Herd Immunity

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

(Cartoonist - Nick Anderson)

In other news, Senator Bernie Sanders officially endorsed Joe Biden for president today.

Meanwhile, Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari says predictions that the economy would swiftly recover beginning in the third quarter were wrong and the economy could see multiple shutdowns over time.

“This could be a long, hard road that we have ahead of us until we get to either an effective therapy or a vaccine,” he said, according to a CBS transcript. “It’s hard for me to see a V-shaped recovery under that scenario.” [...]

“We could have these waves of flare-ups, controls, flare-ups and controls until we actually get a therapy or a vaccine,” Kashkari said.

Finally, this is concerning -- World Health Organization (WHO) officials say not everyone infected by COVID-19 actually develops immunity to it when they recover.

World Health Organization officials said Monday not all people who recover from the coronavirus have the antibodies to fight a second infection, raising concern that patients may not develop immunity after surviving Covid-19.

A preliminary study of patients in Shanghai found that some patients had “no detectable antibody response” while others had a very high response, said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s lead scientist on Covid-19. Whether the patients who had a strong antibody response were immune to a second infection is “a separate question,” she added.

  • muselet

    Kevin Drum has had a feeling for some time that Sars-Co-V2 is behaving … oddly. Not triggering an immune response on a second exposure is certainly odd.

    I repeat what I’ve said before: this is not the zombie apocalypse and we’re not all gonna die. (Okay, yes, sure, fine, I was a wee optimistic about just how no-foolin’ dangerous this bloody virus is and missed the shelter-in-place bit, but otherwise wash your hands, avoid crowds, wash your hands, don’t let anyone sneeze on you, wash your hands, stay a couple of meters from your fellow humans, wash your hands isn’t far off the advice Anthony Fauci dispenses.)

    The Spock-like part of me is utterly fascinated by a virus that behaves oddly. The rest of me just wants to eradicate it (I believe the appropriate meme is, “Kill it! Kill it with fire!”).


    • katanahamon

      Part of the problem is in testing..some of the tests are depending on the same responses that other members of the corona family give in human blood, And, we don’t have any idea just how inaccurate the various testing kits are. Unless there is a uniform test, testing the same, verifiable antibody response to exactly what is causing this disease we simply don’t have a handle on this thing. What’s really killing me is the public not stringing Rump up by his ..toes for this. His behavior has gotten so far out that we might as well be a banana republic. It’s sickening. The incompetence, the obvious loss of institutional knowledge we have been bemoaning has now become an immediate catastrophe with Americans dying every day directly due to the willful incompetence of Rump.

      • muselet

        Absolutely, a reliable, universal serology test (looking for antibodies in the blood) is vitally important in getting a handle on this disease. What various countries are using now are tests for viral RNA, which is to say we’re testing for exposure, not (maybe, if we’re very lucky) potential immunity. A serological test will come in due course, just not today.

        Another important component in beating the virus is contact tracing: who’s been in contact with someone who’s been exposed (and is therefore potentially infectious). Apple and Google are working on an app to do just that, but without some sort of testing widely and freely (both meanings of that word) available, the app would do little except keep track of where you are.

        As for Donald Trump, he boobed the response to Sars-Co-V2 from Day 1 and has done little better since, mostly because he doesn’t trust expertise. The US has been extraordinarily lucky not to have an infection curve like Spain’s, given how haphazard our response has been.

        Getting rid of Trump in November will be good for public health, among so many other things.


        • Christopher Foxx

          mostly because he doesn’t trust expertise

          Because it shows just how in-expert he is by comparison.