We’ll Have Herd Immunity by April

Source: The Wall Street Journal (behind paywall).

The writer, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloombeg School of Public health, writes, “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.”

I’m glad to hear a rosy scenario where Covid is concerned and will keep any skeptical thoughts to myself. Just today I had to negotiate payment with a vendor who was scared to take a check from me over fear of transmission. I don’t blame him, but it will be good when such fears begin to subside.

8 thoughts on “We’ll Have Herd Immunity by April

  1. “expect Covid will be mostly gone by April,“ skeptical as well…

    The science is definitely trending in that direction. The lack of publicly disseminated optimism is likely the understanding that “caution” should be the overarching mindset at this time.

    Sheeple, don’t need much encouragement to make reckless decisions.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It won’t happen at the same time everywhere.

    We will soon know which states got it right as hospitalizations will drop there first.

    But I suspect we will be taking a COVID booster yearly, much as we do the flu shots, to keep up with mutations. .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “But I suspect we will be taking a COVID booster yearly, much as we do the flu shots, to keep up with mutations.”

      What do you make of the “standard model” prediction that virus mutations tend to become less dangerous over time? I have heard that said, but I don’t know how to think about it.


      1. Natural selection in viruses, or parasites, doesn’t seek to kill the host.

        The ideal pathogen would be one that is easily passed from host to host, but doesn’t unduly burden the host. A pathogen that quickly kills the host, like Ebola, doesn’t get very far, but one like malaria which takes decades to kill the host is very successful at spreading widely.

        So, viral strains that spare the host have a evolutionary advantage over those that quickly kill. That’s why the common cold is far more widespread than hydrophobia.


        1. RE: “So, viral strains that spare the host have a evolutionary advantage over those that quickly kill.”

          Yes. That’s what I meant by “standard model.” If one reads news reports, and even the cautionary notes in the instant article, Covid-19 is apparently an exception to the rule. That is, the new mutations we hear about are contradictory to the model. That seems odd to me, which is why I asked.


      2. The framework for thinking about it is Darwinian evolution. Virus mutations can be towards more deadly or towards less deadly. The more deadly mutations are generally less successful because they kill or weaken the hosts and end up being spread less. The more deadly the more rapidly it would tend towards extinction. The less deadly mutations tend to survive because the victims last longer, remain stronger and can spread it to more hosts.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. If true, this would be good news indeed.

    My only objection to the editorial is that it slams the scientiests.

    “But scientists shouldn’t try to manipulate the public by hiding the truth.”

    Are they hiding the truth? Or is the editorial just a prediction based on current trends of infection and extrapolation of numbers.

    Nothing wrong with optimism, but so much of this prediction is dependent upon continued vaccination. There is a fairly sizeable part of the population that is at best skeptical or flat out resistant to getting vaccinated. Oddly enough, the military is having concerns. Some commands have 70% compliance, but others have as little as 30%. Of all professions, social distancing and mask wearing might not be feasible in some cases. Combat zones and ships come to mind.

    I would suggest that optimism can be the message with the caveat of the need for vaccination as being the gateway to opening the economy.

    “Get the shot, get the work, get the income.”

    Liked by 1 person

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