Column: I haven’t gotten Covid yet… is that weird?


Emily Soto

All DePaul buildings, including 1 E Jackson Blvd (above), require masks on entry.

I’m fully aware that I’m going to jinx myself by writing this. But as of right now, it’s been about two years since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never been infected.

Granted, I’ve been pretty tame when it comes to pandemic risk-taking over the course of the pandemic. I’ve spent an awful lot of time at home, and wore KN95 masks before Omicron ever came around.

But I’ve pushed my luck here and there. I traveled internationally twice, once for work and once for a family vacation. I’ve flown back and forth between Chicago and my hometown in Maryland a handful of times as well. And I hang out with my friends on a pretty regular basis, who vary in their degrees of Covid responsibility.

I’ve been sick several times, too. I caught a few bad colds, had seasonal allergies and even got strep throat late last year. I get tested pretty regularly, and whenever I feel at all under the weather. Every single test so far has been negative.

Over 77 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the United States. But it’s estimated that the actual number is several times higher due to the testing shortage and underreporting. Based on this, I feel awfully fortunate to have never been infected yet, and I’m not alone.

“I feel like I have gotten very lucky,” said DePaul senior Nikki Giatras. “For a lot of the pandemic, I was home. I really avoided getting it because my mom is immunocompromised. I was getting tested, like every week to go home — from August to like May. And I never tested positive.”

As the United States started to reopen, however, Giatras said she had to go back to work and school.

“I have done a lot of normal activities since then,” she said. “I’m not the type of person where I fully avoid all groups.”

Giatras believes that a combination of luck and getting vaccinated and boosted led to her remaining Covid-free thus far. DePaul senior Connor Reid shared a similar sentiment.

“I wasn’t super reserved about where I went,” Reid said. “I feel pretty lucky, but I do trust the vaccine.”

Neither Reid or Giatras had knowingly been in close contact with people who were infected with Covid-19 throughout the pandemic. I haven’t either, and that has certainly boosted my luck, so far.

The Omicron variant has drastically increased the number of cases that we likely encounter on a regular basis. On Jan. 11, over 1.4 million infections were recorded in the United States alone. Seeing this, I would imagine that my streak is not going to last forever.

A number that high implies that every American is at least going to come in close contact with Covid-19 at one point. I’ve been careful, but I’ve been far from perfect. I’ve had numerous friends, family members, and coworkers test positive. It just seems strange that I haven’t been sick yet.

According to The Telegraph, there is a possibility that some people are simply immune to Covid-19. A study conducted in the beginning of the pandemic found that a small percentage of healthcare workers experienced low-level “abortive infections.” These wouldn’t be found on PCR tests, as the workers’ T-cells had eliminated their virus before it infected them.

Much is still very unknown about this phenomenon. Frankly, it’s dangerous and irresponsible to assume that you are one of these people, no matter how lucky you’ve felt throughout this pandemic.

It’s fun to think about, though. For now, writing this article is about how far I’m willing to push my luck.