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What repeat covid infections do to the human body

Written By: - Date published: 2:36 pm, January 6th, 2023 - 28 comments
Categories: covid-19, health, long covid - Tags: ,

If that’s news to you, I suggest following @1goodtern on twitter, who tweets regularly about many aspects of covid currently being ignored by the mainstream. But please also go and read some good science journalism on what happens to human bodies with repeated covid infections.

random google search for repeat covid infection

In some ways I can understand why so many people are in denial about covid. When I think about the coming decades and the burden on the health and welfare systems from post-covid chronic illness, as well as the impact on many of the businesses, services, and production that we all rely on because so many people have health problems, it’s hard to imagine what it will be like or how it can be true. Climate change seems more manageable and real by comparison.

It’s not like the acute crisis has ended either.

We are not without hope. In the mainstream, two things that are known to limit transmission of covid are N95 or higher masks, and ventilation systems. These are things we could be doing as a society right now.

In the bigger picture, we still have the opportunity to merge the climate, ecology and pandemic crisis responses within a regenerative and resiliency frame. This means changing how we do things and how we live our lives, and placing sustainability at the core of everything. None of those crises is going away including covid, but we still have choices about whether they cause chaos or we adapt and transform.

Resilience would be things like manufacturing more pharmaceuticals in New Zealand, so we are not at the mercy of shifting global supply. But it would also be redeveloping a culture of looking after our health. If you are sick, stay home. Government and workplaces need to extend sick leave for this to happen.

Educate people in the basics of fever and respiratory virus management at home so they don’t have to rely on GPs and hospitals so much. For those that are so inclined, there are non-pharmaceutical ways of treating colds and flus, promoting health and lessening the burden on strained systems.

So many things we could be doing if we shifted from denial and clinging to our concepts of the way life should be, towards the opportunity to change things for the better. If the last three years have taught us anything, it’s that radical change can happen and we can still be ok. Imagine if we did that change proactively instead of waiting for it to be forced on us.

28 comments on “What repeat covid infections do to the human body ”

  1. Thanks Weka. This informative and helpful.

    Currently we are not "mixing" as families visit and act as if "covid is over"

    One friend called and said, "you have to learn to live with it" and I replied “many families have had someone die of it these holidays and we are in the high risk group, trying to stay safe for Ross a severe asthmatic, and we worry for Grant in QLD, as he has had it three times.” The subject was dropped. There is real denial out there.

    Grant’s Doctor told him his lethargy and headaches may continue for months, along with a residual cough. Time and rest plus pain killers is all that is offered.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    I guess the risk of Covid reinfections must be contingent on a number of factors.

    For instance, the time between reinfections would seem to be an obvious one. If someone has a reinfection within a short period after a previous infection, then the immune system may not have had time to recover, and the risks may be higher.

    But the longer the time between infections must also mean more time for the immune system to recover, and may result in an immune system that recognises and responds better to reinfection.

    This study looked at the risks of reinfection and found a higher risk with reinfection. However, as pointed out in the article, the study was done with older people who tend to be sicker overall, and may not have very strong immune systems to begin with.

    But as the article points out, the effect on normal people may plateau over time.

    Also, vaccination and a subsequent Covid infection can actually result in super-immunity against future infections. So, having been both vaccinated and experienced actual Covid may greatly reduce the risk associated with future infections.

    I guess one of the take aways from this is that people who are at risk should take anti-viral medication as soon as possible after an infection. We just went through this with one of my sons who has Crohn's and is on immuno-suppressants.

    The anti-virals stopped him from getting really sick, thankfully.

    • Paul Campbell 2.1

      I'll just like to point out that older people are "normal" ….. and we're all getting older every day

  3. Joe90 3

    Repeated infections are going to unleash a tsunami of poor health, illness, and premature death. Fuck.

  4. lprent 4

    I've had 4 vaccinations (heart issues). The last one was in August. As far as I am aware from the RAT tests whenever I feel unwell, I haven't had covid-19 yet. That isn't definitive, but indicative.

    I'd prefer not to to have covid-19 because of the risk levels. I was uncomfortable with xmas and the flying to the SI for more than my usual anti-social / geek reasons.

    Looking forward to getting another vaccination with a original / omnicom BA.4/5 – which I see has been gazetted with provisional approval.

    • tsmithfield 4.1

      Yes, I have had four vaccinations also. I am 62, so thought it wise.

      I just had my first Covid experience just after Christmas. It wasn't too bad for me. Mostly very tired, a slight temperature to start with, and like a cold after that.

      I have also eaten copious quantities of blueberries every day with my breakfast, and have hardly had a day of work for the last six years. There is reasonable science to support blueberries improving the immune system.

      And is the subject of ongoing research. e.g:
      https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT05534893

      It is one of those things that it is really win-win either way, as it is a great dietary source whatever their effect. I was discussing blueberries with a doctor friend and said that there was good science for immunity, but probably not at the medical level applied to a new drug.

      His response was, who cares, its blueberries.

      But I can certainly say that I used to have at least a week off a year with colds etc before starting my blueberry diet, and since then, I have hardly been sick at all.

      I wouldn't suggest substituting blueberries for vaccination though.

  5. joe90 5

    I've had 4 vaccinations (heart issues).

    Same. (age and an arrhythmia) Last booster was in July, expecting the bivalent jobbie soon, the pair of us mask up and avoid crowds, indoor settings etc, any possible exposure and we test daily for five days and avoid each other like the plague. So far, so good.

    No thanks to my SO's work though.

    Just stupid shit, sick people turning up, congregating en masse indoors during breaks, inter-region travel and meetings with little or no ventilation. One good thing though following an incident that nailed a third of the staff, mandatory daily tests for anyone entering the premises.

  6. Trey 6

    I have had 4 vaccinations and have also had covid twice. First time knocked me but was nowhere as bad as swine flu or pneumonia that I have had twice. The second case was mild, I didn't even feel sick. I only tested myself as my wife had it. Her second bout knocked her but the first time she caught it, it was mild.

  7. joe90 7

    It gets better.

    .

    Even mild COVID-19 cases can have major and long-lasting effects on people’s health. That is one of the key findings from our recent multicountry study on long COVID-19—or long COVID—recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    Long COVID is defined as the continuation or development of symptoms three months after the initial infection from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. These symptoms last for at least two months after onset with no other explanation.

    We found that a staggering 90 percent of people living with long COVID initially experienced only mild illness with COVID-19. After developing long COVID, however, the typical person experienced symptoms including fatigue, shortness of breath, and cognitive problems such as brain fog—or a combination of these—that affected daily functioning. These symptoms had an impact on health as severe as the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury. Our study also found that women have twice the risk of men and four times the risk of children for developing long COVID.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2023/01/long-covid-stemmed-from-mild-cases-of-covid-19-in-most-people/

  8. lprent 8

    After developing long COVID, however, the typical person experienced symptoms including fatigue, shortness of breath, and cognitive problems such as brain fog—or a combination of these—that affected daily functioning.

    Yeah the brain-fog would be a killer to me.

    I have issues with brain-fog simply because brain-fog is a bit of a significiant professional issue for a programmer as you get older anyway,. It gets harder to concentrate on doing skill updates, or to keep enough in your head to complete increasingly complex tasks.

    I have been having 'brain-fog' episodes throughout my entire time as a programmer. They show up like a writers-block. You know that you can do it, but can't quite get it to work. Incredibly frustrating.

    I could fall back to management type jobs. But I really can't be arsed doing something that I find to be that easy.

    So I avoid contact that puts me in danger covid-19 danger. Helps to be in a industry that facilitates remote work.

    • DB Brown 8.1

      With research suggesting brain cell generation and executive brain function are plastic it is possible the best thing you can do for your brain is continue to work it.

      There's much to be said for exercise and diet in this regard also.

      Avoidance (and vaccines, clearly) is the absolute best covid strategy, natural immunity is the catch-cry of careless idiots.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 8.1.1

        Hi I have followed some of this. Neuroplasticity . Very Interesting.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroplasticity

        And

        Experts have yet to determine the limits of the brain’s abilities. Some believe we may never fully understand them all. But evidence does support the existence of one of its most important processes: neuroplasticity.

        https://www.healthline.com/health/rewiring-your-brain

        Video Games …remember the parents that told : no good will come of this. Well…some are now playing : )

        def Exercise. And the others .

        It did always intrigue me how….Rock stars (artists/writers etc)…who had literally bashed their brains (drugs incl alcohol : ( …could sometimes come back to coherence

        The Brain..and Mind is an amazing thing. : )

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          however, screen time affects stress hormone release, so the extended times that some people are doing to play video games has some definite downsides. Stress hormones impact on so many other aspects of health like blood sugar/insulin regulation, sleep, our ability to relax which is important for repair functions in the body.

          Balancing screen time with time outside seems the go, the whole 20 minutes in nature lowers cortisol thing.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always 8.1.1.1.1

            Well..of course. I wasnt suggesting the Parents..or indeed Grandparents, take on Fortnite binges : )

            However some have been known to play sports type games with EyeToy type interface…or anything really. Its all about opening Possibilities. As the Links show… a diverse range.

            As usually…most things ..work, with gentle Moderation : )

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