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The U.K.'s Coronavirus `Herd Immunity' Debacle| The Atlantic |

There was a time when it seemed possible for the world to contain COVID-19--the disease caused by the new coronavirus. That time is over. What began as an outbreak in China has become a pandemic, and as a growing number of countries struggle to control the virus, talk of "flattening the curve" is increasing.

Almost every country is trying to achieve this goal through the standard arsenal of public health--testing people and tracing contacts--and through more restrictive measures that include instituting quarantines, closing public spaces, banning mass gatherings, and issuing strong advice about social distancing.

But on Thursday, at a press conference, Boris Johnson seemingly revealed that the United Kingdom would adopt a different strategy. The government would no longer try to track and trace the contacts of every suspected case, and it would test only people who are admitted to hospitals. In lieu of any major social-distancing measures, Johnson instead offered a suite of soft advice--people with symptoms should stay home; no school trips abroad; people over 70 should avoid cruises.

To avoid a second peak in the winter, Sir Patrick Vallance said the U.K. would suppress the virus "but not get rid of it completely," while focusing on protecting vulnerable groups, such as the elderly. In the meantime, other people would get sick. But since the virus causes milder illness in younger age groups, most would recover and subsequently be immune to the virus. This "herd immunity" would reduce transmission in the event of a winter resurgence. On Sky News, Vallance said that "probably about 60 percent" of people would need to be infected to achieve herd immunity.

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In The Netherlands, PM Mark Rutte followed suite .... warned everyone should unite behind his policy and avoid criticism ... the Dutch sheeple were brave and applauded the master. I did not as I have lost trust in the PM for being too right-wing and lacks honesty. I know math and numbers, I didn't buy this policy from the outset. Fortunately, more opposition is coming from across the globe: WHO Europe, Prof. Roberto Burioni from Milan, Italy and in both the US and UK.

I'm an epidemiologist. When I heard about Britain's 'herd immunity' coronavirus plan, I thought it was satire | The Guardian |

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 17th, 2020 at 11:25:20 PM EST

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