I used to be in shock. Despite the fact that it isn’t clear antibodies do really provide immunity, I had handled my earlier AB optimistic checks as a defend I may wave, crying, “Been there. Achieved that. I am OK.” Rightly or wrongly. Now my valuable safety had vanished.
I referred to as the testing heart. “Absolutely some mistake,” I stated grandly. “I’ve earlier checks to show it.” The middle, having not seen a case of a re-test shedding antibodies earlier than, went again to the lab to see what was occurring.
The lab responded, “Oh no, Mr. Quest does have antibodies, simply not sufficient to register on the dimensions.” I had registered as 1 on the ‘scale,’ and solely these above 1.4 are thought of to have sufficient antibodies to categorise as optimistic.
I wanted to know extra, so instantly launched right into a whirlwind of googling, then battled by means of a scientific article on the Abbott SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody take a look at. IgG refers to immunoglobulin class G antibodies in your blood, which when washed, blended and tumble-dried with different chemical compounds (in addition to a load of different issues I did not perceive), produces an antibody index, the place the cut-off level is 1.4. And I had been minimize off.
Over the previous 5 months my evanescent antibodies had dwindled to meaningless, and with it my bravado declare to safety. Now it appeared I used to be again to sq. one: weak to Covid once more.
Once I informed my infectious illnesses physician in New York, he wasn’t one bit stunned. He referred to the most recent research displaying that antibodies do certainly weaken and dwindle over 90 days — nobody has had an opportunity to do a lot analysis past that but.
However, as my physician continued, that is solely half the physique’s defensive mechanism. T cells, an necessary a part of our immune system’s assault pressure, have virus reminiscence.
They’ll lay quiescent till (or if) the physique comes into contact with Covid-19 once more, at which level my immune system will hearth up and begin producing antibodies as soon as extra.
It was, my physician stated, “extremely, extremely unlikely that you’re going to get Covid once more this 12 months … medically unbelievable.” I used to be then rapidly admonished that none of this could lead me to desert social distancing, hand washing and different anti-virus measures.
Resilience, however no immunity?
I relate all of this as a result of it is one other instance of our collective tortuous journey with this illness. The circuitous progress of the pandemic creates concern, then hope, then again to concern once more, seemingly with no finish.
I’ve seen many Covid recoverees quietly parade their antibody standing as if it’s a defend for all times. But I’d wager good cash that in the event that they took one other take a look at they might additionally uncover that their armor has cracked, or has holes in it.
I solely found the curious case of my dwindling antibodies as a result of I get examined ceaselessly due to my travels for work.
I wish to assume widespread sense tells me that I am unable to catch Covid once more within the quick time period — in any other case we might have heard of many extra circumstances of re-infection. To date there have solely been a number of outlier circumstances and so they are inclined to have distinctive circumstances. But widespread sense should now be trumped by that hoary however voguish cliché: the “abundance of warning.” I’ll solely take widespread sense to this point.
That is all instructing me that what was reality yesterday, does not imply it is the identical as we speak. Consultants are saying we all know much more about Covid now than we did six months in the past. That’s true on the helicopter stage, the place governments make nationwide insurance policies, and in addition on the grass roots, as I’m going about my life.
My new actuality is that I not have the antibodies of which I used to be as soon as so proud. I’ll have a resilience primarily based on T-cell reminiscence and I’m unlikely to be contaminated once more, however I’ll! I simply surprise what different “certainty” goes to crumble into the mud subsequent.
Whereas I wait to search out out, I’ll observe the principles.