Herd immunity and a vaccine may or may not ever happen for the new coronavirus.

Herd immunity happens when a certain percentage of the population contract a virus and recover. They build antibodies and create memory B cells. Some antibodies are effective and last against contracting the same virus again or prevent a person from becoming ill if they do contract the virus. Memory B cells remember the virus and will immediately boost the immune system from that specific virus if the virus is contracted. Vaccines work by causing the body to develop lasting antibodies. If a virus mutates, the developed antibodies, which may or may not still be present, may or may not prevent a new infection from the virus. A vaccine may not be able to be developed. The memory B cells may or may not recognize the virus mutation. Examples are influenza and the common cold. We have to develop a new influenza vaccine each year to try and protect from whatever strains of influenza are thought to be next year’s threat. The new coronavirus has spread throughout the world. We still no very little about this virus. We have zero evidence to believe herd immunity will ever develop. We do have evidence to the contrary. Several countries have reported patients being clear of the virus and then returning to their home environment. The patients are showing positive again weeks later. We do have evidence that the new coronavirus antibodies decrease after the first couple of weeks with a significant decrease by week three and there is question as to whether there are any after six weeks. We need to do serious studies on how long the antibodies last and if they are effective against reinfection. Being able to develop herd immunity or not should be a guiding measure in how we move forward. People just assuming that we are going to have herd immunity may be dead wrong. Literally, dead wrong.

The bulk of evidence from around the world points to this virus beginning in Wuhan in late November or early December of 2019. Many Americans believe it was being studied in the lab and escaped the lab in some fashion. And yet these same Americans are also arguing that the US has had cases we just did not identify as early as last summer or early fall. Their logic train is derailed and they’re grasping at straws. Either the virus escaped the Wuhan lab in late November or early December, 2019, and the virus originated in the Wuhan area or it didn’t. You can’t have it both ways. They are pushing for opening up the entire country right now and are convinced we already have herd immunity or are well on our way to herd immunity. Maybe we are. Maybe we aren’t. We do not know. We know we do not ever develop herd immunity towards certain mutating illnesses. We know we have spent years trying to develop a vaccine for things like HIV and cancer with no success. We have developed treatments. Do I know the answers? Nope. No one knows the answers at this point. My OPINION is that we should reopen the country slowly and see what happens. We have no other option but to reopen at some point. We have known for years that being outside in the sun boosts our immune systems and aids in fighting illness and overall health. During the Spanish Flu, US doctors pushed patients on gurneys outdoors and it increased the recovery speed and rate. We should not be closing outdoor spaces but instead encouraging responsible behavior. We need to do further testing asap on how effective antibodies are and if we are in fact building resistance. We need to use some common sense. We know that the new coronavirus is now endemic to our population and we have to develop a long-term plan to live with this virus. We cannot live indoors with businesses closed forever. The best case scenario based on current facts, is we develop herd immunity quickly and can return to normal life within a reasonable amount of time. OR we get better data that the mortality rate is lower than originally projected and we learn to live with the virus and how to avoid exposing our aged and immune compromised population. At least in the US, the mortality rate appears to be MUCH lower than originally projected. We have 330,654,244 people living in the US. We have had a little over 50,000 deaths in the US including presumed cases and virus caused cases. We need to know how many people have actually contracted the virus already and what is their immunity to the virus going forward.

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