Among many surprising developments during this pandemic, the most stunning has been the questioning of naturally acquired immunity after a person has had the Covid disease. We have understood natural immunity since at least the Athenian Plague in 430 BC. Here is Thucydides: ‘Yet it was with those who had recovered from the disease that the sick and the dying found most compassion. These knew what it was from experience and had no fear for themselves; for the same man was never attacked twice—never at least fatally.’ We have lived with endemic coronaviruses for at least a hundred years, for which we have long-lasting natural immunity. As expected, we also have natural immunity after Covid-19 disease, as there have been exceedingly few reinfections with serious illness or death, despite a widely circulating virus.
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