Herd Immunity: False Hope, Achievable, Public Health Risk, Risk/ Reward

This horrific pandemic has created an intense desire. by many, for some sort of solution, and/ or, close – to – miracle, to reduce the suffering, illnesses/ infections, and continued level of deaths/ fatalities! President Donald Trump, probably, because he’s been criticized for his handling of this pandemic, has touted a variety of potential treatments, including untested drugs, unheralded cures, and made several claims (which were not based on public health and scientific evidence). We have heard, some (especially, some of Trump’s supporters), state, the best approach, is to seek, herd immunity, which is, when the level of infection, rises to the level, where they believe, the curve of the infection, will be destroyed, With that in mind, this article will attempt to consider, examine, review, and discuss, some of these possibilities, and, what they mean.

1. Achievable: There are those who claim, herd immunity, is achievable, and use that, as an explanation, for why, we shouldn’t wear masks, or make, such a big deal, about it! Public health experts state, for us, to achieve this, it would require, approximately, 70% of the population, or more, be infected. In the United States, alone, this would mean, at least 245 million, Americans, would have to be infected. Consider, what that represents, in the world, when you, realize, our population represents, less than 5% of the world’s total numbers. How long this would take, the unwanted ramifications and impacts, and how many more lives, might be lost, are essential considerations!

2. False hope: Like, declaring it a hoax, encouraging the use of malaria drugs (untested for this virus), initially stating, masks aren’t necessary (and setting that poor example for his followers), and communicating, using Social Media, a variety of misstatements (misinformation, etc), have created false hope, ignorance, and a lack of cooperation/ following the advice of the public health experts.

3. Public health risks: Regardless of what the President has claimed, this virus, is certainly, not a hoax. Although, he has tried, to make others, believe, the ramifications, have not been, as bad, as we know, they are, this pandemic is the most horrific, deadliest, health crisis, in, at least, a century, if not more!

4. Risk/ reward: The reward of herd immunity, if it was possible, is obvious, but, it seems, it creates an atmosphere, where it reduces the number of individuals, ready, willing, and able, to cooperate, and use proven, preventive, public health – advised, measures, such as social spacing, and wearing a mask!

If the United States, experienced, the same percentage of fatalities, from this pandemic, as the rest of the world, it would mean, we would suffer, less than 5% of the world’s total (because, we represent less than 5% of the total world population). Unfortunately, at this point, we have witnessed, about 188, 000 virus – related deaths, which represents, approximately, 22%. Five percent, would have translated – to, under 45, 000 fatalities. This isn’t normal!


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