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Is COVID strategy moving towards herd-immunity?!

lashto

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#1
The main strategy up to now was trying to contain it through total lockdowns (worked in China/asia, most of EU, etc). Looks like the thinking is evolving towards a herd-immunity strategy, more or less what Sweden did/does. That might be 'the new rule' during a potential 2nd wave.

Oxford opinion
https://reaction.life/we-may-already-have-herd-immunity-an-interview-with-professor-sunetra-gupta/
An interesting "dark matter" theory
https://medium.com/@karlfriston/immunological-dark-matter-b48e20bba9ea
Or the 'popular' version
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...rmany-may-have-more-immunological-dark-matter

Do you see more signs of that or its just a minor/isolated trend?!

P.S.
of course all the above is based on the (pretty feeble) assumption that COVID will not suffer serious mutations
 
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Vasr

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#3
of course all the above is based on the (pretty feeble) assumption that COVID will not suffer serious mutations
Also, an assumption that acquired immunity lasts long enough in those infected even without mutations.

Herd immunity might be the solution of last resort (with no choice and so I guess the default path) if nothing else works but seems like a huge cost both in number of deaths and potentially lasting medical issues with those that acquire it to justify it as an intentional strategy.

Survival of the fittest (and genetically luckiest) in action.
 
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#4
Also, an assumption that acquired immunity lasts long enough in those infected even without mutations.

Herd immunity might be the solution of last resort (with no choice and so I guess the default path) if nothing else works but seems like a huge cost both in number of deaths and potentially lasting medical issues with those that acquire it to justify it as an intentional strategy.

Survival of the fittest (and genetically luckiest) in action.
Indeed. If immunity ends up being short lived, a lot of people died for nothing.
 

amirm

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#6

astr0b0y

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#10
Herd immunity requires an adaptive immune response that lasts long enough to react to any additional exposures in the future, plus a large percentage of the population to have this immune response ready. At this stage there does not seem to be any good data on the length of time that our immune system remembers how to respond to COVID-19. One of this virus’ key mechanisms against the immune system is its ability to down regulate certain cellular protein expression that would normally trigger our immune system to recognise that there is a non-self invader.
It’s way more nuanced than this though. I doubt herd immunity can be realised through natural exposure the virus itself. Hopefully a vaccine with an effective adjuvant included can be used to illicit a fast and strong immune response with lasting memory.
 
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lashto

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Thread Starter #11
I read through this. It is 90% opinion and philosophy, 10% about the topic. There are also some assertions such as the entire nation is terrified. I don't think that is the case. Cautious, yes. But terrified?
I don't necessarily agree with any of those articles. And the 'new' models, while interesting, seem to be really rocket-science complex and susceptible to the smallest butterfly-effect mistake.

Just trying to figure out what will be the next 'official' strategy so I can better prepare mine. Latest news seem to point to a 2nd wave and we'll probably need to deal with it without a vaccine. I did a bit of travelling and have many contacts around the EU. There are many funny trends and reactions everywhere but I wouldn't use 'terrified' either.

There are signs of the 'immunity' trend gaining momentum ~everywhere around EU but nothing clear enough to say that it'll be the next strategy. Anyone who can provide more info/links? (from ~any EU language/country)
Or if you think there will be a different wave2 strategy, add some info on that.

@Thomas savage
Sorry, I did not check the other threads much. Hopefully this one does not go any 'dark places'.
 

onofno

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#12
France 67 000 000 people.
Number of deaths from Covid 19 from July 21 >> July 28 : 58 and 0 from July 24 >> July 26
Wearing a mask is mandatory everywhere but outdoor.

-Capture d’écran 2020-07-29 à 10.40.44.png
 
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lashto

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Thread Starter #13
best EU stats I could find https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps/
Just be aware that those are all-in-one mortality graphs including all flu/influenza/corona viruses. And the plotted numbers are per-week so it's the size of the area below the graph that matters most (visually). E.g. in the first/top graph it's not immediately obvious that the 2018 flu season was waaay worse than all others. A few EU countries actually had more deaths during the "normal" 2018 flu season than from the 2020 corona (at least up to now).

The plotted ~EU area is already back into the "normal numbers" range since about beginning of June but the future is...
 
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mansr

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#14
The plotted ~EU area is already back into the "normal numbers" range since about beginning of June but the future is...
The weekly death rate in the UK has been below the 5-year average for a while now. This could be, in part, because some people who "should" have died in July caught the virus and died a little sooner.
 

A Surfer

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#16
I think we are going to have to accept that deaths will happen, and sadly far too many. Think of how risky it has been since our species evolved, life has always been a tenuous thing at best. To suddenly think that we can remove the risk of death is at best naive. The only viable option moving forward, in my opinion, is to protect the vulnerable as opposed to attempting to control the global population for a sustained period of time which is just a ludicrous idea and clearly impossible in any meaningful way. Yes while we were learning about this pathogen there was a need to do what we believed would flatten the curve; now while our knowledge has significant gaps, it is still reasonable to suggest that the vast majority of at risks groups are well identified and transitively steps could be taken to protect them.

Trying to control billions in any meaningful way for an indefinite period of time will fail, of that there is no doubt so clearly a new approach is needed. We have accepted the risks of death and disease from so many human activities such as food additives and water tables absolutely polluted with an unfathomable chemical stew that are not theorized to cause cancer, but confirmed to cause cancer (as one example of accepted risk) so why is the risks of death from covid suddenly so unacceptable? Don't get me wrong, I support any and all reasonable efforts to mitigate and control the spread, but reasonable also must be interpreted as realistic and viable over the long-term. This virus is now endemic and it will never go away. Vaccines are rather variable in their effectiveness so waiting for that silver bullet is running the risk of setting ourselves up for failure. Again, in my opinion.

I personally believe that given the extreme and hard to anticipate unintended consequences of suddenly changing the global economic reality overnight; an economic reality that has evolved in concert with the species if you think about it, is just so risky. And I say that as somebody who believes that capitalism requires reasonable and realistic limits so I am not at all all about the economy first; however, clearly we now live in a global reality where capitalism is the central thread that maintains so many lives, perhaps in the end the vast majority of lives. If we accept that as a reasonable interpretation of the state of our species, it should be obvious that we cannot suddenly simply do away with our current lived reality to avoid the risk of death. I cannot help but think that what we are experiencing is simply the failure of creativity.

I also believe that if moving forward we attempted to protect the vulnerable the best way that science suggests while also maintaining some of the more sustainable aspects of social distancing (e.g. face masks in crowds, limiting numbers in stores) it gives us a chance to maintain realistic controls that can be sustained. Surely our species can come up with better approaches than the blunt tool of grossly arresting social interaction. We are social animals and we need to socialize. I like to think that if we looked at the problem more creatively we could find ways to protect the vulnerable while also respecting the fact that people need to live social and economic lives. Eventually we all know that we are going to allow in-person sporting and other cultural events, you can count on that, so what are we going to do given that is going to happen? How are we creatively going to pool our social efforts to return to life as a social animal while doing the best that we can to mitigate the risk to the vulnerable?

It isn't that I don't think that current efforts can be effective and even done better, I just do not for a moment think they are sustainable and if that is the case it actually suggests that we are wasting valuable resources now. So returning from my tirade to the thread topic, even if imperfect, to whatever extent herd immunity can mitigate risk, I think we need to be encouraging controlled herd immunity building efforts. Absolutely no matter what we do, people will die so a zero risk ethos is just silly and should never be allowed to be discussed at any level of society. Life is not a zero risk proposition ever, and it never has been at any point in history. So how much risk is acceptable? That seems to be the very tough question nobody wants to tackle, but one that needs to be asked and discussed frankly at all levels of society.

I cannot help but believe if we took even half of the money currently being spent trying to control as much social interaction as possible, instead focused on: protecting the vulnerable; maintaining the best aspects of social distancing; developing vaccines and allowing herd immunity to do whatever it is that it can do, I think such an approach is far better than believing that long-term social lockdowns are a reasonable response. I suspect that this is going to be controversial, but I will suggest that there is no way we can weather another lockdown type of social response for the subsequent waves that are guaranteed to come (it is the magnitude of these waves that are unknown).

So what is plan B going to look like? Again, returning to the thread topic I personally believe that as with many other pathogens our species co-exists with, herd immunity, imperfect as it is, will be one of the most effective and sustainable responses. How do we support herd immunity efforts while protecting the vulnerable?

Edit: For the mods, I understand how difficult your job can be and is, and as such I tried to make sure that my positions and language used were not framed in a political or divisive way. I hope that I achieved that goal.
 
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