Kovid is certainly our “new normal,” isn’t it? The news about it rarely pushes anymore. Unfortunately, there seems to be always going to be new cases and new variants. After a terrifying 2020, I personally feel somewhat sensitive to the news about Kovid in general. But there are some moments when I feel tired or tickle my throat and make sure it’s torn around my mask in the office or grocery store and then I check anxiously. (It certainly doesn’t help that the season of allergies and the list of symptoms has expanded with each new look and now a little more wine can cause symptoms of covid). So I resigned, but I’m still afraid of getting sick, and I’m leaving with my family. But this new report from the CDC makes me feel a little more calm. Apparently most Americans were already cowardly.
Back in December, just before the omicron variant spread across the country, more than a third of Americans were infected with COVID-19. But just two months after the highly contagious variant led to thousands of new cases, most Americans became infected at least once, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control found.
Using blood test data from across the country, the CDC determined that 33.5% of Americans contained the COVID-19 antibody that was produced from the infection in December 2021, not the vaccine. 58%.
The highest increase was in children under 18 – as of February, 75%, or 3 out of 4, had COVID-19 antibodies in their systems.
“As of February 2022, evidence of previous Covid-19 infections has increased significantly with each age,” said Dr. Christy Clark, a CDC researcher who led the study, in a press briefing.
Clark said the jump in antibody proliferation was understandable due to the increase in omicron, but even then it was a surprise.
“I certainly hope to see an increase continue,” he said. “I didn’t expect it to increase that much but we look at the data and that’s what the evidence is showing us.”
The CDC’s research shows more accurately the number of Kovid-19 cases nationwide than reported cases, which are not responsible for any tests taken at home and not reported to the local health department, or in cases where people do not receive one. Check to make sure they are positive.
“We know the reported cases are just the tip of the iceberg,” Clark said.
He added that for the first time, the prevalence of antibodies in the United States has risen to more than 50%.
And while most Americans have now been infected with COVID-19 at least once, both Clark and CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned that the earlier infection “does not mean you are protected” from the virus again, especially if another form. Climb to the top to overtake Omicron.
They said that vaccination is still the best protection against COVID-19, and that there is a potential increase among children because of the lowest vaccination rates – although children between the ages of 5 and 11 have been eligible for vaccination since early November, according to the CDC. As of April 26, only 28.4% had been fully vaccinated.
“We recommend that everyone stay up to date on their vaccines, get your initial series and booster, when they qualify,” Walensky said.
So 60% of Americans, including 75% of children, already have covid infection. They found data from blood tests that determined covid antibodies from the infection, not the vaccine. And I’m guessing that the actual number may be even higher for those who didn’t have blood during the clinical trial period. While these numbers may have been annoying a year ago, they actually make me feel a little better now. I’m still scared enough to have a bad case or a long distance covid (even a common cold-cough I’m a kid) so it’s comforting that I got it already and could be asymptomatic. Does the article say that this is “the first time that the prevalence of antibodies in the United States has increased by more than 50%”? I hope so too. It will still suck, but I remember those first few months when NYC was almost silent without frequent ambulance sirens, so keep it in sight.
An important caveat to this news is that even if you are cowardly once, you can get it again. Legend has it, I know people who have had it twice or after two vaccinations and a booster. Significant public figures have also been vaccinated. Impossible to be perfect and I know many of us are experiencing “cautionary exhaustion”. It’s hard, I know! I’m still going to wear masks in large / crowded areas and specific places like airplanes, trains, grocery stores and public bathrooms (this is a personal choice). In conclusion, I will keep these eternal words from 2016: “Wash your hands and don’t make people cough, dum-dum.”
Photo Credit: Norma Mortenson at Pixel, Atoms and Kelly Sikema at Unsplash