For some newcomers to Covid, an unexpected feeling: Relief

“We don't have to worry about waiting anymore,” said one woman. "A terrible thing has happened, and now we can get to the task of controlling it."


When Daniel Storm found out he had Covid-19, he was shocked. She was very careful, did not associate with people and always wore a mask every time she left the house.

Her PCR test results came in an email in Jan. 8. Staring at the word “positive,” Storm, 52, of Wilmington, North Carolina, said that he felt angry and frustrated.

Then, relief made him proud.

"I feel like I've been going through nails and needles, as omicron is everywhere," Storm said of the hypertransmissible Covid variant.

He had received his Covid vaccines and booster, but feared that he could transmit the virus to someone at high risk. Finding news of his case - which was not asymptomatic as a result of self-examination - made Storm more isolated from his family and more comfortable with himself and those around him.

"I feel even more secure now," she said.

As the epidemic enters its third year, some newcomers to Covid find that finding a disease that they have worked hard to prevent for a long time has brought them unexpected relief from anxiety - rather than including it.

Their relief is not found in the rest of the world, as the disease is always a major threat to the weak, the elderly and many others.

But for those at low risk of Covid complications, a positive test result at this stage of the epidemic can bring surprising positive emotions, as well as a range of other emotions.

It may seem absurd, but psychologists say that it is an example of the expected anxiety, in which the fear you experience before an event ends up being worse than the event itself.

“You 're in a constant state of panic,' What will happen if I do? '” Says Vaile Wright, clinical psychologist and executive director of innovative health care products at the American Psychological Association. "It gives you permission to stop worrying about it a little bit."

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That may be especially true of the omicron, a study that suggests that it cause more severe symptoms than previous vaccines, especially in vaccinated individuals.

Because of this, many, especially those who have been vaccinated and raised, say that getting Covid despite their best efforts to avoid it sounds like an opportunity to give up.

"We no longer have to worry and wait," said Sarah Moon, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, who was shot and diagnosed with HIV on Friday after her 4-year-old daughter, Mira, had previously had Covid. church. "A terrible thing has happened, and now we can get to the task of controlling it."

But experts warn that no one should deliberately seek Covid.

"There is a personal, social, and public responsibility for everyone not to get sick because they are prone to other people's illnesses," including those who may have fatal complications or those who do not qualify for vaccination, such as children under 5, "said Drs. Robert. Havey, deputy director of the Havey Institute for Global Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

And, he added, there is still a level of uncertainty as to who might be hospitalized or have a long Covid.

"You don't know you're going to be unlucky," said Havey.

Temporary relief? What we know about the immune system after infection

Whether you are vaccinated or not, getting Covid strengthens your immunity to infection again - at least in the short term.

"It's like a slow shot," said Havey, explaining that "it's very rare" for people without weakened immune systems to re-infect within 90 days of Covid.

After that, all bets are canceled. Havey has seen a dramatic increase in viral replication with the arrival of omicron in patients with pre-existing strains.

Re-infection occurs in both vaccinated and non-vaccinated people, he said, although prevention after that is stronger for those vaccinated.

However, the relief when holding Covid can be much more than a feeling of security.

Makie Fuse, 30, lives in Melbourne, Australia, a nation that used strong keys to contain the epidemic and now sees a record number of infections during the omicron spread and border restrictions.

Fuse is yet to qualify for his booster in Australia, but has secured his first two Covid goals. He was tested last year after suffering from a sore throat that had become so severe that he was "intolerant," he said.

Photo: Makie Fuse.

Makie Fuse. Kindly Makie Fuse

He felt nervous when he found out he had Covid, but after a long time thinking he could have it, he said there was also something comforting to know about finally getting it.

“Two years ago, we were very stressed about closing the doors, but also the signs. Every headache, every sore throat, every feeling of fatigue can be a symptom, ”he said.

It was as if at first he did not have to wonder.

"It simply came to our notice then. I feel this, and I have been tested for HIV, and I am going through something that many other people have been through, '”she said.

"It simply came to our notice then. I feel this, and have been tested for HIV, and I go through something that many other people have been through.

In Rhode Island, Moon's daughter received a small Covid case, but Moon, her husband and her 6-year-old son, all vaccinated, initially found out they did not have it. By the end of the week, the Moon was still having symptoms.

He likened Covid's arrival to his house with a shocking film.