I was shocked. Although it’s not clear if the antibodies actually provide immunity, I applied my previous AB positive tests as a wavelength that I could wave, crying, “Done there. It’s done. I’m fine.” True or false. Now my invaluable protection was gone.
I called the test center. “Absolutely a little mistake,” I said magnificently. “I have previous tests to prove it.” The center, having not previously seen a case of re-testing losing antibodies, went back to the lab to see what was going on.
Labo replied, “Oh no, Mr. Quest has antibodies, just not enough to register on the scale.” I registered as 1 on the ‘scale’, and only people above 1.4 are considered to have enough antibodies to classify as positive.
I needed to know more, so I immediately got into the whirlpool of Googleing, then fought through the scientific article on Abbott SARS-COV-2 IgG antibody testing. IgG refers to immunoglobulin class G antibodies in your blood, which, when washed, mixed and messed-up with other chemicals (as well as other things I understand), produce an antibody index where the cut-point point is 1.4. And I was cut off.
In the last five months my apparent antibodies have turned to nonsense and with it my bravery claims for safety. Now it looks like I’m back to square one: sensitive to covid again.
When I told my infectious disease doctor in New York, he was not a little surprised. He cites a recent study showing that antibodies are actually weakened and reduced in the next 0 days – yet no one has had the opportunity to do much research.
But, as my doctor has continued, it is only half of the body’s defensive mechanism. T cells, an important part of the invasive power of our immune system, contain virus memory.
They remain silent until (or if) the body comes in contact with Covid-19 again, then my immune system deteriorates and will start producing antibodies once again.
That’s it, my doctor said, “You’ll find Kovid again this year … medically impossible.” I was then quickly advised that none of this would allow me to leave social distance, hand washing and anti-virus measures.
Resilience, but no immunity?
I relate to all of this because it is another example of our collective vague journey with this disease. Epidemic circuitry progresses create fear, then hope, then return to fear again, seemingly with no end.
I have watched many covid recovery parades of their antibody status quietly as if it were a lifeline. But I trust the good money that if they take another test they will also find that their armor is cracked, or has holes in it.
I just discovered a strange case of my declining antibodies because I test frequently because of my travels to work.
I think common sense tells me I can’t catch Kovid again anytime soon – otherwise we would have heard about so many cases of re-infection. So far only a few cases have come out and there are unique circumstances. Yet, common sense should now be surrounded by that noisy but enormous clich:: “an abundance of caution.” I will take common sense yet.
All of this teaches me that the fact that it was yesterday does not mean that it is the same today. Experts are saying that we now know a lot about the covid we did six months ago. That’s true at the helicopter level, where governments make national policies, and even at the grassroots, as I go about my life.
My new reality is that I no longer have antibodies, which I was once very proud of. I may have resilience based on T-cell memory and I am not likely to be re-infected, but I probably will! I’m just wondering if the next “certainty” is going to be erased into the dust.
While I wait to find out, I will follow the rules.