So much for herd immunity?

on the brink

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Probably, but still something to think about. My personal opinion is that we'll have to get used to living with this virus and its risks. After all, we get into cars and drive, despite road accidents' horrific death rates. During 2018, in the USA there were 11.2 deaths per 100,000 people.
 
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semigoodlookin

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Probably, but still something to think about. My personal opinion is that we'll have to get used to living with this virus and its risks. After all, we get into cars and drive, despite road accidents' horrific death rates.
It’s not the same thing. If you’re in a collision, you cannot spread car crash to the people in the next room you enter.
 

on the brink

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It’s not the same thing. If you’re in a collision, you cannot spread car crash to the people in the next room you enter.
Good point, but as I understand it, you can avoid GIVING the virus to others, although you can't avoid catching it.

My thought is, eventually we will have to get used to living with this virus, much as we are used to living with the flu. It is just as inevitable. We cannot go on forever spending half of the day sanitizing ourselves and our environment, and keeping everyone at a distance. It is just not doable.
 
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Renzi

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Most of the people who've been promoting the virtues of herd immunity on this board and elsewhere are not healthcare experts.

Herd Immunity Works-If You Don't Care How Many People Die

"[T]wo-thirds of the U.S. population must become resistant to the virus before our epidemic shifts from collective catastrophe to isolated incidents. But allowing infection of about 200 million Americans translates to more than 1 million deaths, a morally reprehensible toll. The 10% antibody-positive rate among Swedes, the 5% seen in survivors of Spain’s epidemic, and even the 45% found among London health care workers involved in COVID-19 patient care come nowhere near herd immunity levels."
 

antipodean

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How can herd immunity even exist as an argument if one does not first know for sure if there is even natural long-term immunity, let alone immunity by way of a vaccination?

My suspicion is that in the long-run it will be like the flu, just having a flu or a flu vaccine is no guarantee you won't get another flu. Every year one needs a new vaccine against the latest and greatest strains. Bad luck if you get a strain you don't have current immunity from.

What does that ultimately mean? Learning to live with it without letting it go totally wild, like we have learned to live with TB, Malaria, HIV etc?
Or does it mean hiding away from a virus that kills a fraction of 1% that it touches (a fraction that seems to be shrinking by the month?)
At least if we focus on learning to live with infection, in parallel to trying to eliminate it, we won't be disappointed or stunted if the vaccines don't end up being the fixer-all, and maybe just maybe, we will be better prepared for the next one after COVID - which if natural history has taught us one thing, there will be a next one.
 

Alby

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I don't know who promotes herd immunity. Even the Swedes at the beginning said that it would be an eventual result of their approach, not the actual objective. If vaccines don't come, or don't work very well, then the virus will either keep spreading until it has--several years from now--infected enough people that it slows considerably, or until it mutates into something less severe that we no longer distinguish it from the seasonal flu.

Many articles on good media websites have addressed the question of how many people need to be reached before herd immunity arises. Estimates vary widely.
 

Alby

Registered
In reality, every one of us is learning to live with the virus. Each finding his or her own way. Because, really, unless there is a 100% effective vaccine that everybody takes as often as is necessary, there is no alternative. Which is why the elimination mentality that is strenghening every week in a couple of countries dismays me. I don't know how, politically, these countries now walk it back. But equally, I don't know how, if they stick to it and somehow deliver it, they ever interact with the rest of the world again.
 
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