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A COVID Party to Get Infected Deliberately? Not a Good Idea

January 10, 2022

Many parties have been put on hold in the past two years to prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus, but some people are considering holding gatherings to become infected. The concept – much like the chickenpox parties of the pre-vaccine days of the 1970s and 1980s when parents exposed their children to the virus to get them sick, building immunity before they become adults and risk a more severe illness – is being discussed because the newer COVID variant, Omicron, is more infectious but less deadly. People believe that in seeking to get infected with Omicron, their bodies will develop the antibodies needed to prevent other, more serious illness. “The problem is,” said Dr. Ajay Kumar, Hartford HealthCare's Chief Clinical Officer, “you can’t choose which variant you get.” In Connecticut, the Delta variant is still prevalent. According to the state Department of Public Health and other agencies tracking COVID-19 spread here, Delta accounted for 45 percent of virus infection as recently as last week, according to Dr. Ulysses Wu, Hartford HealthCare's System Director of Infection Disease and Chief Epidemiologist. He also noted that any infection can be transmitted to others. “This is personal choice vs. thinking of the consequences,” he said. “You may do OK, but you may pass it onto others who do not do OK.”