The illusion of immunity

Nagia Chrisanthacopoulou: Sovereignty


I think I have immunity. I think I want to have immunity. Immunity is the highest state a person can have, the apex of sovereignty. Freedom from infection, freedom to move around, even the responsibility to move around and to build a buffer around vulnerable people – yes, I feel I have found my calling. I have always had the ambition to be a buffer for vulnerable people. To be around my parents night and day: wonderful. Make that every other day please. Once a week.
The circumstantial evidence for my immunity, Your Honor, is not easily dismissed. Two months ago my neighborhood friend B. – in her forties, mother of two, a woman of almost inexhaustible strength and with an enviable lust for life and no talent for sickness – suddenly got ill. High fever, a nasty cough, pain in her throat, and no smell or taste whatsoever. The glass of wine that I put in front of her did nothing to her tastebuds or olfactory receptors (which didn't prevent her from drinking).
Case in point: B. had not long before been partying with people from Northern Italy.
'Why don't you call a doctor?' I asked her. She said, perfectly reasonable, that a doctor could do nothing for her, whether she had 'it' or not. Like most things in life, she had to sit it out.
Of course,  n o w   we know that, epidemiologically, testing her would have been a very good idea. No so much for her, but for everybody else around her.
Anyway, if B. has had it, her boyfriend likely has had it, just like her children, our children, and my wife and I. (My wife even had mild symptoms like B., which seem to be over now.)
We're still alive. This is – at least to us – the good news.
The bad news is that unless we test ourselves, our immunity remains an illusion.

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