The first paper, published on August 16 titled "Risk of severe COVID-19 infection among adults with prior exposure to children," concluded that "exposure to young children was associated with less severe COVID-19 illness."
The study of more than 3.1 million adults across Northern California acknowledges that while adults with exposure to children had slightly higher infection rates, the severity of the illness was considerably lower.
Adults without exposure to children had "significantly higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalization and hospitalization requiring ICU admission."
The authors suggest that cross-immunity from other coronaviruses, such as the common cold, "may play a role in protection against severe COVID-19."
The second paper, published on November 7, complements the first paper by taking a closer look at the biological evidence to show similar results.
Titled "Recent common human coronavirus infection protects against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection: A Veterans Affairs cohort study," the authors concluded that catching one of a number of common cold infections lessened the severity of COVID-19 infection.
David Zweig discusses the significance of these two complementary studies in New York Magazine, suggesting that government-imposed social distancing rules could have potentially been responsible for some more severe cases of the COVID-19 virus once regular distancing returned.
Francois Balloux, director of the Genetics Institute at University College London, said that this theory has been in the minds of experts for a while.
"This hypothesis was aired since the beginning of the pandemic but was viewed as dangerous," he said. "People avoided talking about this in polite circles."
Experts are now starting to discuss these theories more freely, now that the pressure to conform to the government narratives has lessened.
One of the authors of the November study, Dr. Paul Monach, has suggested that "the current surge of RSV may in part be because our population didn't get it for two years," pointing out that "we can overprotect ourselves from viruses."
Hospitals across the country have been overwhelmed by a sudden surge in severe RSV infections, alongside COVID and flu infections.
Dr. Monach suggests that the social distancing that was prevalent during the pandemic should be a thing of the past, stating "getting a mini- or even micro-booster periodically simply by going about your life would be very reassuring."
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