When Rand Paul was asked Wednesday why he's the only member of the Senate who doesn't wear a protective face mask, he replied, "I've already had the virus, so I can't get it again and I can't give it to anybody." However, Paul -- like many U.S. residents -- appears to be misinformed.
While people develop immunity after an initial bout with several types of illnesses, testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies doesn't necessarily mean a patient is permanently immune to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A number of people have developed COVID-19 a second time, leading some doctors to suggest the virus becomes dormant in patients, only to re-emerge later.
A number of people have also developed a false sense of security because a family member contracted the virus but they didn't, says Dr. Lisa Lockerd. While it might make sense for these people to assume they're immune, Lockerd says that line of thought could prove to be a deadly mistake. Researchers are still learning about how the coronavirus is transmitted, and there have been cases when two people who are close to each other contract the virus several weeks apart. Lockerd says regardless of the circumstances, everyone should continue washing their hands regularly and adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Have you been in situations that left you surprised you didn't contract the virus? Are people becoming a little too relaxed in following guidelines?