On May 24, 2022, the CDC, of all places, announced that more than 1 in 5 COVID cases results in Long COVID. This momentous news landed with the overwhelming silence of space trash floating out of Earth orbit. The next day, a study in Nature Medicine revealed that vaccines only reduce the risk of Long COVID by 15%. Not very much. [...]
"If we manage it the way that we manage it now, then most people will get infected with it at least a couple of times a year," virologist at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, Kristian Andersen, says in the New York Times. Doctors are now "seeing kids with [their] 3rd infection in [a] 4 month period. The shortest time between reinfection recorded by the CDC was 23 days.
All of which begs the question: how many SARS-CoV-2 infections can an organism sustain? People don't get the flu 2 or 3 times a year, and if they did that would probably also be bad. But getting a thing that kills your T cells seems not infinitely scalable, right? [...]
COVID degrades your immune system for the next time you encounter the virus, and also makes you more susceptible to infections overall. (Population-level immune dysfunction may go a ways to explaining the emergence of the sudden new characters in our viral cinematic universe -- Monkeypox, Pediatric Hepatitis, et al.) COVID also increases your risk of developing diabetes by 59%, which is then a contributing risk factor for severe COVID, including death. [...]
COVID isn't just an infection, it's an underlying medical condition. By next year we'll have reached the point where people have started having 5 or more reinfections. What happens at 15? Or 25? What is the reinfection event horizon? Like have we tested in animals or something? What is the maximum upper limit of infection above which no mouse survives?
I'm guessing it's not infinity.
Tool's Maynard James Keenan had COVID-19 for the fourth time.