Gov. Roy Cooper was visibly angry after he was asked to address “COVID-19 parties” some people are having in an attempt to build up immunity to the deadly virus.
“That is completely irresponsible and absolutely unacceptable,” he said during a press conference Monday afternoon.
Every health expert FOX8 spoke with says don’t do it, but there are some people who are just not listening.
A nurse practitioner with Novant Health confirmed these “COVID-19 parties” are happening in the Triad. She tells FOX8 that patients at their Respiratory Assessment Center reported exposing themselves on purpose.
Experts say what they’re really doing is putting their lives at risk.
“Intentional exposure to virus, especially COVID, is really, really dangerous,” said Yolanda Enrich, a nurse practitioner.
It’s a danger that people say they’re exposing themselves to for security.
“There’s this belief that if they become infected with the virus, they will become permanently immune to it,” she said.
Enrich says that’s what some patients have told her.
“They’re just going to gatherings to get purposely infected with the virus, whether it’s a birthday party or family gathering or any situation that will expose them to the virus in person,” she said.
These actions don’t sit well with Cooper.
“If you do that, you can easily kill someone you love,” he said.
“They say, ‘Oh now that I’ve had it, I can go back to normal life and I don’t have to wear a mask anymore,'” Enrich said.
She’s on the front line of the crisis and she sees how different people respond to the virus.
“Some cases will be a severe infection of COVID and the complications will be devastating,” she said.
Doctors and medical experts don’t know enough about immunity to COVID-19 right now, like how long it will take to develop or how long it will last.
“There’s no circumstance under which we want folks to actively pursue COVID-19,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, during a press conference on Monday. “The reason we’re working so hard collectively to keep virus spread low is the fact that when there is more virus in our community, it not only impacts those who have it, but particularly those who are at high risk of getting severe reactions to disease.”
Enrich agrees and hopes that people take this seriously.
“It makes me feel frustrated and sad that we’ve not been able to convey to some of our patients or people in the community that this is a real thing,” she said.