Before the vaccine for German measles was available, girls were encouraged to expose themselves to a friend or acquaintance who had the disease, to acquire immunity, so that they would not end up contracting the illness later on during a pregnancy.

Following on from that logic, would it make sense for a person over 60 (of generally good health and a non-smoker) to purposely contract COVID some time this summer, so as to have immunity next winter? (Obviously, if the person did that, they would strictly quarantine themselves.)

I've understood that social distancing practices are partly designed to smear out infections, so they don't all hit a community suddenly like a tsunami. So, that leads me to think that it would be beneficial for society to have new cases occur in a staggered way.

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is a dangerous idea.
    – Carey Gregory
    Mar 25, 2020 at 14:50
  • I'm voting to reopen. "This is a dangerous idea" -- as a well-supported answer -- would be a valuable contribution. I would be glad of assistance in editing the question to make it fit the needs of the site better. Mar 25, 2020 at 17:40
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    There is a substantial risk of death or prolonged illness for someone over 60 who contracts this disease, and zero benefit. All you're proposing is raising the chance of contracting it to 100%, which would flood hospitals with patients and overwhelm our medical capacity. The end result would be a much higher death toll. There isn't a medical authority anywhere in the world who would approve of this plan because it is medically and ethically unsound.
    – Carey Gregory
    Mar 25, 2020 at 18:21
  • @aparente001 I totally agree with Carey's comment. Also, did you know that after recovering from Covid-19 (in case of succeed) there might be lung issues on the recovered patients? Mar 25, 2020 at 18:29
  • @America - No, I didn't. Can you point me to an article about that? Mar 25, 2020 at 21:05

1 Answer 1


Rubella doesn't generally kill that's why they had those parties lacking a vaccine.

Since we are now seeing many ICU beds being occupied by victims in their 30s etc, a different patient profile than in China, then it would be like using Russian roulette doing what you suggest.

  • @CareyGregory and Graham - but if the older person lives with an impulsive teenager? It's just a matter of time before the teen brings the virus home. Mar 25, 2020 at 17:40
  • @aparente001 So your solution is to guarantee that happens. Think about your logic.
    – Carey Gregory
    Mar 25, 2020 at 18:23
  • Let me add two thougths: Winter is flu and cold season, and that may mean higher risk to have secondary infections in addition to Covid-19. Instead of going for Covid-19 on purpose in summer, the recommended action is to get vaccinated against e.g. influenza and pneumococci. Also, we don't have any real idea of long-term damage caused by Covid-19, but there's indication that it can cause e.g. fibrosis (scarring) of the lung and that's not yucky but over time life-threatening. And it means that every common cold may be a serious happening, since it can irreversibly worsen the fibrosis. Mar 26, 2020 at 1:45

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