Meet the COVID super-dodgers

There are no winners in a pandemic. That said, if you’ve made it to the summer of 2022 without yet testing positive for the coronavirus, you might feel entitled to some bragging rights. Who’s still in the game at this point? Not Anthony Fauci. Not President Joe Biden, Denzel Washington, Camila Cabello or Lionel Messi. Not your friend who’s even more cautious than you but who finally caught it last week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that nearly 60% of Americans had contracted the virus at some point — and that was as of the end of February, before the extremely contagious BA. 4 and BA. 5 variants became rampant.

You might suspect that you are special — immunologically superior, a super-dodger. You also might have come up with some bizarre theories about why you’ve lasted longer.

“I must have superhuman immunity or something,” mused Kathi Moss, a 63-year-old pediatric nurse from Southfield, Mich.

Scientists have found no conclusive evidence of innate genetic immunity. “It would be extremely unlikely that any innate immune system properties could protect against all infections,” said Eleanor Murray, an epidemiologist and professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. But Moss’s ability to duck the virus — to her knowledge, we should add; a disclaimer that applies to all these folks, since in theory they could have had asymptomatic cases at some point — does cry out for an explanation. Consider that she’s a pediatric nurse who has been staring COVID in the face (while fully masked) for 2 and one-half years now. And that she rode in a car with her ex-husband, with the windows up, three days before he tested positive. And that a woman at the camp where she works every summer gave Moss a henna tattoo one day and reported a positive coronavirus result the next.