Experts: Herd immunity is 'dangerous' and 'flawed' approach

Aug 22, 2020
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I had recently read that Sweden did not do any lockdowns to cripple their economy & their new case numbers extremely low now & keep getting lower!

Realize that, if everybody will get COVID-19, sooner or later, regardless of any prevention measures (true?), then best strategy would be, to keep open economy as much as possible (to minimize economic damage) but while always/only making sure hospital capacity never exceeded!

(Strict economic lockdown, on the other hand, would never really prevent anybody/everybody from contacting the disease & cause massive economic damage!)
 
Jul 27, 2020
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Realize that, if everybody will get COVID-19, sooner or later, regardless of any prevention measures (true?)
This is not true. If a vaccine is created, used widely and is effective for a significant period, than a large number of people will not need to die, or suffer long lasting morbidity.
 
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Jul 27, 2020
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while always/only making sure hospital capacity never exceeded!
This would be impossible to manage as the number of people needing critical care would still sky-rocket. Mixed-age families alone would be a major source of hospital admissions.

Right now, some hospitals in the mid-West are at or near capacity, and that is with significant mitigation in many areas. Letting this virus run wild would overwhelm the medical system of the country. We either go with Darwinian concepts and herd immunity, or go with the experts' recommendations. Most will want to go with the experts. Darwin, who was a very smart guy, would almost certainly agree with the experts.

The below is a cut-and-paste from a previous post on this exact topic from another thread :

(https://forums.livescience.com/threads/herd-immunity-a-few-million-might-die-and-millions-more-damaged-for-life-is-it-worth-it-for-america.3488/page-3)


It would appear that we may be going with herd immunity unless something happens in the next few months to change the strategy.

Forbes (1) presents this breaking news in a remarkably fact and science based article. It is not for the faint of heart. Some have referred to this proposal as the "Let People Die" approach.

The Forbes article provides 8 good reasons NOT to allow herd immunity :

1. Many deaths will occur.
2. Suffering and long term health problems will occur.
3. This could overwhelm a broken health care system.
4. It’s not clear how long immunity may last.
5. How do you define vulnerable people?
6. How do you identify who is vulnerable?
7. How would you actually protect the vulnerable?
8. This could distract and distract from other possible strategies.


ref. 1 :

www.forbes.com
White House Considering ‘The Great Barrington Declaration’ Herd Immunity Strategy For Covid-19 Coronavirus
The Great Barrington Declaration is a petition that promotes "focused protection" a variation of a herd immunity strategy. Here are 8 problems with such an approach.
www.forbes.com www.forbes.com

The "Great Barrington Declaration" is defined in quotes from the Wiki link below, with critical notions about its practicality.(2). It is largely rejected by health experts around the world, which is not surprising if one is an expert of such matters.

From (2):

Pro-

"The declaration advocates that individuals at high risk of death from infection should continue staying at home, and that people at low risk resume their normal lives, by working away from home and attending mass gatherings. They hope that as a result most of these lower-risk people will contract the infection but not die, and that the resulting immune response will prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus from spreading to higher-risk people. The declaration makes no mention of social distancing, masks, contact tracing, nor of COVID-19 testing."

Con-

Critics of the declaration's recommendations, including academics and the World Health Organization, have stated the proposed strategy is dangerous and unworkable and that it would be impossible to shield those who are medically vulnerable, and that the herd immunity component of the strategy is undermined by the limited duration of post-infection immunity." (emphasis mine)

It goes on to note :

It [The "Great Barrington Declaration] was sponsored by the American Institute for Economic Research, a libertarian think tank associated with climate change denial and the Koch Foundation."

end quotes

Reading through Forbes' 8 reasons NOT to accept herd immunity would have most people wondering about the wisdom of such an approach. It also brings into question the "wisdom" and true reasons behind its supporters.

It is instructive to realize that over 1 million people world-wide have died from this virus as of mid-October, and that is after considerable mitigation efforts in most places. It is a certainty that millions more will die with the "Herd Immunity" approach, and many millions more with long-lasting disabilities.

For the full Wiki article:

Ref. 2 :

 
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SHaines

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Nov 12, 2019
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I had recently read that Sweden did not do any lockdowns to cripple their economy & their new case numbers extremely low now & keep getting lower!
If you have a source for info, please link it so folks here can check it out as well.

With that in mind, not every nation will benefit in the same way from every path forward. What works in one place may not work as well in another. With how high the US population is, how much global travel passes through here, the different policies enacted by different states within the country, it's just not possible to try every option, so we need to find the options that are likely to have the best outcome and test it out.
 
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