Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Do you know anyone who had covid and was completely asymptotic?

Asked by JLeslie (62387points) January 18th, 2022 from iPhone

They found out because they had an antibody test and don’t recall having been sick at all of any type. Of course recall can be flawed.

I have been extremely skeptical this entire time that there are asymptomatic cases. I believed, and still do, that there are plenty of pre-symptomatic people spreading it around (like almost all other viruses) but completely asymptomatic through the entire infection I have big doubts. I think a lot of people get mild symptoms too, and ignore them and go out and infect people also, because I’ve learned from real life and many Q’s here, that many people think it’s ridiculous to worry about giving or getting a cold.

Asymptomatic is easier for the population at large to understand that people are contagious even when not sick, so maybe that word was used on purpose in the beginning.

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37 Answers

product's avatar

@JLeslie: “I have been extremely skeptical this entire time that there are asymptomatic cases.”

I know dozens of people who have tested positive despite being asymptomatic – including my two kids. The only reason they were tested was because my wife and I were positive. Everyone has covid around here. Everyone. Most kids/teens have been completely asymptomatic, and many adults as well.

What is it you’re so skeptical about?

JLeslie's avatar

@product Your kids didn’t even have a runny nose? Nothing? That’s exactly the sort of thing I want to know. Thanks!

I should have put in my Q what the person’s age was.

I know a lot of people with covid in the last month also. It feels like it’s all around me. A lot of people here feel there is likely ten times the posted numbers, so if the largest county in The Villages has 1,200 cases a week, they believe the real number is 12,000, which is about one in ten people are infected. Hard to know for sure.

Many of the people I know here were still hit very hard by covid, but possibly they had Delta, because several of them had it just over a month ago. I know plenty of people sick now though, one has been very sick over a week (not hospitalized) and is developing a rash. Hospitals are filling up here. We have some flu in the area too.

product's avatar

@JLeslie: “Your kids didn’t even have a runny nose? Nothing?”

Correct. And neither did nearly all of the people I know who tested positive. These people are living their lives and decide to take a test and happen to test positive. That’s it.

@JLeslie: “A lot of people here feel there is likely ten times the posted numbers”

I’m sure it’s even greater than that. Everyone has it or has had it (probably multiple times). But we don’t really have anything in place to identify when people have it. In fact, most things are setup as to dissuade people from testing. If you test positive, there are real-world costs that many people can’t afford. So, it’s best for many people to avoid getting tested.

JLeslie's avatar

You asked what I’m skeptical about.

One: usually when I press people on whether they or their kids really had zero symptoms they say, “well, just a little for a few days, it was nothing.”

Two: when a random testing study was done where I live in the early days of covid, 2 people out of 2,000 who were tested came up positive, but those two started becoming symptomatic a couple of days after the test.

Regarding how many people where I live, I mean 10% of people at any given time right now during this wave, not cumulative. My community has had much less covid over time than the averages.

product's avatar

@JLeslie: “usually when I press people on whether they or their kids really had zero symptoms they say, “well, just a little for a few days, it was nothing.”

I think one reason for this is that people naturally have all kinds of physical symptoms that vary and we only make them part of the “sick” narrative when forced to. If I were told on any random day that I need to look back on the past few days and recall whether I was a little stuffy, had a bit of a runny nose, had a headache, had a sore throat, or was tired, there is 100% chance that I could say “yes”. I have experienced many of those things over any 3-day period 365 days per year for 50 years.

So, it’s understandable that people may now look back and say, “yeah, I guess I woke up with a sore throat on Monday” when asked after testing positive? Normally, they wouldn’t think anything of it, because waking with a sore throat in the winter when the house is very dry is a normal thing for many people.

JLeslie's avatar

@product I basically agree, although waking with a sore throat in the winter is extremely common, keeping the sore throat for hours is not. That type of sore throat is usually cured once we drink something. A sick sore throat doesn’t get better with a drink of water. Cold weather also can cause a runny nose, so that’s confusing too, but I’m in Florida, so we only recently started having some cold weather. Allergies make it tricky also, especially because people seem to prefer to think they have allergies than think they are sick.

I guess my point is when pressed, many people realize they were symptomatic and they chose to dismiss the symptoms that really were not just like the usual sore throat or runny nose that we experience in cold weather.

product's avatar

@JLeslie: “I guess my point is when pressed, many people realize they were symptomatic and they chose to dismiss the symptoms that really were not just like the usual sore throat or runny nose that we experience in cold weather.”

I understand that’s your point. I just don’t understand why

Remember – the “I guess I had symptoms” thing is just as likely to give a false positive re:symptoms. Humans only feel “sick” based on the narrative at play. And in the case of Covid, we’re forcing people to look back and rewrite their memory of normal human life experiences and reframe them in the context of a recent positive covid test.

So, if your point is to just describe the natural human experience of reframing to meet current context, what exactly are you talking about? Are you upset that more people don’t identify covid more often without a test? Why? And do you not understand the concept of reframing to meet current context?

Hell, our school district’s policy for kids and covid is that a kid must miss 5 school days starting from first incidence of symptoms. So, if a kid has no symptoms but tests positive on Thursday, the school requires a report of first symptom. This means that everyone here makes up a date and symptom in order to get their kids back to school at some point. I repeat – parents have to lie to the district by making up a symptom and date of symptom so their kid can get an education.

Zaku's avatar

Not that I know of, no.

JLeslie's avatar

@product My main goal with the Q is just curiosity about the virus.

Way before covid I was frustrated with people who dismiss cold symptoms and get others sick, so that is nothing new.

That’s why I like the idea of people masking if they’re unsure or know they have a cold. I’ve always felt this way. Also, getting rid of the handshake, especially during flu season. Although, covid doesn’t have a season, so that’s a new thing.

I think current CDC guidelines are emphasizing mask wearing when people are possibly contagious or sick, hopefully spilling over to all illness that can be communicated in the air. The only addition would be emphasizing to sick people to clean their hands before touching things, right now the emphasis is on well people sanitizing their hands.

Doesn’t surprise me that some people lie to get their kids back in school.

JLeslie's avatar

@product To be clear, I realize people are contagious before they feel sick, so even if everyone is perfectly compliant with staying home when feeling sick, there will still be viral spread at this point, because there is just too much virus out there now and too much movement and too much not wearing masks. Being careful when sick would or does help reduce the numbers or chances of spreading the virus more.

product's avatar

@JLeslie: “I think current CDC guidelines are emphasizing mask wearing when people are possibly contagious or sick, hopefully spilling over to all illness that can be communicated in the air.”

In my experience, everyone is walking around without any symptoms and they are all positive. You can skip the “symptom” thing and just advocate perpetual mask-wearing.

@JLeslie: “Doesn’t surprise me that some people lie to get their kids back in school.”

To be clear, having to lie is a requirement. We had to do it and everyone we know in town has had to do the same. The school is aware of it, but plays along because like many things in the past two years, our actions can be largely performative.

JLeslie's avatar

@product I completely agree about mask wearing all the time, but that’s just not happening, especially where I live.

JLeslie's avatar

@product They don’t have to make up symptoms for the school if symptoms never happen. That’s a screwed up interpretation of the guidelines.

product's avatar

@JLeslie: “They don’t have to make up symptoms for the school if symptoms never happen. That’s a screwed up interpretation of the guidelines.”

Who is the “they” here? What are you talking about?

JLeslie's avatar

@product You said parents lie about the day their children start symptoms, are you saying even children who never have symptoms the parents are making up a date?

raum's avatar

@product What a strange requirement. There are plenty of asymptomatic cases with no “first day of symptoms to request”. Our district asks for first day of symptoms or day of first positive test. Basically, when did you realize you had it.

raum's avatar

I’ve heard of some asymptomatic (not talking about pre-symptomatic) cases. Mostly fully-vaccinated and boosted teenagers. I’m guessing that’s why the numbers at the high schools are way higher than elementary or middle school.

product's avatar

@JLeslie: “You said parents lie about the day their children start symptoms, are you saying even children who never have symptoms the parents are making up a date?”

Yes, including us. When you talk to the school, they ask about symptoms. When they ask when the symptoms first started and you say “there are no symptoms”, they respond that they need the symptom start date in order to determine when the kid can come back. It’s all a big wink wink thing, and if you talk to any parent around here, they’ve all had to struggle with this and come up with some date.

@raum – Yep, strange, like most things related to Covid. There are so many reasons why people just aren’t testing right now.

My wife tested positive before her first symptoms.

raum's avatar

Also, I know a ton of people who hadn’t been sick at all this entire pandemic. Didn’t have the usual cold, sniffles or sore throat that would be totally normal prepandemic.

So a normal sniffle that would usually have been ignored, prompted them to get tested.

(My niece was one of them. Teensiest sniffle.)

raum's avatar

@product If testing affects your livelihood, I can definitely see why people would avoid getting tested.

JLeslie's avatar

@product Again, that’s a misinterpretation of the guidelines that your school district is utilizing. If someone is positive and not sick by day 5, they can go back to work, school, etc.

@raum That’s interesting about the teenagers.

I know two people who usually feel miserable with sinus things a lot and said during the massive mask wearing and people distancing for a year they felt better than they have in 20 years. Which to me means they are sick more than they think and dismiss it as “their sinuses.”

product's avatar

Sure, the school district is using a strange interpretation of an arguably arbitrary and useless CDC guideline. Keep in mind, however, that all school districts and workplaces are implementing their own policies. I’m fighting with my work right now, and starting to regret ever having been tested (probably won’t make that mistake again). My wife is a nurse and they wanted her back 2 days after she tested positive. The policies are all over the place. And none of them make any sense (scientifically).

JLeslie's avatar

@product I was pretty pissed off at the beginning of the pandemic when businesses didn’t implement masks, because they were following CDC guidelines. This was before the CDC told people to mask. I don’t mind if businesses do things that are stricter than guidelines, but when they are loser that’s frustrating.

Doctors and nurses that deal with covid patients daily, it does seem logical that one more positive person, like an employee, seems irrelevant, as long as they are able to be distanced and a high quality mask. I still prefer they stay home though, because interactions with patients are different than other staff.

Many many months ago I was saying they probably should reduce isolation to seven days, most people were sick by day 5. Now, Omicron is even quicker.

raum's avatar

@JLeslie Are their sinus issues related to allergies? With all of this masking, my seasonal allergies are way down. And also around dogs and cats.

gondwanalon's avatar

I’ve had 3 Pfizer SARS-CoV-2 vaccine shots and had absolutely no noticeable reaction to any of it.

JLeslie's avatar

@raum Some of them yes, although my dad is allergic to dust, and my mom isn’t the best at taking care of the house, and he doesn’t wear a mask in the house. I think he describes his winter sinus trouble as the cold weather causing his sinus to drain and then he winds up with a few weeks of being sick. Blaming his sinuses for making him more susceptible. That’s possible.

What I’ve said for years is I think more people get sick in the winter because the cold makes our noses run and then we TOUCH our noses, bringing any virus on our hands into our body.

@gondwanalon No symptoms When you were positive for covid?

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann I didn’t realize you were ever positive. I thought you had escaped unscathed, even after being “locked up” for 5 weeks.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My husband had almost nothing and tested positive. Pretty sure living with him, I have it but feel great!

filmfann's avatar

In May 2020, my cardiologist said he could tell by the increased weakness in my heart wall that I had Covid. I had no symptoms.

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann Did he test you for antibodies?

@KNOWITALL I know a lot of spouse’s who never caught it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t really care either way as long as I’m not sick. :)

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I’m on board with that. I’m really glad you didn’t get sick.

My only curiosity for myself would be I would like to know if I had it and didn’t get sick or not very sick I’d feel so much safer in general. I’d feel like my body fights it well. Supposedly, people who get it once can expect to have a similar illness or less sickness the next time if they catch it again. Not guarantee though.

I guess if you caught it and didn’t get sick or if you didn’t catch it, either way that says something about your body fighting it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t want the swab, maybe they’ll test my blood at my annual. I’ll ask my doctor.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Too late for the swab probably. I’m not trying to convince you to find out. I think it’s fine either way.

jca2's avatar

My neighbor had Covid after a Thanksgiving gathering 2020. He tested positive and his father was hospitalized, and a bunch of other relatives at the Thanksgiving gathering got sick too. My neighbor said he had absolutely no symptoms. He stayed home as per the guidelines and but I remember asking him several times how he felt and he said absolutely fine. I wondered if it was a false positive.

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