Monday, April 13, 2020

What Could Possibly Go Wrong On The Way To 'Herd Immunity'?

Well, this:

Doctors Fear Coronavirus Survivors May Have Lasting Damage To Multiple Organs


For the sickest patients, infection with the new coronavirus is proving to be a full-body assault, causing damage well beyond the lungs. And even after patients who become severely ill have recovered and cleared the virus, physicians have begun seeing evidence of the infection’s lingering effects. 
In a study posted this week, scientists in China examined the blood test results of 34 COVID-19 patients over the course of their hospitalization. In those who survived mild and severe disease alike, the researchers found that many of the biological measures had “failed to return to normal.” -Los Angeles Times 
One alarming observation have been test results indicating that recovered patients continue to have impaired liver function after patients had been cleared for discharge. 
Another concern from cardiologists are the immediate effects of COVID-19 on the heart, raising questions over how long the damage may last. As the Times notes, "In an early study of COVID-19 patients in China, heart failure was seen in nearly 12% of those who survived, including in some who had shown no signs of respiratory distress."

This really isn't the sort of virus you want on the loose. It's highly unlikely that 'herd immunity' will ever truly develop--the highest know estimates of infection percentages in the general population are no more than 15%, while estimates for the necessary percentage of 'recovered' or asymptomatic infectees runs in the range of 40% - 60%.

This isn't the flu.

President Trump has some complex decisions to make.


  1. I saw that article too, very worrisome...

    1. So many conservatives are buying into the idea that there's a simple solution if only we disbelieve everything we read in the media. Usually it seems to be predicated on the idea--despite protestations--that this is really no more than the flu.

    2. Indeed. It's almost as if the belief has sprung up that this is a substitute for (as in 'instead of') the flu when they talk about yearly total deaths rather than 'in addition to' (as in both running concurrently). "It's no big deal. The flu kills 40,00 a year." The logic being that another 40 or 50 or 100,000 a year will be no big deal? Or maybe they have come to the conclusion that this is all just a one time event and after the herd is culled of its weak members the virus will magical disappear.
      There are no guarantees - not of 'herd immunity', not of viable anti-body development after recovery, not of seasonal/environmental mitigation, not of successful vaccine development, and the possibility of it further mutating into something deadlier is very real; it's that new. Things can't go on like this for long, but let's assemble some facts and make an educated guess rather than a 'fire in the paint locker' reaction. When in a skid over correction can be as fatal as the original drift.
      Trump was my pick for 2016 because he spoke up for America rather than down to it. My estimation of him goes up almost daily. I do not envy him his choices. I do thank God we dodged the Hillary bullet, more so now than ever.
      Tom S.

    3. To compound this, we have a lot of medical "experts" who are repelled at using a drug that Trump endorsed. Hydroxychloroquine was also successful in 2013 at stopping the virus MERS in the test lab before MERS went away. At that time, Dr Fauci was 100% behind hydroxy. Fauci is a known Hillary supporter and now he's not very excited by hydroxy; he's actually poo-pooed it. Isn't that strange ?

    4. I meant to add that we need to be using hydroxy at the first sign of symptoms. I only know of one person in my community that caught covid and he wasn't treated with hydroxy (he's at Vanderbilt Hospital) and he's near death. I'm convinced liberals don't want to use hydroxy, even if people die.

    5. Interestingly, I just saw a poll of some sort that said only 18% of liberals would use HCQ. Remarkable, given what's actually known about it--including that in 2013 it was used against a related coronavirus.

      Over half of conservatives would use it.

    6. Titanbabe:
      I've read that same thing in comments from several doctors, some in the U.S. and some in Europe. Give it early, before patients require hospitalization, otherwise benefits are limited. Most particularly before ICU or intubation is needed. All the negative things I've read by doctors seem to indicate they only use it as a last resort. A hail Mary. Exactly the opposite of what those that claim success with it recommend.
      Tom S.

  2. I would daresay that the average person had never heard of “herd immunity” until the anti-vaxxers started moving measles back from being a well-controlled disease to one that could again run rampant. It was explained (though the minds of the anti-vaxxers I have known slammed shut long ago) that the great number of vaccinated persons had ended up protecting even the anti-vaxxers from that highly-contagious disease. Herd immunity. It was also explained that a drop in the numbers (percentage) of vaccinated persons, would detract from or possibly remove the herd immunity that had existed. And the measles would return...

    I have never heard of “herd immunity” in relation to a very ugly virus, with no vaccine, like COVID-19. I seriously doubt that many who bandy “herd immunity” about even know what it really is.

  3. So many conservatives are buying into the idea that there's a simple solution if only we disbelieve everything we read in the media. Usually it seems to be predicated on the idea--despite protestations--that this is really no more than the flu.

    Many of them are also the ones who believe vaccines cause conditions like autism, even though it has been shown to be largely due to genetics, and follow Alex Jones. The likelihood of them joining into any vaccine program with the intention of creating herd immunity is slim to none based on what I read at conservative sites.

  4. Why would I have any confidence in a study from Chinese scientists?