Many Americans are confused as to what fate awaits them if they become infected with the coronavirus and then recover. Will they be a pariah or superhuman? Hero or social outcast? Gasping for air or immune for life?
“If I find out I’ve had it, will I be able to go everywhere or nowhere?” asked Rebecca Gottlieb of New York City, who’s had no symptoms of any illness but wonders if she should try to get tested for COVID-19 nonetheless – or, on the other hand, whether she should avoid testing at all costs. “And I can never remember if having the antibody is good or bad. Does that mean I’ll spread it to everyone or no one?” She shook her head in frustration. “Sometimes it seems like there are no good options.”
Nate Chapman of Nashville, Tennessee, who eats healthy, exercises, and is fairly confident that, if struck by COVID-19, he won’t end up one of the 0.1 to 0.3 percent fatalities from the illness, likewise expressed confusion regarding the ramifications of coronavirus. "I don’t want to get sick, but the real jackpot may be lifetime immunity. So it could be that getting COVID-19 and recovering would be preferable to avoiding infection entirely," he said. "I’m having a hard time deciding. I guess I’ll just play it by ear."
Matt Mason of Boston, Massachusetts, however, is clear that he hopes to get COVID-19, simply so that being quarantined would make a little more sense. “All this time, I’ve been told to act sick – not leave my house, avoid human contact, not work,” he noted. “Psychologically, I’m already there. I may as well do the physical part as well.”
He sighed apologetically and shook his head. “Sorry, sorry, I meant to preface that with, ‘Not to minimize the horrific suffering that so many are experiencing, or the heroic work of doctors and nurses on the front lines, risking their lives every day to save others.’ So there you go. But that being said, I figure I may as well experience this historic pandemic bug for myself. Why the hell not?”