder one then you might not even notice.

Smelliethenelephant Sun 15-Nov-20 14:55:48

@Porcupineinwaiting I am not doubting that you can catch it twice, but there is no evidence that symptoms will be worse a second time for the majority of people so 'you're likely to be hit harder a second time' 'is a claim that needed to be challenged.

GooseberryTart Sun 15-Nov-20 15:01:02

My manager had covid early on and had the anti bodies but a couple of months later they were gone.
Another friend thought she wouldn’t be too bothered if her and her family caught it and got it out of the way. She was ok but her partner ended up in hospital and nearly died.
I also know fit healthy people in their 40’s and early 50’s who are really struggling with everyday life several months on as they have gone in to develop long covid.
So I think its best to avoid getting it if you possibly can.

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