Experts Now Believe What?
Another day, another expert figuring out that the non-experts have been right for over a year:
Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe
Widely circulating coronavirus variants and persistent hesitancy about vaccines will keep the goal out of reach. The virus is here to stay, but vaccinating the most vulnerable may be enough to restore normalcy.
Early in the pandemic, when vaccines for the coronavirus were still just a glimmer on the horizon, the term “herd immunity” came to signify the endgame: the point when enough Americans would be protected from the virus so we could be rid of the pathogen and reclaim our lives.
Now, more than half of adults in the United States have been inoculated with at least one dose of a vaccine. But daily vaccination rates are slipping, and there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable — at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever.
Instead, they are coming to the conclusion that rather than making a long-promised exit, the virus will most likely become a manageable threat that will continue to circulate in the United States for years to come, still causing hospitalizations and deaths but in much smaller numbers.
“The virus is unlikely to go away,” said Rustom Antia, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University in Atlanta. “But we want to do all we can to check that it’s likely to become a mild infection.”
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the Biden administration’s top adviser on Covid-19, acknowledged the shift in experts’ thinking.“
People were getting confused and thinking you’re never going to get the infections down until you reach this mystical level of herd immunity, whatever that number is,” he said.“
That’s why we stopped using herd immunity in the classic sense,” he added. “I’m saying: Forget that for a second. You vaccinate enough people, the infections are going to go down.”
By focusing on vaccinating the most vulnerable, the United States has already brought those numbers down sharply. If the vaccination levels of that group continue to rise, the expectation is that over time the coronavirus may become seasonal, like the flu, and affect mostly the young and healthy.
Over the long term — a generation or two — the goal is to transition the new coronavirus to become more like its cousins that cause common colds. That would mean the first infection is early in childhood, and subsequent infections are mild because of partial protection, even if immunity wanes.
Some unknown proportion of people with mild cases may go on to experience debilitating symptoms for weeks or months — a syndrome called “long Covid” — but they are unlikely to overwhelm the health care system.“
The vast majority of the mortality and of the stress on the health care system comes from people with a few particular conditions, and especially people who are over 60,” Dr. Lipsitch said. “If we can protect those people against severe illness and death, then we will have turned Covid from a society disrupter to a regular infectious disease.”
Ignoring the constant push for vaccination throughout the article (which, given another year, will also turn out to be false expert advice), we come to the conclusion:
- We won’t reach herd immunity ever.
- The only people that get super sick are over 60.
- We should focus on safeguarding the elderly and the sick. Not the rest of the population.
- “Long covid” will not be a thing for the vast majority of people.
- COVID will become like the common cold.
- The virus will not just go away from a vaccine.
All of which were things that they said to us were conspiracy theories.
But they are now telling to us, like we didn’t already figure it out a year ago when we initially had the data. Like we forgot that they said all of this was a conspiracy theory and that we are anti-science.
Now apparently, since they said it, it’s science again. And to believe what they initially believed, is anti-science.
Why don’t you just trust the experts, already?