Were I to think that a demographic such as young, healthy adults might have "near immunity" to COVID-19, the Japanese that comes to my mind is 不死身.


general context: "Everyone says not to do Y because X might happen. But you want to express a brazen disregard for that advice. You want to express that you could care less if X happens to you and/or, you consider it impossible X could possibly happen to you (for whatever reason)."


Is that correct? What is the correct word that sounds natural in a conversation?

  • 1
    不死身 means "immortal" rather than "immune"... – naruto Mar 19 '20 at 21:16
  • @naruto yes. I see the kanji for "death" in the word. So, i don't know the correct word for a brazen expression of "I am immune to that". – user312440 Mar 19 '20 at 21:20

不死身 is inappropriate because it means "immortal" rather than "immune". It doesn't work even as a joke because ~に不死身だ is not a thing. (If someone is "immortal only to one thing", doesn't that mean he is not immortal in the first place?)

"To be immune to ~" is ~に免疫がある (lit. "have immunity against ~"), so you can say 新型コロナウイルスに免疫がある. (Strictly speaking, COVID-19に免疫がある is incorrect because COVID-19 is a disease name, not a virus name.) Alternatively you can say ~に耐性がある ("to be resistant to ~"). Whether they work as serious statements or as sarcastic remarks completely depends on the context.

  • Can you really not use 免疫 with diseases? Saying you are immune against a particular disease is perfectly valid English, if not the most natural. – Christer Mar 20 '20 at 0:24
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    IMO you can use it like that in everyday speech (like in English), but in technical/medical speech it’s more accurate/correct to say that you have immunity to the virus, since that is what you have antibodies for. – Darius Jahandarie Mar 20 '20 at 1:20
  • @Christer I found many English examples of "immune to cervical cancer" but almost no example of 頸癌への免疫/頚癌に免疫/etc, so there might be some difference in acceptance between the two languages. Either way, it's always safer to say "immune to HPV". – naruto Mar 20 '20 at 1:36

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