AuthorTopic: 🦠 Killer Superbugs!  (Read 78006 times)

Offline John of Wallan

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Re: 🦠 Killer Superbugs!
« Reply #750 on: January 28, 2021, 12:22:26 PM »
The fake virus hoax is hitting third world countries in our region pretty badly.
Must be all the additional suicides from people losing their jobs...

I am getting things in order before winter just in case we get a second wave and more lockdowns.

Wait, I thought you guys "defeated" the virus through your first wave of lockdowns? Are you telling me all that GDP went down the drain for nothing? Looks like the never-ending "war on Covid" must continue! Maybe Oz should sent troops into Africa this time and utilize drone strikes against all the nasty variant-carrying animals  ::)

Your complete ignorance of viruses shows no bounds.
I should not be surprised. You politicize everything to somehow fit your agenda. You are nothing more than a shrill right wing conspiracy theorist and troll.
Who knows, you could actually be Alex Jones incognito.

JOW

Offline John of Wallan

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Re: 🦠 Killer Superbugs! Its not rocket science. No, its medical science.
« Reply #751 on: January 30, 2021, 01:33:36 PM »
Gee, quarantining and social distancing seems to work in the land of the free too...
Who would have known?
Its what happens when you don't politicize a pandemic moron trolls; you save lives.

JOW

Link:
https://www.theage.com.au/world/north-america/picturesque-and-unpolarised-how-vermont-crushed-the-coronavirus-20210130-p56y0s.html
Text:
Picturesque and unpolarised: how Vermont crushed the coronavirus

By Matthew Knott
January 31, 2021 — 12.00am

Washington: Until recently, Vermont was best known to outsiders as America’s biggest manufacturer of maple syrup, the birthplace of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and the home of progressive icon Bernie Sanders.

But over the past year Vermont has gained national recognition as the US state that has done better than anywhere else at keeping the coronavirus pandemic under control.

It’s a rare bright spot in a country that has recorded over 430,000 coronavirus deaths - the most in the world in absolute terms and one of the highest on a per capita basis.
Picturesque Vermont is also a stand-out state for its coronavirus response.

Picturesque Vermont is also a stand-out state for its coronavirus response.Credit:iStock

With just 172 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic, Vermont has the country’s lowest per capita death rate according to Johns Hopkins University - outperforming even the island state of Hawaii and sparsely-populated Alaska. The death rate in neighbouring New Hampshire is almost three times as high and ten times as high in neighbouring New York and Massachusetts.

In September Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious diseases expert, praised Vermont as a “model for the country”, saying it had shown other states “that you can actually start opening up the economy in a safe and prudent way”.

Mark Levine, Vermont’s health commissioner, tells The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age: “We have our share of tragedy like everyone else but we’ve been applauded for doing well compared to the rest of the country.”
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has praised Vermont’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has praised Vermont’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Credit:AP

To be sure, Vermont had some natural advantages when it comes to combating a pandemic.

Famous for its lush forests, with trees that turn a spectacular orange in autumn, Vermont is one of the least populated and most rural states in the US.

The population is almost entirely white - an important factor given that black and Hispanic Americans have suffered disproportionately high COVID death rates. Studies have also consistently found Vermont to be the healthiest state in America, with low rates of obesity and smoking and high levels of health insurance.

But other rural and mostly-white states like South Dakota have become coronavirus hot spots while Vermont has remained the national gold standard - an indication that factors other than demographics are at play.
Even his Democratic opponents have praised Vermont Governor Phil Scott for his COVID-19 response.

Even his Democratic opponents have praised Vermont Governor Phil Scott for his COVID-19 response. Credit:AP

South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem has imposed almost no restrictions on her state, declaring that preventing the spread of the virus was a matter of “personal responsibility”.

As well as refusing to implement a mask mandate, Noem used federal coronavirus relief funds to run a domestic tourism campaign during the pandemic. South Dakota now has among the worst death rates in the country.
In the rural state of Vermont, neighbours know each other, which has helped during the pandemic.

In the rural state of Vermont, neighbours know each other, which has helped during the pandemic.Credit:AP

By contrast, Vermont Governor Phil Scott, also a Republican, has put in strict policies to limit the spread of the virus. Rather than personal liberty, he has appealed to Vermonters’ sense of social solidarity to win support for the restrictions. Even his Democratic Party opponents have praised Scott - a fiscally conservative, socially liberal Republican who voted for Joe Biden in the November election - for listening to scientific advice.

“We have a governor who prioritises health and safety even though he is from the business sector and the economy is near and dear to his heart,” Levine says.

Levine says at the beginning of the pandemic Vermont placed a big emphasis on protecting elderly nursing home residents through strict visiting rules and testing procedures.

Scott also moved quickly to close down most businesses and took a cautious approach to re-opening different sectors of the economy. When Vermont’s coronavirus cases began to rise in November, Scott announced that social gatherings must be limited to members of a single household. He also closed bars and suspended recreational sports.
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Anyone arriving to Vermont from interstate is required to quarantine for 14 days (or seven days if they receive a negative COVID test) - a significant rule given Vermont’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism.

Jan Carney, the associate dean for public health at the University of Vermont, adds: “There has been consistent public health messaging...The governor’s office has twice-a-week press conferences and they go on until all questions are asked and answered.”

When announcing a mask mandate in June, Scott urged Vermonters to listen to scientists rather than what they had read on Facebook. But he also asked people to be empathetic to those with different views.

“Attacking, shaming, and judging isn’t going to help, but understanding, educating, meeting people where they are, and maybe using a little kindness and understanding might,” he said.

Levine - who takes a prominent role at most of the Governor’s press conferences - says: “I’m not saying this immodestly but the governor and myself are very trusted as messengers.

“That certainly wasn’t true for everyone with the previous [Trump] administration in Washington and we would often get compared and contrasted to that.”

He stresses that, while Vermont’s rules have been among the strictest in the country, compliance has been high. Other states have introduced tough measures only to see them flouted en masse.

As well as a healthy population, surveys have consistently shown that Vermonters have among the highest levels of “social capital” in the country. For example, they are more likely to know and trust their neighbours than people elsewhere.

“This is not something that started with the pandemic ,” Carney, of the University of Vermont, says. “It’s how people work here.”

Emilie Stigliani, editor of The Burlington Free Press, the state’s biggest newspaper, says: “There is a very small town feel in Vermont, and a real sense of responsibility to your neighbours to do your part to stop the spread.

“There is a community-minded mentality and Vermonters feel a sense of pride about that.”

While there are political differences, the heated culture wars over mask wearing and lockdowns have not been nearly as prevalent in Vermont as elsewhere.

“The bottom line is that we’re less of a polarised state - thank goodness,” Levine says - a claim supported by the fact that Vermonters have repeatedly sent Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, to the US Senate while also electing a Republican governor.

The state’s success at mitigating the virus has continued to the early stage of the vaccination effort: Vermont has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the country.

“It’s been hard and we’re not out of the woods yet,” Carney says. “But if you look around the country, people here have done extremely well.”

Offline Nearingsfault

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Re: 🦠 Killer Superbugs! Its not rocket science. No, its medical science.
« Reply #752 on: January 30, 2021, 01:54:13 PM »
Gee, quarantining and social distancing seems to work in the land of the free too...
Who would have known?
Its what happens when you don't politicize a pandemic moron trolls; you save lives.

JOW

Link:
https://www.theage.com.au/world/north-america/picturesque-and-unpolarised-how-vermont-crushed-the-coronavirus-20210130-p56y0s.html
Text:
Picturesque and unpolarised: how Vermont crushed the coronavirus

By Matthew Knott
January 31, 2021 — 12.00am

Washington: Until recently, Vermont was best known to outsiders as America’s biggest manufacturer of maple syrup, the birthplace of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and the home of progressive icon Bernie Sanders.

But over the past year Vermont has gained national recognition as the US state that has done better than anywhere else at keeping the coronavirus pandemic under control.

It’s a rare bright spot in a country that has recorded over 430,000 coronavirus deaths - the most in the world in absolute terms and one of the highest on a per capita basis.
Picturesque Vermont is also a stand-out state for its coronavirus response.

Picturesque Vermont is also a stand-out state for its coronavirus response.Credit:iStock

With just 172 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic, Vermont has the country’s lowest per capita death rate according to Johns Hopkins University - outperforming even the island state of Hawaii and sparsely-populated Alaska. The death rate in neighbouring New Hampshire is almost three times as high and ten times as high in neighbouring New York and Massachusetts.

In September Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious diseases expert, praised Vermont as a “model for the country”, saying it had shown other states “that you can actually start opening up the economy in a safe and prudent way”.

Mark Levine, Vermont’s health commissioner, tells The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age: “We have our share of tragedy like everyone else but we’ve been applauded for doing well compared to the rest of the country.”
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has praised Vermont’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has praised Vermont’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Credit:AP

To be sure, Vermont had some natural advantages when it comes to combating a pandemic.

Famous for its lush forests, with trees that turn a spectacular orange in autumn, Vermont is one of the least populated and most rural states in the US.

The population is almost entirely white - an important factor given that black and Hispanic Americans have suffered disproportionately high COVID death rates. Studies have also consistently found Vermont to be the healthiest state in America, with low rates of obesity and smoking and high levels of health insurance.

But other rural and mostly-white states like South Dakota have become coronavirus hot spots while Vermont has remained the national gold standard - an indication that factors other than demographics are at play.
Even his Democratic opponents have praised Vermont Governor Phil Scott for his COVID-19 response.

Even his Democratic opponents have praised Vermont Governor Phil Scott for his COVID-19 response. Credit:AP

South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem has imposed almost no restrictions on her state, declaring that preventing the spread of the virus was a matter of “personal responsibility”.

As well as refusing to implement a mask mandate, Noem used federal coronavirus relief funds to run a domestic tourism campaign during the pandemic. South Dakota now has among the worst death rates in the country.
In the rural state of Vermont, neighbours know each other, which has helped during the pandemic.

In the rural state of Vermont, neighbours know each other, which has helped during the pandemic.Credit:AP

By contrast, Vermont Governor Phil Scott, also a Republican, has put in strict policies to limit the spread of the virus. Rather than personal liberty, he has appealed to Vermonters’ sense of social solidarity to win support for the restrictions. Even his Democratic Party opponents have praised Scott - a fiscally conservative, socially liberal Republican who voted for Joe Biden in the November election - for listening to scientific advice.

“We have a governor who prioritises health and safety even though he is from the business sector and the economy is near and dear to his heart,” Levine says.

Levine says at the beginning of the pandemic Vermont placed a big emphasis on protecting elderly nursing home residents through strict visiting rules and testing procedures.

Scott also moved quickly to close down most businesses and took a cautious approach to re-opening different sectors of the economy. When Vermont’s coronavirus cases began to rise in November, Scott announced that social gatherings must be limited to members of a single household. He also closed bars and suspended recreational sports.
Related Article
Dr Anthony Fauci laughs while speaking in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Joe Biden’s first full day in office.
Coronavirus pandemic
‘Liberating’: Dr Fauci is back and in step with White House

Anyone arriving to Vermont from interstate is required to quarantine for 14 days (or seven days if they receive a negative COVID test) - a significant rule given Vermont’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism.

Jan Carney, the associate dean for public health at the University of Vermont, adds: “There has been consistent public health messaging...The governor’s office has twice-a-week press conferences and they go on until all questions are asked and answered.”

When announcing a mask mandate in June, Scott urged Vermonters to listen to scientists rather than what they had read on Facebook. But he also asked people to be empathetic to those with different views.

“Attacking, shaming, and judging isn’t going to help, but understanding, educating, meeting people where they are, and maybe using a little kindness and understanding might,” he said.

Levine - who takes a prominent role at most of the Governor’s press conferences - says: “I’m not saying this immodestly but the governor and myself are very trusted as messengers.

“That certainly wasn’t true for everyone with the previous [Trump] administration in Washington and we would often get compared and contrasted to that.”

He stresses that, while Vermont’s rules have been among the strictest in the country, compliance has been high. Other states have introduced tough measures only to see them flouted en masse.

As well as a healthy population, surveys have consistently shown that Vermonters have among the highest levels of “social capital” in the country. For example, they are more likely to know and trust their neighbours than people elsewhere.

“This is not something that started with the pandemic ,” Carney, of the University of Vermont, says. “It’s how people work here.”

Emilie Stigliani, editor of The Burlington Free Press, the state’s biggest newspaper, says: “There is a very small town feel in Vermont, and a real sense of responsibility to your neighbours to do your part to stop the spread.

“There is a community-minded mentality and Vermonters feel a sense of pride about that.”

While there are political differences, the heated culture wars over mask wearing and lockdowns have not been nearly as prevalent in Vermont as elsewhere.

“The bottom line is that we’re less of a polarised state - thank goodness,” Levine says - a claim supported by the fact that Vermonters have repeatedly sent Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, to the US Senate while also electing a Republican governor.

The state’s success at mitigating the virus has continued to the early stage of the vaccination effort: Vermont has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the country.

“It’s been hard and we’re not out of the woods yet,” Carney says. “But if you look around the country, people here have done extremely well.”
I've always been fond of Vermont. In many ways it reminds me of rural ontario and quebec.
If its important then try something, fail, disect, learn from it, try again, and again and again until it kills you or you succeed.

Offline John of Wallan

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Re: 🦠 Killer Superbugs!: Zero Hedge take on Oz response
« Reply #753 on: January 30, 2021, 01:57:34 PM »
Article reads factually quite correct as far as I can see, just typical inflammatory language and uproar about civil liberties and ecconnomic destruction. It does not mention that many people, like me, still went to work, or that others worked from home,

Reality is Oz an Unzud have good universal health care systems and social welfare systems so these policies cause much less pain than in countries like Merika where universal health care and social welfare is described as evil socialism, but tax cuts for the rich and running huge deficits  to maintain the empire militarily is gods will.

JOW.

Link:
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/two-years-stop-spread-some-countries-will-close-borders-until-least-2022

Text:
Two Years To Stop The Spread? Some Countries Will Close Borders Until At Least 2022
Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Jan 30, 2021 - 7:00

Authored by Jordan Schachtel via The American Institute For Economic Research,

Australians and Kiwis are looking at the very real possibility of being shut off from the rest of the world for at least another year.

The two countries, often touted by the media and the “public health expert” class as a COVID-19 response success story (and described by the likes of Dr. Anthony Fauci as countries that the United States should model their response after), may remain closed off from the rest of the world until 2022.

In a conversation with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday, Aussie Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy, the country’s top health official, revealed: “I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions.”

Murphy explained that this is because they don’t know enough about the vaccine, so they’re going to play it safe and continue the self-destructive self-siege indefinitely.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he added.

    Australia unlikely to fully reopen borders in 2021 even with vaccine https://t.co/gDyBgyVu41
    — The Independent (@Independent) January 18, 2021

As for the mandatory 14 day quarantine facilities for Australian returnees (who pay for the lockdown “quarantine hotels” at their own expense), Murphy explained that this policy would continue “for some time.”

Australia closed its borders to non-residents on March 20, 2020. Aussies might be able to visit only New Zealand at some point in 2021, but they may still be subject to 14 day stays in mandatory quarantine facilities on either or both sides of their outbound and return trips. Qantas, Australia’s biggest airline, remains hopeful of the possibility that it will be allowed to return to partial operations in late summer or fall.

    Tough border closures and hotel quarantine requirements look likely to remain in place until next year despite the 'light at the end of the tunnel' offered by vaccine rollouts. https://t.co/1O79ZGtM7e
    — Financial Review (@FinancialReview) January 18, 2021

Australia and New Zealand have had arguably the most brutal lockdowns in the world.

When Australia faces a new round of inevitable COVID-19 outbreaks, states often quickly transform into full-fledged police states, and immediately strip all citizens of their fundamental rights, rationalizing the decision because it’s necessary to “slow the spread” or “stamp out” COVID-19. In Melbourne, for instance, citizens were not allowed more than a few miles from their homes, and could only leave their house to exercise, and only for a maximum of one hour a day.

    While the Victorian govt was laser-focused on imposing harsh restrictions on residents, fining people visiting cemeteries, playing golf or fishing, it was overseeing the most dangerously lax system for overseas arrivals.
    My column in Friday’s @theheraldsunhttps://t.co/ZV03clqAvh
    — Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) July 2, 2020

New Zealand also appears to be headed in the indefinite self-siege direction, with politicians now openly conceding that the nation will probably not open up for business or outbound or inbound travel until at least 2022.

New Zealand has even worse draconian policies than Australia. Citizens who test positive for COVID-19 are forcibly removed, if necessary, into military-guarded quarantine camps, to deal with COVID-19 outbreaks. The country also locks down entirely in the event of a single new outbreak of the disease, which has a 99.8% recovery rate. The country’s leaders are “optimistic” that they will begin their vaccination program at some point in the middle of 2021. New Zealand’s self-siege has caused entire sectors of its economy to indefinitely collapse.

    New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern appoints the military to oversee the borders after a quarantine bungle that allowed Covid-19 back into the country pic.twitter.com/2Z35zU1sLg
    — TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) June 17, 2020

    New Zealand's economy shrank at a record 12.2% in the June quarter due to one of the world's toughest Covid-19 lockdowns. Ardern says the policy saves lives and the economy will recover faster with no virus circulating- is she right? https://t.co/QFH9ehYaih pic.twitter.com/T5Sm7uIW0R
    — Jamie Smyth (@JamieSmythF) September 17, 2020

Still, many American “public health experts” have urged legislators to adopt the Australia and New Zealand rights-restricting model for “stopping the spread. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the long time government health bureaucrat, has applauded Australia and New Zealand, claiming they have “done quite well” in their draconian policy response to COVID-19.

    Fauci: Australia Has 'Done Actually Quite Well' Containing COVID-19, Unlike The U.S. https://t.co/te3AkWN5GV pic.twitter.com/YJUpjDemd0
    — 🌊 R Saddler (@Politics_PR) October 29, 2020

Offline Phil Rumpole

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Re: 🦠 Killer Superbugs!
« Reply #754 on: January 30, 2021, 03:10:51 PM »
"openly conceding that the nation will probably not open up for business or outbound or inbound travel until at least 2022."

They don't qualify that statement, or many others. The way it really works is, other than tourism everything else returns to normal far faster than places that lost control.

Fruit picking is a notable exception because it is practically slave labour and relies on temporary visa foreign workers, many European and brit backpackers. They get paid by piecework/weight rather than hourly rate and end up with about 100$ a week like a Mexican labourer in America, or Filipina maid in Canada. The backpackers are mostly gritting their teeth to get their 250 odd days of horticultural placement counted off and start moving toward Permanent Resident status, but were not going to come and pay for their own quarantine of about 2k$ and neither was agribiz.

The govt then put in measures to give up to 5k$ of relocation cost to unemployed citizens to go and pick fruit, but nobody took it. Suggestion was made to allow the unemployed to instead just keep their unemployment benefit for 3 months, which would have worked and given long term out of work a recent reference on their resume and good chance to leverage that after the fruit season. Moronson was not having a bar of that and found another way to pay the cost of getting the slave labour to big biz for free. Govt charter flights brought in workers from covid free Pacific islands like Tonga, bussed direct from jet to farm, no quarantine required.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 03:24:13 PM by Phil Rumpole »
Women are like hurricanes: Wet and wild when they come, take your house when they leave

Offline RE

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Re: 🦠 Killer Superbugs!
« Reply #755 on: February 02, 2021, 02:18:38 PM »
I am fully Vaccinated with both doses of the Pfizer Vaccine.  I had zero reaction to either one.  I think it's fake.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline Eddie

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Re: 🦠 Killer Superbugs!
« Reply #756 on: February 02, 2021, 03:55:01 PM »
I am fully Vaccinated with both doses of the Pfizer Vaccine.  I had zero reaction to either one.  I think it's fake.

RE

The second one hit me with mild fever and chills and minor aches (like a flu shot reaction).....approximately 12-15 hrs after I got it. Lasted one day.

It was hard, but I got up and went to work anyway.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline John of Wallan

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Re: 🦠 Killer Superbugs!
« Reply #757 on: February 12, 2021, 06:32:09 PM »
And just like that we are back in lockdown... Supposedly 5 days only. Lets see.
Shows how easily a virus can get out. Only takes 1 breach of quarantine.
Sobering if we ever get a virus with 20 or 30% mortality compared to "Just" 2 or 3%...

JOW

Link to live updates.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/coronavirus-updates-live-victoria-enters-first-day-of-lockdown-as-holiday-inn-cluster-grows-2021-australian-open-to-proceed-with-no-crowds-20210212-p5721b.html

Offline Ashvin

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WSJ: We’ll Have Herd Immunity by April
« Reply #758 on: February 19, 2021, 06:35:07 AM »
We’ll Have Herd Immunity by April

Amid the dire Covid warnings, one crucial fact has been largely ignored: Cases are down 77% over the past six weeks. If a medication slashed cases by 77%, we’d call it a miracle pill. Why is the number of cases plummeting much faster than experts predicted?

In large part because natural immunity from prior infection is far more common than can be measured by testing. Testing has been capturing only from 10% to 25% of infections, depending on when during the pandemic someone got the virus. Applying a time-weighted case capture average of 1 in 6.5 to the cumulative 28 million confirmed cases would mean about 55% of Americans have natural immunity.

Now add people getting vaccinated. As of this week, 15% of Americans have received the vaccine, and the figure is rising fast. Former Food and Drug Commissioner Scott Gottlieb estimates 250 million doses will have been delivered to some 150 million people by the end of March.

There is reason to think the country is racing toward an extremely low level of infection. As more people have been infected, most of whom have mild or no symptoms, there are fewer Americans left to be infected. At the current trajectory, I expect Covid will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life.

Antibody studies almost certainly underestimate natural immunity. Antibody testing doesn’t capture antigen-specific T-cells, which develop “memory” once they are activated by the virus. Survivors of the 1918 Spanish flu were found in 2008—90 years later—to have memory cells still able to produce neutralizing antibodies.

Researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute found that the percentage of people mounting a T-cell response after mild or asymptomatic Covid-19 infection consistently exceeded the percentage with detectable antibodies. T-cell immunity was even present in people who were exposed to infected family members but never developed symptoms. A group of U.K. scientists in September pointed out that the medical community may be under-appreciating the prevalence of immunity from activated T-cells.

Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. would also suggest much broader immunity than recognized. About 1 in 600 Americans has died of Covid-19, which translates to a population fatality rate of about 0.15%. The Covid-19 infection fatality rate is about 0.23%. These numbers indicate that roughly two-thirds of the U.S. population has had the infection.

In my own conversations with medical experts, I have noticed that they too often dismiss natural immunity, arguing that we don’t have data. The data certainly doesn’t fit the classic randomized-controlled-trial model of the old-guard medical establishment. There’s no control group. But the observational data is compelling.

I have argued for months that we could save more American lives if those with prior Covid-19 infection forgo vaccines until all vulnerable seniors get their first dose. Several studies demonstrate that natural immunity should protect those who had Covid-19 until more vaccines are available. Half my friends in the medical community told me: Good idea. The other half said there isn’t enough data on natural immunity, despite the fact that reinfections have occurred in less than 1% of people—and when they do occur, the cases are mild.

But the consistent and rapid decline in daily cases since Jan. 8 can be explained only by natural immunity. Behavior didn’t suddenly improve over the holidays; Americans traveled more over Christmas than they had since March. Vaccines also don’t explain the steep decline in January. Vaccination rates were low and they take weeks to kick in.

My prediction that Covid-19 will be mostly gone by April is based on laboratory data, mathematical data, published literature and conversations with experts. But it’s also based on direct observation of how hard testing has been to get, especially for the poor. If you live in a wealthy community where worried people are vigilant about getting tested, you might think that most infections are captured by testing. But if you have seen the many barriers to testing for low-income Americans, you might think that very few infections have been captured at testing centers. Keep in mind that most infections are asymptomatic, which still triggers natural immunity.

Many experts, along with politicians and journalists, are afraid to talk about herd immunity. The term has political overtones because some suggested the U.S. simply let Covid rip to achieve herd immunity. That was a reckless idea. But herd immunity is the inevitable result of viral spread and vaccination. When the chain of virus transmission has been broken in multiple places, it’s harder for it to spread—and that includes the new strains.

Herd immunity has been well-documented in the Brazilian city of Manaus, where researchers in the Lancet reported the prevalence of prior Covid-19 infection to be 76%, resulting in a significant slowing of the infection. Doctors are watching a new strain that threatens to evade prior immunity. But countries where new variants have emerged, such as the U.K., South Africa and Brazil, are also seeing significant declines in daily new cases. The risk of new variants mutating around the prior vaccinated or natural immunity should be a reminder that Covid-19 will persist for decades after the pandemic is over. It should also instill a sense of urgency to develop, authorize and administer a vaccine targeted to new variants.

Some medical experts privately agreed with my prediction that there may be very little Covid-19 by April but suggested that I not to talk publicly about herd immunity because people might become complacent and fail to take precautions or might decline the vaccine. But scientists shouldn’t try to manipulate the public by hiding the truth. As we encourage everyone to get a vaccine, we also need to reopen schools and society to limit the damage of closures and prolonged isolation. Contingency planning for an open economy by April can deliver hope to those in despair and to those who have made large personal sacrifices.

 

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