We need to try herd immunity

We need to try herd immunity while sheltering and quarantining the elderly/susceptible of course. The argument that antibodies are won't last long enough is completely irrelevant. The actually important thing is having the memory cells that can help pump out new antibodies as soon as you are exposed again. Why the idea of herd immunity has been so vilified is shocking and probably political, scientists agree on it and it has NOT been disproven in anyway. The fact that college campuses and bars are closed is a complete mistake. People depressed, suicidal, and abusive. We need to open up.

P.S: I can't wait to see how the narrative changes after the election

Comments (252)

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  • Associate 2 in RE - Comm
Oct 28, 2020 - 12:49pm

We are at a politicized point where Democrats want to lockdown/implement restrictions at any sign of increased cases (regardless of hospitalization or death trends), and Republicans want to conitnue to open up/stay open.


Personally, I don't think restrictions or lockdowns work. Even if you get everything down to just 1 single case, it will just spread again. I have been a registered democrat for 12 years now, I hate Trump, but this election I am voting for him simply on this issue alone. 

Oct 28, 2020 - 12:56pm

That's a misguided vote.  trump's position is that he doesn't care if people die, downplay it until he get's reelected.  That's a different position from a well thought out plan to tackle the virus.  The dude may have died if he weren't president with access to the best care in the world.

  • Associate 2 in RE - Comm
Oct 28, 2020 - 1:03pm

But my point is there is no way to tackle the virus. Look at Europe, they did "everything right" to tackle the virus and are in the same spot as they were in April.


Unless you advocate for absolute shutdowns and tracking like China, I'm not sure why you think we can control this thing. We should live with it and move on, like every other risk in life.

Oct 28, 2020 - 1:05pm

I'm not sure what you mean about my comment. If you believe that everyone should get sick, you're free to try, but I'll sit this one out.  What would I suggest?... I'd suggest we wear masks and follow the protocol.  Many other countries have managed the pandemic better than we have, so there are things we could be doing.  There's no "lockdown" where I live, just capacity restraints on bars restaurants and large gatherings like sports.  Even without the constraints, I don't see full capacity happening until this is controlled.

Oct 28, 2020 - 3:50pm


The fact that we are still locked down in certain parts of the country after figuring out how non-lethal this disease is, is a complete joke

You're a complete joke for having a mindset like this. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Oct 28, 2020 - 2:26pm

You don't have to lock down the economy and quarantine if you wear masks and social distance when possible.

Those Koreans have been wearing masks and and social distancing since day 1 and they never shut down their economy. Also having the fastest economic recovery despite their shitty borderline socialist and authoritarian wannabe president.

Oct 29, 2020 - 6:49pm

More specifically, it is the collectivist nature of east Asian cultures as opposed to individualistic aspects of Western cultures that emphasizes sacrifice for the societal good.

I think it is important to note, that both natures have their upsides and downsides, but right now we're really seeing an upside of collectivism at an extreme, and a downside of individualism at an extreme.

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Oct 28, 2020 - 2:26pm

Agree with most of what's been written here. It's all "omg case counts are spiking" while the media conveniently doesn't mention deaths are not. It's absurd. Very interested to see if the narrative changes if Biden wins. Can't tell if the media will generally not report on it as much and people will start getting back closer to normal since it's not being shoved in their faces every 5 seconds, or if he will try to impose European style lockdowns.  

Oct 28, 2020 - 2:55pm

I live in Europe and felt the same throughout the summer: open everything up, this virus is non-sense. I was the first one back in the office early June, while most companies never fully brought their employees back.


But look at what's happening in Europe right now. Lockdown about to be announced in France. Spain, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Belgium have all closed down many industries/services already. Hospitals are already out of beds. Expect the same, but worse in the US within the next month. Worse because people in Europe have been wearing a mask and practicing social distancing since May, while that's still not being done everywhere in the US. 


Virus might feel far away and non-deadly right now. It's not. Hospitals will be at capacity very soon, and it's going to be a shitshow till summer. 


Oct 28, 2020 - 3:21pm

This topic is anti science.  Medical experts suggest herd immunity is a bad strategy.  Thanks but I am going to go with the views of medical experts.  Democrats locking down all over the place is a myth hyped up by Fox News and its followers.  Most people are working, social distancing and wearing masks.  If you want to go to a packed bar or stadium, I am sure you will find states who will accommodate your needs.

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Oct 28, 2020 - 4:13pm

Never a good time for a pandemic, but I think COVID hitting in an election year exacerbated the crisis (and subsequent divide). The health of the economy correlates with an incumbent staying in power. Lockdowns and economic restrictions decimated the economy, which is obviously terrible for Trump's re-election chances, and he's acted accordingly (anti-science, anti-lockdown, open things up and get the economy back on track ASAP views), while it's been politically expedient for Democrats to take the more cautious route and say we should listen to doctors and adhere to lockdowns and social distancing, regardless of the economic fallout.

America's response has been worse than practically any other country in the world, and the parties trying to boost their re-election chances has played a huge part.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Oct 28, 2020 - 4:53pm

People seem to be having a hard time accepting that this is nearly out of our control. So far there has been no correlation of outcome (cases, death) with policy and there is a peer reviewed study around to that effect. All we can do is wash our hands, stay distanced when we can, and continue to live life. Protect the vulnerable, but other than that...it is what it is. 

Oct 28, 2020 - 5:57pm

Herd immunity is a tricky thing to pull off. In an ideal world it'd be best but circumstantially it can only work when certain conditions are met.

Covid in the US has been highly politicized by both parties and there are so much misinformation everywhere. 

But IMO, herd immunity isn't really a valid option for the US (at least at the beginning of COVID). Rather, slightly lesser version of herd immunity, the idea of "flattening the curve" was the right approach. As for now, I believe that certain states, especially the New England ones, are well set up to do herd immunity but certainly not in states like CA, FL, TX, etc...

Anyways, so what are those factors?

1) Hospital Accessibility (number of hospital beds available, available medical equipment, number of doctors and nurses, etc..). Anything that has to do with the supply of medical care.

2) Distribution of how healthy the population is.

3) Administrative capabilities/effectiveness of the governments and hospitals (communication efficiency, organizational structural efficiencies, etc...)

If you're week on some combinations of these 3 factors, then herd immunity can easily backfire - disease not being controlled, hospitals being overwhelmed, and etc... 

Here's a case study of US vs SWEDEN VS Korea.


1) Among the 3 countries, US is the worst. No need to elaborate. Not enough docs, not enoughbhospitals, not enough equipment. Hospitals were very quickly overwhelmed during the beginning of COVID.

2) Again, the US loses. It has the highest obesity rates, Americans get the least amount of exercise, and many already have existing conditions.

3) Again complete crap. Almost nothing is digitized. Even government public health organizations don't have much data sharing among each other nor with hospitals. Hospital administrative capabilities are pretty crap. Due to ginormous bureaucracies and operational inefficiencies, number of patients that can be seen per doctor is the lowest among 3 countries.


1) Solid healthcare. Enough doctors, enough hospitals, enough equipment.

2) pretty healthy people compared to Americans 

3) digitized everything. Their governments are actually efficient and government workers motivated, which is FUCKING crazy. Government and private enterprises actually have an established communication channel. Centralized government allows smooth coordination of efforts.


1) Probably the place with one of the highest numbers of hospitals and doctors per capita among OECD nations. Solid Healthcare quality. If you've been there, you'll know. There are literally hospitals EVERYWHERE.

2) healthier than Americans. Pretty healthy in general.

3) Long tradition of focus on government efficiency. Had lots communication channels set up btw government agencies and private enterprises to coordinate efforts. Governments and hospitals are 100% digitized. 



Oct 28, 2020 - 5:59pm

remember when people thought smoking and second-hand smoke was fine?

lots of arguments here. hot take, we can bitch about this all we want right now but we may not know the true outcome of this pandemic for 30-50 years. sure, herd immunity might work, but are you willing to risk unknown long-term effects? all the young people who don't need hospitals or ventilators and are asymptomatic...maybe most will be fine. i sure as shit don't want to be in my 70s dragging a metal oxygen tank behind me though, so i'm taking the precautions that suit me best. i also sure as shit don't want to live my life inside forever so it'd be nice if we could all get on the same page because this thread is a representation of what's wrong with the way the pandemic has been handled thus far. 

Oct 28, 2020 - 7:42pm

Fudge, I wrote a giant thing but the website crashed on me.


Read the atlantic article from Ed Yong called Immunology is where intuition goes to die. It does a pretty good job at highlighting the difference between someone in the field and someone outside having an opinion.

So I wrote a ton before but I'll make this version shorter. Herd immunity by quarantining and sheltering the elderly/susceptible is logistically impossible. It'd cost way more than lockdowns as it'd require way more specialized expertise. Also we don't have enough confidence in what a susceptible population is at this time. So you've presented us with an impossible scenario as the alternative is.

Secondly, herd immunity achieved through natural infection has come at incredible economic/human costs. We are so close to a vaccine that it'd be asinine to try not to jiggle with lockdowns to tide us over until then. Immunity achieved through vaccination is also generally better because it ensures a robust immune response in most patients whereas that is not automatically true for natural infections.


If you have specific questions about why things make sense or don't, feel free to ask. But I share that first link with you because the answer is most likely "it depends".

Oct 28, 2020 - 6:49pm

I mean, I have relatives who are at high risk so I'm kind of opposed there. However, herd immunity would probably have gotten us to the end quicker if we did it at the start. I still think its a bad idea. 200k people died even during quarantine. I am amazed at how people are so quick to throw them to the wayside, it's pretty gross. But we aren't doing it now. Get the idea out of your head completely. We're too close to vaccines, and the people who don't want to take them can just try their luck, and if they die, they die. But Mr. Michael Thomas, you should be focused on getting back on the field, not COVID.

Oct 28, 2020 - 11:55pm

Pfizer/Biontech may read out topline results as early as January, with AstraZeneca/Oxford and looking more like February, and Moderna (who I don't have as much faith in--they're doing neat stuff, just don't trust them as much for this kind of vaccine and its needed scalability) could see probably sometime in Q2. J&J has one too but idk when that will start reading out. I would imagine Q2 as well. I would budget six months for early availability to more in-need groups, but after that, manufacturing should be up to speed. They're shooting for 60-70% efficacy, which is actually good for a vaccine, even though it sounds low. A rate like that helps flush out disease by eliminating points of contact and stopping its spread, even if some vaccinated people get sick at first.

Oct 28, 2020 - 7:06pm

To everyone here who has the answers: what do we do? Seems like no country really has things perfectly under control. You point to country or state X and say "wow look at them!" a few months later things change there, so on and so forth. It is what it is. It is a pandemic. Show me the states you feel performed best...bet NY gets named, they did a fantastic job. Most deaths and some of the highest unemployment in the country. 

  • VP in IB - Gen
Oct 28, 2020 - 8:03pm

So far, about 10% of the US population has been infected. Oh, you think it's actually higher than that? Fine, let's say 20%. For herd immunity, you need 60-70% of the population infected. This would result in 2-3 million deaths. And hundreds of thousands of people would die each year after that. The common flu has been around for 100+ years literally and we still have 30,000-40,000 deaths per year from. Some victims are surprisingly young.

Next, it's a misconception that only old people are dying. Do you know how many "young" people have underlying conditions? Diabetes. High blood pressure. STIs. What makes you think you won't ever develop underlying conditions, like millions of young people actually do? Yes, if you are young and healthy, you will live 99.5% of the time. But that doesn't mean you won't potentially get hospitalized. Which brings me to...

Hospitalization. This is a bigger problem then the deaths themselves. The US probably has some of the highest quality health care, but we don't have enough capacity to take care of millions of sick patients all at once. If hospitals get overfilled, people with non-COVID emergencies won't get treatment either. 

We also don't know if personal immunity is permanent. It could wear off. Or your body may get weaker everytime you get infected. How about long-term organ damage? Even if we don't know a 100% about these things, still not worth the risk/reward IMO. 

We don't know what the implications are if get the flu + COVID. Old people will most probably die if you get both the flu and COVID at the same time. 

Don't you have some Excel modelling to do instead? Stay in your lane and let the medical professionals handle their area of expertise. I'm in healthcare IB, I literally deal with healthcare professionals all day for a living.

I'm a bachelor living in NYC for fuck's sake. Think I enjoy being cooped up everyday? NO! I want to smoke/drink/rock-out-with-my-cock-out. I've lost 1 year of my prime. But we're dealing with mother nature who has every advantage over us humans. You want shit to be open again?! It would be a YUUUGE fucking help if everyone just wore mask. But noooo, it's unconstitutional/unfree/un-American/blah blah blah. Newsflash, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Oct 30, 2020 - 7:10pm

We have never had over taxed hospitals. None, zero.  Not even in NYC.   Helath care has struggled mostly due to deferred health treatment for other issues - many rural hospitals in fiscal crises.  We need to target the at-risk and let the rest of us get on with it.  Why are lefties wetting themselves about this?  Man-up.


Oct 28, 2020 - 11:00pm

Europe right now is proof that lockdowns do nothing to help the long term aside from delay the inevitable. Everyone was praising countries like Italy for their strict lockdowns and now look at them. They even reopened slowly and the shit still spread.

Biden also has no plan. All he does is spew the same non sense about masks. Here in NYC/NJ everyone is wearing masks. I have yet to be in a grocery store or wherever where I have seen someone without one yet we are now spiking.

Look, it's by all means a real virus, but at the end of the day, it's a virus. It's going to spread. There are 35M reported flu cases in the US per year alone and that is with a vaccine. And don't even get me started on the data being released. If anyone actually believes these case numbers to be accurate I don't know what the hell to tell you. NFL had 4 false positives from rapid testing a couple weeks ago. Now extrapolate that to the entire fucking US who is taking a rapid test 35x a week for work/travel/ or whatever.

Oct 28, 2020 - 11:42pm

You conveniently omitted that deaths from the flu is 30,000-40,000 per year WITHOUT any precautions (except a vaccine which isn't effective for everyone nor taken by everyone). That's still kind of high IMO, and that's despite that the flu has been around for over a century, so most of us have developed immunity.

US deaths from COVID are 230,000+ in LESS than a year. Sure there's no vaccine yet, but we don't know when that will be, how effective, and how many people will take (especially in the beginning). Keep in mind that the largest, most major cities-- NYC, SF, LA, Chicago, are still offline (people still WFH, no mass transit, restaurant/bar restrictions, etc.), otherwise hospitalizations and deaths would be through the roof.

Herd immunity would be painfully harmful. I can assure you that people of all ages won't all feel safe and comfortable, therefore the economy won't be the same anyway. If we go through with it, there's no going back. Didn't work out all that well for Sweden. And unlike chickenpox or something, immunity to COVID isn't "one and done". There could be long-term organ damage. Even if that's not right (we don't know for sure yet), that's a pretty big risk.  

Oct 29, 2020 - 8:16am

Deaths with Covid, or deaths FROM Covid? There's a big difference. 

Didn't work out well for Sweden? What? Have you looked at their data? They never locked down and they're doing fine.

So if immunity to CoVid isn't "one and done", then a vaccine won't work. What are you proposing here, everyone hides inside forever?


Oct 28, 2020 - 11:21pm

Why is it polarizing to admit that...maybe...just maybe...both sides have some merit in their positions?

You should *probably* wear a mask to keep cases down before we get quality therapeutics or a vaccine.
You should *probably* not want business owners--who have sacrificed their entire value on earth to build a business --to shut down.

The political narrative behind COVID is more infectious than the virus. I don't care who wins the election--but the divisive nonsense eradicating common sense needs to end immediately.

Oct 28, 2020 - 11:53pm

I like your comment. The problem is that for the plan to work (i.e. mask up), virtually everyone has to cooperate. Trump is literally the reason that people won't comply. 

Everyone who advocates wearing a mask says that by doing so, we can keep our economy open and going. But somehow, wearing a mask is an infringement on freedom and sign of weakness to some. Earlier in the year, some 37 year old pushed an old lady when she told him to put on a mask at Costco. That's what we're dealing with here. 

Oct 29, 2020 - 12:02am

Wouldn't you agree that most people aren't that asshat you saw on the news? And that most people want, and will do, what is best for most people, until this thing is over with? Trump or not...most people want what is best for their neighbor. Doesn't mean a piss to me whether or not they are an obnoxious orange face from New York or a braindead moron from Scranton (?) as president.

To me it's aggressive to say that Trump is "the reason people won't comply." I wear a mask when I go to bars...am I a part of the problem? I think most people...pandemic or not...value their liberty and freedom over most things. Yet, most decent people would sacrifice a little of that to make sure their neighbor is healthy. Where that line is drawn, I don't think it's up to politicians. It's just people being people. The same as the asshole who won't return his cart at the grocery store. Some are decent, some suck.

Which are most?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 29, 2020 - 3:36am

300,000,000 Americans * .6 (60% of population had Covid and is now immune, experts say it should be 70 but I'm being generous) *.02 (death rate is 2.5% in the us, so I'm underestimating) = 3.6 million deaths. About the population of Connecticut or Chicago + Austin. That would decimate the country and the economy. Not looking good unless you're in the casket making business.

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