“Those who haven‘t kena Covid have no friends!” What explains this ‘Never-Covid’ cohort?

By March 31, 2022Covid-19, Current
Covid-19

TL;DR – From prior infection with a similar virus to genetics – here are some possibilities explaining why some of you haven’t contracted Covid yet. ICYMI, Singapore has recorded more than 1 million COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. 

Remember this Korean doctor who said that those who haven‘t kena Covid have no friends?  This Vice President of the Korean Vaccine Society, Ma Sang-hyuk, wrote in a social media post earlier this month that “adults who have not yet been infected with COVID-19 are those who have interpersonal problems.”

Apparently, he has received so much backlash from netizens, that he has deleted the post. Too late – the post had already been widely shared – globally! Have you seen it?

Those who have yet to contract COVID-19 do not have friends?


The “Never-Covid” cohort

Is that true though? I, for one, have not kena, but I’d like to think that I have many friends! #semioffended

Now, an increasing amount of research is being devoted to the reasons why some people never seem to get the virus — what they call the “Never-Covid” cohort. Factors range from prior infection with a similar virus to genetics.

Lawrence Young, professor of molecular oncology at Warwick University, shared that early data suggests these “Never-Covid” individuals could have naturally acquired immunity from previous infections with common cold coronaviruses. Around 20% of common cold infections are due to common cold coronaviruses.

Last month, another new research published by Imperial College London suggested that people with higher levels of T cells (a type of cell in the immune system) from common cold coronaviruses were less likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

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Dr. Rhia Kundu, first author of the study from Imperial’s National Heart and Lung Institute, said that “while this is an important discovery, it is only one form of protection, and I would stress that no one should rely on this alone.”

She emphasised that the best protection against Covid-19 is to be fully vaccinated, including getting our booster dose!

Fast and furious – Vaccination in Singapore

Believe it or not, vaccination was a critical tool in our fight against Covid in the early days. While vaccination did not eliminate the risk of transmission totally, it provided significant protection against infection and helped to reduce the severity of the symptoms for many of those infected.

As we enjoy the relaxation of SMMs this week, let’s not forget how far we have come OK?

“There were times we were uncertain. But we just kept walking on. It’s always darkest just before the dawn…”

 

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Gabrielle Teo

Author Gabrielle Teo

I read lots, and I also spend an indecent amount of time trying to get my mostly unpopular opinions published. Oh, I argue a lot with fellow Singaporeans who complain incessantly about Singapore too.

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