Paul Hauck: Herd immunity a long way off | TheUnion.com
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Paul Hauck: Herd immunity a long way off

Regarding the column, “Stay at home order a government overreach” by Jo Ann Rebane, Ms. Rebane offers an argument that we should return to normal conditions where we can, among other things, “shop, go to church, eat out, go to the theater, have a club meeting,” etc. But neither her reasoning nor her facts add up.

She is correct that the number of cases in the county is low and that we, as a community, have adhered very closely to the stay at home orders. But she doesn’t seem to see the causal connection between the two. To stop social distancing precipitously at this point would be to invite a large outbreak and to ignore the experiences of nations that have reopened their economies too quickly.

She states that recent research at Stanford and USC studying the prevalence of people in the general population who carry the antibodies for the coronavirus suggests that “California may have already gotten close … to herd immunity.” That is not what the researchers report. The Stanford data, not yet peer-reviewed and using a non-FDA approved test, estimated only 1.3 to 4.7% of the general public were exposed to COVID-19.

This is far from the 60% that is generally considered a minimum for “herd immunity.”

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Paul D. Hauck

Penn Valley


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