Letter to the Editor

COVID-19 herd immunity

Thursday, July 23, 2020

I researched what it would take to reach COVID-19 herd immunity.

To reach the herd immunity threshold for COVID-19 (if COVID-19 infection creates long-lasting immunity which is yet to be determined) experts estimate that 70% of U.S. population or 200+ million people would have to recover from COVID-19 to halt the epidemic. Currently weíre at 1.2% or 3.9+ million. Doing the math with 7/21/20 numbers, it will take 9+ years, 227,817,046 more cases with 2,676,274 more deaths to reach herd immunity. This is just for the US not the world.

70% of 331,116,287 population = 231,781,401 herd immunity threshold.

3,973,801 current cases + 227,807,600 more cases = 231,781,401 herd immunity threshold.

227,807,600 / 68,263 7-day moving avg of new cases = 3,337 more days (9+ yrs) to reach herd immunity threshold.

Using the 7 day moving average of 802 daily deaths x 3,337 days = 2,676,274 more deaths added to current 144,050 deaths for total of 2,820,324 deaths.

If the current status is unsustainable, what is 9+ more years of the same? Even with no new pandemics, natural disasters or other global/national emergencies/conflicts, the healthcare industry and the economy will collapse years before that.

Vaccines are the best solution but only if people get vaccinated. Until vaccines are available we have to live with COVID-19 and try not to get infected/spread it. There are few tools for that, fortunately they are readily available to all. #1 most critical is to social distance. Also, wash hands often, wear a mask if you canít social distance, monitor your health and stay home if sick. That combined with leadership to successfully test, trace and treat the virus will let healthy people go to work/school while sick people recover as needed before returning to work/school. Be the Gatekeeper to your face and protect it as that is how COVID-19 gets in the body. Itís up to each one of us. Our country has risen to challenges before that require much more sacrifice and effort. We can do this.

Sidenote: So happy SoS Paul Pate will send mail in ballot request forms (not the ballots themselves) for the general election to all registered voters.

ó Diane Smith, Spencer