Scrolling through Airbnbs in Brooklyn, one listing stands out. “IMMUNE HOST,” claims the heading in caps. Among photos of rooftop sunsets and interiors, lies something else unexpected – a picture of a positive antibody test.Is it safe to protest during a pandemic? Experts answer our questionsRead more
Host Martin Eaton says he got tested a few weeks after getting sick with what he suspected was Covid-19 in March. When the results came back positive, he decided to include it in his profile to attract reservations.
“If I was having to travel to New York I’d prefer staying with somebody who had the antibodies versus somebody who didn’t,” says the 48-year-old writer. So far, he adds, “it’s proved pretty successful”.
In the absence of a vaccine, immunity is emerging as a potential key to resuming normal life after the pandemic – leading some to believe that testing positive may not be such a bad thing. Providing they survive, they will at least – they hope – be immune. But as states and countries slowly reopen businesses to the public, how important will it be?
Questions remain over the accuracy of Covid-19 antibody tests and the World Health Organization has warned that there is no evidence that people who have recovered from the virus and have antibodies are protected from getting it a second time.
But experts predict that if survivors are found to be immune, they could perform a range of jobs and services – such as volunteering in hospitals and nursing homes, caring for coronavirus patients and working in shops and food processing plants – risk-free.