Herd Immunity-Pandemic or panacea?

If you are a historian from the future, looking back on old blogs to see how people coped with the Covid-19 pandemic, welcome to Wednesday 28th October 2020. Because the consensus on restrictions is breaking down. Their have been riots in some of the great cities in Europe; people all over England are blithely ignoring restrictions from the highest levels of society all the way down. And we at LSS think that, if the government wants to use the Police to break up Christmas lunches, there will be no law left at all by the New Year.

So what is to be done? One answer is to shield the vulnerable. let the virus rip and hope that the resulting build up of immunity in the survivors will provide protection for all in the long term. It’s a point of view defended in this clip from Talk Radio by Professor Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University, no less. Whatever you say about the funding and origins of the Great Barrington Declaration, some one has to make the case for getting the economy going!

The essential case against is that “Herd Immunity” is scientifically questionable, and that the cost in lives of attempting it without vaccines would be unacceptable. Here are the counterarguments

Last week we linked to a piece from Nature: here it is again

We would also like to link a piece by Graham Lawton of New Scientist

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2257258-it-is-bad-science-to-say-covid-19-infections-will-create-herd-immunity/

We at LSS are always saddened when scientific questions become political. It happened over smoking and global warming. Though we haven’t crossed that threshold yet on this one, we fear it could go the same way. Oh for a couple of really good, reliable vaccines before that day!

Our thanks to Mr Gary Herbert of Buckinghamshire who is the moving spirit in this post.

#covid19 #sars-cov-2 #coronavirus #herdimmunity #greatbarringtondeclaration #epidemiology #herdsafety

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