Will Social Distancing Weaken Immune System?
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Some worry a lack of contact with others will weaken their immune system by reducing its active contact with germs. But even when we're staying 6 feet from others or spending most of our time at home, our bodies are continuously responding to plenty of bacteria and other germs that inhabit indoor and outdoor environments.

Of course, SARS-CoV-2 is a new virus but while your immune system won’t have any specific memory of the virus, it will mount an immune response if you are infected — because that’s how your immune system works.

But that doesn’t mean social distancing will have no effect on your immune system. The psychological effects of social isolation can affect your immune system. The culprits are loneliness and stress. Stress has similarly harmful effects on immune function, because the hormones involved in a stress response-cortisol, which stimulates the production of sugar, and epinephrine and norepinephrine, which increase heart rate and elevate blood pressure interfere with the function of immune cells.

Experts say anyone looking to boost their immune health during the pandemic should practice habits such as stress management, healthy eating, regular exercise and getting enough sleep. These are the things that actually affect the immune system, Iwasaki said. A seasonal flu shot will also help protect you from one more potential illness.

We're constantly exposed to microbes, said Akiko Iwasaki, an immune system researcher at Yale University. Our immune system is always being triggered. The effects of childhood vaccines and other built-up immunity are also long-lasting and won't disappear overnight because we're keeping our distance from others during the pandemic.

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