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‘Like playing a game of Russian roulette’: People who avoided COVID so far share how they’re feeling

Ilana Hardesty, 60, works remotely for Boston University and has not had COVID-19, nor has her husband, John Emery.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

More than two years into the pandemic, almost 60 percent of Americans — including 75 percent of children — have contracted COVID-19 at least once. The shrinking segment of the populace who hasn’t say they feel a mixture of gratitude and fatalism over what seems inevitable: that sooner or later, the virus will come for them, too.

The Globe receive more than 1,500 responses to a survey asking people who never got the virus how they feel. Here’s what some of them had to say.

A unicorn

I feel like a unicorn. I’m starting to wonder if I could have had it and never known. At this point I feel like I’m in a distinct minority. Every time I go out somewhere in a crowd I wonder if this is the straw that’s going to break the camel’s back.


Christina Holz

Closer and closer

I feel like it’s circling closer and closer, like a rabid dog. On the other hand, I’m vaxxed and boosted, so I’m hopeful that if I DO get it, I’ll have a relatively mild case.

Ilana Hardesty

Puzzling and surreal

It feels a bit surreal. With how contagious this virus is, it’s puzzling at times to me that I have never once tested positive. I feel mixed emotions about possibly being next. We know so much more about the virus now, so I feel good knowing that I am armed with more knowledge about it. However, now that we are seeing the effects of COVID long term in the body, I worry about contracting it and dealing with that.

Jaime Cahoon


It’s almost like I’m just watching the clock count down until I get it.

Jay McGaffigan

Pure dumb luck

Sure, I’d probably like to think that the four of us in this family are “special” but let’s be honest — it’s almost certainly just pure dumb luck. But with all of us being as vaccinated and boosted as we can be, we’re definitely not feeling as nervous these days. We definitely believe we will get it at some point; at least by now we don’t anticipate it being a serious illness for any of us. But we do still want to avoid spreading it to anyone else!


Lesley O’Keefe

Russian roulette

It’s like playing a game of Russian roulette, you never know when it might be your turn. . . . I am trying to be less anxious but am still wearing a mask in stores, large crowds, and especially in airports/airplanes. The thought of getting COVID consumed my life for the past couple of years and I am trying to live my life a little more for my own sanity.

Linda Burgess

Iron shirt

I feel I must be wearing an iron shirt. I do feel I have to get it, and do not feel it is waiting to get me.

Jean McGinty

Somehow blessed

It’s feels like the clock is running out and that it’s inevitable but I hold onto the ridiculous notion that I’m somehow blessed with an immune system made of steel. The one positive thing is there is now a vaccination and there are more treatments available.

Elizabeth Pitoniak


I feel like I’m playing a game of dodgeball in middle school and the front lines are thinning. (This was a quote from a tweet/meme that resonated with me). I think I’ll probably get it within the next few months. It just feels impossible that I haven’t gotten it yet.


Shannon Beatty

Stalked by a monster

It feels like the monster from the horror movie It Follows is stalking me. I feel lucky, too — but I have also tried really hard not to get COVID: I don’t go inside anywhere but work. I wear a mask. I test at least twice a week.

Katharine Weigle

Camille Caldera can be reached at camille.caldera@globe.com.