Hearing the Words “You’ve Tested Positive”

2021-12-23 – Before there was a vaccine, there was the immunity confered by actually having the disease. I discussed that with my doctor almost two years ago on the eave of the pandemic. I was there for a regular checkup. No one was wearing masks—yet. No one even knew the meaning of the word pandemic. Not really.

The conversation went something like this. “So most people who get this disease, survive. So, of course you don’t want to get it, but if you do, then you have immunity, right?” “Right.”

But it turned out more complicated than that. It’s a dial, not an on-off switch. Your body’s defenses can be strengthened against this disease, but it’s not 100% like it is with other diseases. You get infected or you get a vaccine and your chances of getting it (again) go way down. But not to zero.

You can get it if you’ve been vaccinated. It’s not as likely as if you were unvaccinated, but it’s possible. Also, if you get it after being vaccinated, it’s probably not going to be as severe.

But we’ve spent most of 2021 thinking we’re safe if we had the vaccine—and the booster. We don’t think of it in terms of probabilities. We think that either we’re immune or we’re not.


Of course, we still wear our masks when we go somewhere. And we social distance. Hey! Even when this pandemic is over, I’m still going to want to social distance!

But, even if you and your family and friends have been pretty lucky. You start hearing about people who are close to you who test positive.

It can ruin your plans. Hopefully, their cases will be mild.

And then your mind goes back to that time at the eve of the pandemic, when your fallback position is that, at least your immune system will be strenthened.

As Nietzsche said, “What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.”

A statement of defiance, rather than truth.

And that’s what got us to where we are today—defiance, not truth.

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