When is it safe to visit people? And who?

I’m trying my darndest not to get covid. I’m boosted but still staying home as much as possible, even more than March 2020 (I’ve resigned myself to grocery pickup), and if I do go out I’m wearing a N95 mask. I work from home and live alone so isolation is fairly painless.

My boyfriend (he does not live here) just got over covid. He was J&J vaxxed but not boosted (he’ll get the booster in 2 weeks). His brother that he lives with is also just recovering. They’ve both tested negative and are back to work.

They work at Wal Mart, but overnight stocking, so other than an hour at the beginning and end of each shift there’s no customers in the store. They don’t usually work too closely with others during their shift but it’s not zero contact, they do see people. And while Wal Mart requires masks, they are just wearing cloth masks and…well you know how well others do with masking properly and keeping distance and stuff.

My question is…is it safe for me to have my boyfriend over to my house? I’d assume by now he can’t catch it and develop symptoms but can he carry it? If he has showered and put on clean clothes since he was last in Wal Mart is covid possibly lingering anywhere? Up his nose? Or is it dead by the time his body rejects it?

I don’t quite understand the science here. There are millions of people who are working and not getting covid, and going home to their families and not giving people covid. Right? My friend’s husband works in a similar situation (overnight stocking for Lays) and so far no one in their house has gotten covid in these 2 years.

I’m thinking if I’m fully vaxxed, and he’s fully vaxxed (I’m going to count his recent infection as boosted-before-boosted) and he’s not coming directly from a covid-infested workplace to my house, it’s ok. And uh what if we want to swap spit? More risk?

But, I could be wrong. Let me know!

I think it’s still possible for your boyfriend to catch some variant of COVID–if not the exact same variant as the one he just got over, at least a different one. It’s certainly possible for an infected person to be asymptomatic, and it’s pretty much the rule that everyone who gets infected is contagious for a few days before they start showing symptoms. His exposure risk sounds moderate, so yes, I think he could bring COVID home to you, even after he showers.

The question is, how bad would an infection be for you? You’re vaxxed and boosted; how are your other vulnerability factors (age, sex, comorbidities, etc.)? If you feel good about your chances if infected, then call that boy over and swap all the fluids you care to. If you’re not comfortable with it, hold off a few more weeks and reassess then. The omicron surge might finally be peaking in the US; your risk of infection could be a lot lower a month from now.

I’m a fat diabetic so I’m kind of at the top of the list of who all the doctors and morticians are side-eyeing now.

I have not heard that it’s possible to catch Covid from someone who does not have it, just from Covid germs lingering on their clothing or whatever. Has anyone else?

If we were faced with another year of trying to isolate, I think I would be “giving up” at this point, and just getting on with my life as normal and accepting the risk. But I think it’s likely that the Omicron wave falls off from here to a point where the risk is considerably lower in a month or two. And subsequent strains are likely to be still less dangerous. With your risk status, I think there’s a good case to be made for isolating for another month or two.

Having said that, your boyfriend is considerably safer if he has just had an infection and is recovered.

Tranmission in this manner is unlikely. Google “fomites transmission” for CDC commentary and various research. The overwhelming concern would be when he is actually infected when you are in close proximity to him.

In that case, maybe see if he can get a few days off in a row, where he can isolate for a bit and take two at-home tests over a couple days before coming over?

Someone at work mentioned that a nurse friend of his has caught covid three times. Full vax & boost. Fortunately, mild symptoms each time.

It’s certainly possible to catch it more than once, but it’s less likely - especially immediately after recovering from it, and without traveling to a different location where a different variant might be spreading in the community.