Like many New Yorkers, Domenica D’Ottavio contracted COVID-19 over the Christmas holidays. Her head clogged with congestion, her body ached; she coughed and spiked a fever.

But she also had another surprising symptom: relief.

"It was just a different feeling,” said D’Ottavio, who had been fully vaccinated and boosted before getting infected. "You don’t realize until it’s over that you’ve been walking around with a tiny bit of fear in the back of your mind.”