Slow Herd Immunity

The great thing about those idiotic spring breakers in Florida is not watching Darwin tidy up the gene pool, it is herd immunity. The not-so-great thing is killing the rest of us.

A reopening strategy focused on herd immunity doesn’t have to be in opposition to flattening the curve. By flattening the curve we enable herd immunity to build up at a rate which is slow by steady.

The question is what the rate is. How long will it take to develop herd immunity while maintaining social distancing?

This is a particularly important question because of political stasis. The federal government will remain broken for at least the next 12 months. No action is the most likely action. Herd immunity developing gradually out of the status quo is reasonably likely.

Update April 17: the percentage of formerly-infected, now immune, people in Santa Clara CA, which was one of the first places C19 appeared, is 2.81%. Per TPM:

If this number is close to accurate it suggests that even in a relative hotspot the population is all but untouched by the disease and thus remains almost entirely vulnerable.

The good news is that this data is very early. Also a lot depends on how much social distancing has been going on, and in this part of California the social distancing has been fairly aggressive.

2 thoughts on “Slow Herd Immunity

  1. > the percentage of formerly-infected, now immune, people in Santa Clara CA, which was one of the first places C19 appeared, is 2.81%

    That’s the percentage of people with antibodies. Doesn’t mean they’re immune.

    > The federal government will remain broken for at least the next 12 months. No action is the most likely action. Herd immunity developing gradually out of the status quo is reasonably likely.

    That is the thing. With a non-functioning figurehead tweeting contradictory and essentially dangerous advice, we’re left to implement sensible protective measures.

    People talk about a coronavirus baby boom, but I wonder if the opposite will be true. How are people meeting and dating strangers during lockdown? Flirting while socially distancing reduces meet-cute factor. Discuss.

    1. The figurehead is not only non-functioning, it is actively sabotaging productive work. The situation is like the Red Cross trying to deliver food and medical supplies and having local warlords steal or destroy it.

      About romance in the time of “cholera,” I have a friend of a friend who is doing a lot of Facetime dating. I think this went really well because of the way that videoconferencing removed sex from the equation. Then they met in person, she got drunk and acted foolishly, and things went south.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.