Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

Why should't you just 'get COVID over with'?

Why should't you just 'get COVID over with'?

As the city progresses through, and some people in the world have experienced it, it may begin to feel as if everyone is getting sick.

If you've been spared a bout of COVID-19 this far while others you know have tested positive, maybe you've wondered: Should I just expose myself and get it over with?

Dr. Chris Beyrer, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has no objection.

"There are a number of problems with this method of thinking," Beyrer tells CNET. First, although your risk of severe COVID-19 is now rare if you're vaccinated and boosted, some vaccinated people have had severe cases of COVID-19. And if you aren't vaccinated, that risk is. Why risk it on purpose?

Vaccinated people may still spread the virus, according to a researcher, which puts others at risk who didn't choose to be sick. Elderly adults, people who are immunocompromised or children under 5 years of age would be particularly at risk if you run into them in your apartment building as you're isolating, or at the grocery store before you realize you're sick.

There's the risk of, which develops in about 15% to 20% of people with a confirmed COVID-19 infection -- including people who had relatively mild cases. These symptoms can range from bothersome to and disruptive to daily life.

Is getting sick just to get it over with inevitable? With the virus, some experts have said, maybe. But choosing to get sick to get it over with has consequences beyond you, even if you'll never know it.

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How do you feel like a chickenpox party?

If children were exposed to chickenpox, they'd be able to get immunity, according to Beyrer, giving evidence to the people who got chickenpox.

"COVID is now a significantly preventable disease," said the doctor.

We presented this as a suggestion to Beyrer: Five fully vaccinated young adults in their 20s, who think they are generally healthy and will likely get a mild case of COVID-19, decide to get COVID-19 together in order to be done with it. What might happen?

According to Beyrer, the odds of anyone in this group getting really sick are relatively low, yet the group will develop as a result. For people who are immunocompromised, elderly or under the age of 5, the cluster in the group might lead to severe disease.

"With a virus as infectious as omicron, these infections may propagate widely," Beyrer said. "And these five young people would likely never know who they might have harmed."

COVID-19 is not a "one-and-a-do" problem for everyone, and many people are fighting it for the second time after getting sick earlier in the pandemic.

Even though the pandemic may feel like it'll never be eliminated, trying to get infected puts you at unnecessary risk and puts our depleted health care system at risk.

Just because omicron is causing a less severe disease doesn't mean it's not serious

Omicron is increasing, causing more illness than delta, according to Beyrer. But it's also significantly more contagious, which has caused the number of cases to skyrocket. And just because it's less invasive, it's not the same for everyone.

"When you have so many millions of cases, deaths will also increase," Beyrer said. "As we [are] now seeing in the USA, the deaths are also observed."

The need to "flatten the curve" of people getting sick with COVID-19 in order to maintain hospital capacity for those who end up being very sick is as strong as it was in spring of 2020.

Hospital beds in 24 states are nearing their capacity, according to the New York Times on Friday. And more people getting sick means more health care workers are sick, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Is COVID-19 endocrined to everyone?When will COVID-19 become endocrined?

Think about it as a seasonal illness, according to some health experts and President Biden's senior medical advisor.

"The reality is that the unvaccinated have a very high likelihood of being infected," Beyrer said. The vaccinated (and some of the boosted) are also likely to have exposures owing to the sheer contagiousness of the omicron variant, but many of them will go unnoticed unless the person is tested for some reason.

COVID-19 infections aren't necessarily indicative of the cause of an epidemic, according to Catherine Smallwood, a WHO officer.

COVID-19 rates will begin declining rapidly around late January, according to Beyrer, and we may see much less cases by March. Depending on the possibility of vaccine and boosting rates, a vaccination for children under age 5 is found and omicron is the last kind of concern, he said.

"That assumption assumes no other variants as omicron is declining," Beyrer said. "An assumption which proved incorrect with the delta variant, as we know all too often.

"We're all fatigued," Byrer said, adding that "actively trying to get sick now thinking it will give you immunity later is harmful to the individual and harmful to the community. It will also "maintain chains of transmission and prolong the pain."

People should focus on their mental health, according to Beyrer.

The information contained in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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