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July 26, 2022 6 mins

The exclusive club of people who have not had Covid continues to shrink.  However, some experts say that most people have been infected even if you didn’t realize it as some 40% of confirmed cases are asymptomatic.  Immunologists are looking into whether exposure to other pathogens or coronaviruses could trigger immune responses before Covid spreads.  Julie Wernau, health and medicine reporter at the WSJ, joins us for those that think they have remained Covid-free.

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
It's Tuesday, July. I'm Oscar Ramires from the Daily Dive
podcast in Los Angeles, and this is reopening America. The
exclusive club of people who have not had COVID continues
to shrink. However, some experts say that most people have
been infected even if you didn't realize it, as some
of confirmed cases are asymptomatic. Immunologists are also looking into

weather exposure to other pathogens or coronaviruses could trigger immune
responses before COVID spreads. Julie Waren, now health and medicine
reporter at the Wall Street Journal, joins us for those
that think they have remained COVID free. Thanks for joining us, Julie,
happy to be here. Well, let's talk about the incredible
shrinking club of people who think they might have not

gotten COVID nineteen. Yet. You know, a lot of epidemiologists
out there say that even if you think you might
not have been infected with it, you possibly could have. Again,
there's probably a lot of people that still might not
have gone it. From the numbers we got in February,
I guess fifty eight percent of people in the US
have contracted COVID teen. They say about of confirmed cases
are asymptomatic. But again, there's a lot of people out

there who just say, I have not gotten it yet.
I know I was in this club for quite some time.
I just got it a couple of months ago, so
I got kicked out. But Julie, tell yeah, tell us
a little bit more about what we're hearing with this. Yeah,
that's right. I mean those numbers are from February, right,
and if as anyone who's been paying attention knows that,
you know, we've got like a hundred thousand new cases
a day. Everyone who thought they hadn't gotten it is

getting it now. And so really, you know, at this point,
especially if you've kind of gotten to a place where
you're doing a lot of normal things, not necessarily masking
and going to public places, they're saying that it's pretty
unlikely that you didn't get it. But it's more likely
is that you you did get it and just had
an asymptomatic case and you know, maybe had no reason
to test yourself, had no idea, and at the same time,

the only way to really even tell if you'd had
it is to go and get a blood test, where
they would look to try to find antibodies to the
virus in your blood, and that's like an almost sure
fire way to tell if you've had COVID, But not
even that is not completely accurate. So there's still a

lot of people out there who, even if they got
that blood test, might have had COVID and not known it.
And even in those anybody tests, there's a couple of
different ones. There's one that can test for anybodies, but
you know, if you've gotten the vaccine, it might include
those antibodies. There there's a very specific thing that they
need a test for that will show if you might
have gotten it from a prior infection. So even then,

as I mentioned, it's just tough to see, and doctors
don't even recommend you go through all the trouble of
even trying to do that. You did get to speak
to a number of people who have gone this whole
time without getting it. They say, you know, what did
they have to say about it? I mean a lot
of them are just a tribute to being healthy, you know,
being active in all that and just being lucky, and
a lot of times yeah, that's right. I mean there

are some you know, some folks I talked to you
sort of suspect that maybe I did have it at
one point. I'm not really sure, but you know, I
don't think I tested positive. There's other people who, you know,
one gentleman I talked to, he was in the military.
He said he just thinks that all the things that
he was exposed to in the military were maybe, you know,
made him a little bit more immune to getting sets

from this disease. So it's interesting to hear, you know,
the ways that people sort of think that they've sort
of controlled their ability to get it, and then also
they're sort of waning ability to be sure if that's
actually true. Yeah, it's all very funny when you're just
attributed to you know, one crazy wacky thing. You know,
I I drank from the garden hose when I was
a kid. That's why I'm still immune, you know, different

things like that. But doctors and immunologists are trying to study,
you know, what makes people more susceptible to getting it
or severe infection or resisting it a lot, and there
are a couple of things that they found that might
have helped people avoid it this long. Yeah, that's right.
I mean, some of these what seemingly wacky theory is
that maybe you've heard from your friends or that you
even have yourself. Some of them have some basis in science. So,

for instance, there's a group that test to some blood
samples from before the pandemic, and we're able to find
that there are some folks who were exposed to other coronaviruses,
certain coronaviruses, even before the pandemic began, and that gave
them a headstart. When COVID showed up. They actually um
were able to, you know, have some cross reactivity and
fight that disease, which is interesting. And so that kind

of in some ways does play into that gentleman's concept
of well, maybe it's all these things I've exposed to.
Maybe it is. There's also geneticists who have found a
mutation on a gene that makes you more successible to
getting more severe infection. There's a lot of people are
obviously in some ways more interested in learning why people
get very, very sick than maybe why you don't get
sick at all, Right, and so we have a lot

of people looking into this at the moment, and they're
finding some interesting things. Yeah, definitely. I think there was
a study of nurses who had been pretty good at
avoiding into and one of the reasons they posited there
was also again exposure to a lot of other coronaviruses
and whatnot as part of maybe giving them some better immunity.
But and all of this, it's as we mentioned, it's
the incredible shrinking club of people who have not gotten

it as we see constant virus mutations, as we're seeing
with these subvariants right now, this b A five just highly,
highly transmissible. It's taking people down. You know, people are
getting it more often, and as we kind of heard
from the very beginning, doctors have always said, you know,
at some point everybody will have gotten it and then
you know we can move on to getting to this
post pandemic era. I guess, well, I mean that that's

not to discount of course, that you know, we're seeing
people getting it too and three times, right, so that's
interesting as well. You know, some people are like, I
don't think I've gotten in and I've been you know,
working in this very exposed job all this time, and
then other people are saying, you know, I've gotten all
my shots and as my third time getting covid um
and so they're still sort of urging people to think
about that that there is waning immunity even if you've

gotten the disease, and that you can in fact together
it again and again. Well for those of you out
there that have not gotten it, good luck and God's
been Hopefully it does catch up. Julie, we're now Health
and Medicine Report at the Wall Street Journal. Thank you
very much for joining us, Thanks for having me. I'm
Oscar Ramirez and this has been reopening America. Don't forget that.

For today's big news stories, you can check me out
on the Daily Dive podcast Everybody the Friday, so follow
us on I Heart Radio or wherever you get your
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