Coronavirus

COVID-19 Herd Immunity Is 'Still Very Far Away'

Studies from several countries find low infection rates.

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The toll of confirmed coronavirus diagnoses and COVID-19 deaths continues to rise daily, but researchers know that lots of mild or asymptomatic infections are going undetected. Without knowing how many actual infections are out there, public health officials don't have a good way to calculate just how deadly the virus is.

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finally got around to announcing that it was launching a study to find out what percentage of Americans have been infected by the virus. The CDC study will test blood donors in 25 major metropolitan areas for antibodies that people's immune systems produce in response to COVID-19 infections.

While the CDC has been dawdling, researchers in other countries have been conducting antibody tests. They are now reporting their preliminary findings. Overall, only a relatively small percentage have produced antibodies to the microbe, which means that most people remain at risk of being infected.

Let's start with Sweden. You may have heard claims that enough Swedes had been infected that the country—or at least the area around Stockholm—was approaching the threshold for herd immunity. This assertion appears to have been premature.

Herd immunity is the resistance to a contagion that results if a sufficiently high proportion of a population is immune to the illness. Some people are still susceptible, but they are surrounded by immune indviduals, who serve as a barrier preventing the microbes from reaching them. Most epidemiologists estimate that the threshold for herd immunity for COVID-19 is somewhere around 70 percent of the population.

On May 20, the Swedish public health authorities published a preliminary estimate, based on antibody tests in April, that 7.3 percent of Stockholm residents had been infected with the disease, with an overall national rate of around 5 percent. Given the current number of deaths attributed to COVID-19, the yields a roughly calculated national infection fatality rate (IFR) of 0.78 percent and one for Stockholm of 1.1 percent.

A preprint of an Italian study released on May 11 tries to figure out the what percentage of people in the Milan metropolitan region were already infected by the virus from late February to early April. They saw a gradual increase, eventually reaching an estimated 7.1 percent of the Milan region's population. That yields a regional rate of over 2.2 percent.

Spain's reported rate of infection is similar to Sweden's: Researchers at the Carlos III Health Institute estimate that "5 percent of the population has been infected, with variability according to provinces." Spain's national IFR is around 1.2 percent.

A team of French epidemiologists have estimated in Science that 4.4 percent of that country's population has been infected by the virus. The French IFR is about 1 percent.

On May 20, Denmark's State Serum Institute reported the very preliminary results of antibody testing conducted in six cities. They estimate that about 1.1 percent of Danes have been infected. The researchers stress that "the figures must be taken with caution and interpreted with great caution." Their estimate will be further refined as more testing is rolled out. The Danish IFR is approximately 0.88 percent. 

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health lowered on May 18 its estimate of the percentage of Norwegians who have been infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus from 1 percent to between 0.58 and 0.73 percent. Norway's national IFR is believed to be about 0.6 percent. 

All of these studies report considerable variability between the regions within each countries, a point emphasized recently by my Reason colleague Jacob Sullum with respect regional diversity in the United States.

That being said, the main takeaway from these studies is that, as the Norwegian Institute of Public Health put it, "the much discussed herd immunity appears to be still very far away."

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75 responses to “COVID-19 Herd Immunity Is 'Still Very Far Away'

  1. 1. The best way to achieve herd immunity is to keep everyone locked in their houses.

    2. Herd immunity comes from exposure to the virus, but it is too risky to be exposed, because there is no herd immunity.

    3. Therefore, we need to stay home until we can figure out a way to forcibly vaccinate everyone against a virus what has so far amounted to the common cold.

    1. “against a virus what has so far amounted to the common cold”

      Thank goodness bigoted conservatives tend to be so poorly educated and belligerently ignorant; this has made it easier for the liberal-libertarian mainstream to stomp right-wingers in the American culture war.

      Pandemic management pointers from clingers are always a special treat.

      1. Living life is bigotry because a trailer trash hick whose ancestors fucked their slaves developed a political conscience after dating a half-black girl one time in community college — and then discovering she was actually your sister.

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      2. In my area of the country, the northern third of California, there have been 11 deaths in a population of 1.2 million. That’s about 1 per 100,000, vs New York’s 146 per 100,000. Or a morbidity rate of 0.001, somewhat less than the 0.5 predicted recently, or the 2.4 initial prediction. In a normal year, flu has a morbidity of about 0.1.

      3. Pneumonia is often a follow on to the common cold for elderly at risk patients. He is right dummy.

        1. It is. I worked in a SNF for 10 years. We see death every year from yes colds and flu. And this one is the same with different symptoms. There is a syndrome that appears to be caused in some. The difference is that virus alone isn’t killing people. Something is quite fishy when hospice patients on my service get OVER Covid

      4. As often as I disagree with the Rev, the virus ain’t no cold. Although only 10-15% of people have bad reactions, those are really, really awful experiences. The flu usually knocks me back into bed for 5 days, but virus survivors usually have 2-4 week ordeals. Even otherwise strong, healthy, young people are brought low for an extended period.

        Herd immunity infection rate is unknown, and could be much lower than 70% mentioned here. I’m happy with opening up everything, but we ain’t going out until the coast is clear because we have two immunocompromised in the family. If others want to take their chances, that’s their right.

        1. “virus survivors usually have 2-4 week ordeals. ”

          You forgot the word some. Estimates that at least a third dont even know they have it. Many are mild symptoms. The worst flu cases can also be bad.

          1. You miss the 10-15%?

          2. I think the term “virus survivor” suggests it wasn’t mild.
            Although there are probably some melodramatic instagram influences out there who might benefit from calling themselves a “virus survivor” after a mild case of it.

        2. The virus ain’t no cold? For most people, it is.

          I had SARS-COV-2. Lab confirmed. Tested for antibodies. First week, mild cough, scratchy throat. Second week, one day of fever, some weakness, a cough, and a tapering off. By week three, I was 100%. Even during the two weeks I was sick, I jogged, and kept up with my regular workout routine, although there was one day when I felt quite nauseas and did not leave the house. Hot showers every morning to loosen the phlegm (which I do everyday in any events), tea, and rest in the evening (going to bed at 10:00 P.M. instead of my usual 12-1:00 A.M).

          Compared to every other cold/flu I’ve had in my life, this was nothing out of the ordinary. If I did not know there was a pandemic, I would never have gone to the doctor, I would never have gotten tested, and I would have simply taken a few days off work when my coughing was disruptive (to others, not me).

          I live in NYC and I know many, many people that also tested positive and everyone was 100% within a week or two. Exactly like a cold/flu.

          1. Same here.

            1. My seasonal allergies are fucking me up more right now. I’ll take a mild cough for a week or two over several months of swollen eyes and congestion. I’ll make that trade any day.

              Seems to me that everyone crying about the “deadly” coronavirus is just regurgitating headlines and statistics they don’t fully understand, and irrationally terrifying themselves.

              1. I am very glad you recovered without issue. I mean that sincerely.

                A family member of mine died from it.

                1. That sucks. Sorry to hear that.

      5. So Arty, what ARE your academic credentials? What learned positions have you held? As far as I’ve observed, I have a superior academic background, and tangible career accomplishments. You don’t.

        Same goes for nearly all the commentariat. Seriously Arty, you come off as one massively uneducated idiot that regurgitates Media Matters talking points and claims superiority without the slightest justification.

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    2. virus what has so far amounted to the common cold.

      Actually, 7% after 12 weeks is uncommonly low for the flu.

  2. Doesn’t that mean that it’s not as contagious as feared which is a good thing?

    1. Look at Pollyanna trying to infer good news about an affliction that reputable scientists say will kill half the planet if we don’t hide.

    2. Flu’s IFR is around 0.1, I think. Current estimates make coronavirus much worse, but they keep coming down, so no telling what the final results will be.

      1. But that’s because it’s (projected) prevalence is so much higher.

        7% after 12 weeks is an exceedingly mild flu season. 20-30% is more typical.

        1. This is apples and oranges though. If we locked down every flu season, we might expect to only have 7% after 12 weeks.

          Yet Sweden, who did not lock down is still lower than common flu season, so who knows…

          1. This is apples and oranges though.

            The more I hear this, the more I’m convinced it’s a zombie metaphor. The phrase makes more sense as a euphemism for “You can’t contrast to highly analogous things.” like “You can’t compare Donald Trump the TV Personality to President Trump.” but it gets used as “You can’t compare or analogize two completely different things.” In which case, something more like “You can’t compare cherries and watermelon.” or “You can’t compare peanuts and coconuts.” or even “You can’t compare cherries and cherry danishes.” would make more sense.

            If we locked down every flu season, we might expect to only have 7% after 12 weeks.

            See above, we’re talking about two fleshy fruit with multiple seeds in the middle. We have flu seasons where, after 12 weeks, only ~7% have contracted it, without lockdown, now.

            1. It’s like comparing apples and heroine vending machines? Woo hoo I updated it and made it more libritarian

  3. First, isn’t it kind of remarkable to the mainstream epidemiologists that the virus has spread so little without lockdowns? What is the explanation there?

    Second, regarding herd immunity, I think there is some evidence that it might occur at a much lower percentage infected than the naive calculation suggests due to the dynamics of how people interact with each other.

    1. Herd immunity threshold is a function of the R0, so if either the disease is not that contagious, or people behave in a way to reduce how contagious it is, then the herd immunity threshold lowers.

      However, if it’s due to behavior then if behavior changes the R0 will increase, meaning we’re chasing herd immunity.

      1. That wasn’t my point. My point was assumptions regarding the homogeneity of behavior (as noted below). If you violate the assumption that people homogeneously mix, then the R0 -> herd immunity threshold calculation you are familiar with doesn’t actually work.

      2. if it’s due to behavior then if behavior changes the R0 will increase

        R0 will change. Whether it increases or not depends on the behavioral change and several to (potentially) dozens of other factors.

      3. R0 is not a constant.

    2. Yeah, that 70% number assumes the population homogeneously mixes, which is patently unrealistic.

      It’s worth pointing out that historically pandemics never achieve more than ~25% infection rate. Which suggests the ‘standard’ herd immunity calculations are horribly wrong, at least for pandemics.

      1. I would love to see a source for this claim. I’m not being snarky — I’d like to be able to refer colleagues to it.

        1. Which claim? That the models assume homogeneous mixing? Or that historical pandemics only ever achieve ~25% infection rate?

          The former: Just check their models. But the standard method of calculating herd immunity threshhold from R0 assumes homogeneous mixing because the math implicitly assumes that anyone can catch it from anyone else. (You’d need a much more involved model with any other assumption, because you’d have different ‘population pools’). It’s mathematically obvious if you know anything about modeling.

          The latter:
          -NIH ballparks 1918’s H1N1 at 1/3 world population (note that’s an off-the-cuff claim with significant rounding, but nowhere close to 70%). US estimates I’ve seen place it around 24-28% of the US population.

          -H2N2 (1957). 17% global infection rate (WHO, easily found cited on wikipedia’s influenza pandemic page). Approximately 25% US infection rate (cited in a Reason article https://reason.com/2020/03/31/how-will-coronavirus-pandemic-deaths-compare-to-the-1957-flu-pandemic/)

          -H3N2 (1968). 14% global infection rate (WHO, same source). It hit the US harder than most places. I’d need to go digging a bit to see if i can dig up a US infection rate again. (I’m pretty sure i saw one in the 20-25% ballpark for the US, but I don’t remember where).

      2. Which suggests the ‘standard’ herd immunity calculations are horribly wrong, at least for pandemics.

        Yes. When 1 in 3 people who contract the virus, at any age, die because of the virus, stats like IFR don’t matter as much and more abstract physical concepts like R0 make sense. When 1 in 3 people exposed to the virus will ever test positive then the ‘science’ fundamentally shifts from virology and epidemiology to epistemology; from who got the disease and who will die to “How do we know who’s positive?” and “Define ‘died of COVID'”.

        The fact that we’re having the latter conversations makes it patently clear we aren’t suffering the 1918 pandemic we were modeled and sold.

    3. isn’t it kind of remarkable to the mainstream epidemiologists that the virus has spread so little without lockdowns? What is the explanation there?

      If I were to guess, one big reason why it didn’t spread so much is because institutions of the elderly got hit early and first. The elderly are not kids. They really aren’t RO transmission vectors but more the end of the line. Just ain’t many superspreaders in that group. For that pop, transmission is more back and forth between medical personnel and other elderly and medical and elderly and medical. Because the disease hit that pop pretty hard and quickly, even families were not really infected by their parents/grands.

      That’ll change in round two where there will be more places like the ski resorts here in CO or Mardi Gras or particularly venal employers like meat processors. It will be more like a regular endemic virus that’s already here because now it is.

      1. As an aside. The Korea example (trying to use a country that has been competent rather than the slew of countries that are so incompetent that you can’t discover anything because everything contributes to the problem) gave a good indication of how the virus spreads. For the first six weeks or so there, contagion really was limited to a church/cult and to the city where they were. It was leaking out a bit and enough to be worrying. But the real contagion was limited to people who were known to each other – not to random strangers and casual contact. That really does tell me it is droplet based not aerosol based. People who don’t automatically recoil when you cough or sneeze or occasionally spit-talk.

  4. We have a reasonable guess at a death count.

    If this disease is incredibly deadly, it isn’t very contagious.

    If this disease is incredibly contagious, it isn’t very deadly.

    If it was both, more people would be dead.

    1. Second wave, sir.

      1. We can’t do a wave in an empty stadium

      2. Amateur. Newsome is already hyping the third wave.

        1. Which wave is Al Toffler on?

    2. and if we ever do get a flu that is both contagious and deadly, it’s game over given the level of institutional disdain and incompetence we’re experiencing with this one.

      1. That’s the sad fact.

      2. and if we ever do get a flu that is both contagious and deadly, it’s game over given the level of institutional disdain and incompetence we’re experiencing with this one.

        Has there ever been a pandemic that was averted thanks to math?

        I’m not saying you specifically are a subscribing member but there’s this prevalent subtext of a cult that seems to believe that if we science hard enough locking people up for pre-crime or pre-pandemic is the right answer or morally justified.

        1. I don’t believe I subscribe to that cult.
          My point is we’re lucky that only about ~100k expendables have died from this because we don’t have an institutional playbook for how to contain it in a smart way. Lacking that, Top Men have resorted to using Karenesque techniques instead because they must do something because some people are dying [insert link to Remy video here]. That incompetence is leading to disdainful push back, and people aren’t doing things that they really should be doing to keep the body count down. In this plague, I don’t care if you don’t wash your hands and rub cooties on your face that puts yourself at risk – that’s your choice. Just apply the NAP and stay home if you’re feeling sick, don’t cough in my general direction whether or not you’re feeling sick, and yeah, stay out of my space and I’ll stay out of yours if we’re going to be in the same area for an extended period of time. That seems to be too much to ask, which is why I think we’re screwed if the SuperDuperFlu comes next. Top Men will fail us again because they aren’t learning from this one and we’ll fail each other. Sad

          1. “people aren’t doing things that they really should be doing to keep the body count down. In this plague, I don’t care if you don’t wash your hands and rub cooties on your face that puts yourself at risk – that’s your choice. Just apply the NAP and stay home if you’re feeling sick, don’t cough in my general direction whether or not you’re feeling sick, and yeah, stay out of my space and I’ll stay out of yours if we’re going to be in the same area for an extended period of time. That seems to be too much to ask”

            Really?
            I haven’t seen any such behavior.
            I’ve seen not-sick people behaving as they normally do, but I haven’t seen sick people trying to spread their illness…

            1. Dr Brix reports that 35% are sick but don’t display symptoms. Good for them, but they are spreading the virus during that time – and that time they are spreading the virus is longer than people who do have symptoms because of they don’t know they are sick.
              If you’re in the 35% group, you’re still infecting others. Get it? So don’t cough in my general direction whether or not you’re feeling sick, and yeah, stay out of my space and I’ll stay out of yours if we’re going to be in the same area for an extended period of time.
              You are proving my point. Thanks

              1. This statement: “Dr Brix reports that 35% are sick but don’t display symptoms…”

                Does not imply this following statement from you: “…but they are spreading the virus during that time – and that time they are spreading the virus is longer than people who do have symptoms because of they don’t know they are sick.”

                You would need to show that asymptomatic infected people have sufficient viral concentrations that they are exuding virulent droplets or other emissions, which AFAIK, hasn’t been shown. Someone may very easily be infected, asymptomatic, yet not have sufficient concentrations of the virus that they can give it to other people. The suspected cases of asymptomatic transmission of COVID we thought were proof of asymptomatic transmission, like the Chinese lady to those Germans in her business meeting, keep getting debunked.

                1. “Does not imply this following statement from you”
                  I was parroting what I heard Dr Birx say today about asymptomatic patients. Maybe she’s full of shit, but she seems to be a credible source of knowledge on the topic to me.

          2. We are at 100k because certain states thought it was bigoted to focus testing and protections for elderly patients in nursing homes.

          3. I don’t believe I subscribe to that cult.

            Maybe, maybe not. From where I sit, you’ve all got similar haircuts and are wearing similar goofy bowties.

            My point is we’re lucky that only about ~100k expendables have died from this because we don’t have an institutional playbook for how to contain it in a smart way.

            This assumes that containment is always the smart policy and that there is, or can be, a relatively singular playbook for everyone to follow.

            Again, you may not be a member of the cult but it sounds like you may’ve uttered the ‘Do something! Not nothing!’ prayer a time or two.

            1. Nah, I’m not part of the ‘just do something’ crowd

        2. This is exactly right. The idea that we can “beat” a virus if only we model harder and force the results of their little Sim City games on real people is a fucking farce.

          None of what they’re doing is science.

  5. Imperial College’s Covid-19 code is quite possibly the worst production code I have ever seen.

    https://thecritic.co.uk/a-series-of-tubes/
    Why does this chronic problem arise? Because of the secondary problem sometimes called “publish or perish”. It is actually better for one’s career to publish a result quickly, from one of these aforementioned unverified codes, and then just say in a future paper “oh, yeah, due to a bug, night is actually day”.

    So not only is there no reward for good coding, there is actually a perverse incentive to not worry too much about the quality of one’s code at all. And that’s before we talk about writing tests. Worse, spending time fixing or improving a code is not only not rewarded, but by reducing one’s output of impactful papers, it actually has a negative effect on career prospects. In other words, the status quo rewards the production of incomprehensibly dreadful codes like the ICL one, and would actively punish anyone who spent a period of time trying to make it better.

    This could be fixed if academics published their codes. But a few minor exceptions aside, there is no compulsion to do so from journals. And there is little internal incentive to do so either — all the more so if others can then see just how bad things are. The narrative around the ICL group’s model in March would have been very different had this code been published with it, after all.

    But it must be fixed. There must be an expectation that when the results of a model are published, the tool used to produce them is too.

    1. Feature, not bug. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    2. That “worst production code I have ever seen” is actually what’s left after a team of competent programmers — including John “freaking computer god” Carmack massaged it for several months (currently standing at 347 (!) commits and counting).

      That team has so far refused to release the original code, which must be orders of magnitude worse.

    3. This isn’t widely known/understood?

      Obviously, not every piece of code written in academia is abysmal but I was under the impression that academic code (outside computer science and maybe some engineering) was generally regarded as haphazard, kludged together, internally (and externally) untested and unverified, unfit for public consumption and otherwise worthless outside of its respective fiefdom.

      My general experience was that, unless someone had published something walking through the code line by line, which was rare, anybody up to and including suicidally disgruntled 6th yr. doctoral candidates could’ve contributed any amount of skulduggery they wanted to and, as long as it didn’t crash the program at every launch, would continue to be used until someone realized it was doing something it shouldn’t be.

    4. IHME isnt far behind.

    5. The code reminds me of an American institute of physics quote. “we were off by 39 orders of magnitude”

  6. Shouldn’t the level be dependent on people’s behavior? If people are washing their hands and staying apart, the infection rate (R0) is lower than if they are not. That means that the number of people that need to be immune can be lower.

    For example, in Hawaii, there have been decreasing number of COVID-19 cases since mid March (before government mandates) and the majority of the infections have been people contracting the virus while out of the state. However, only .05% of the population has tested positive. That suggests that less than one person was infected in the state by every person that was infected. A lot of that is probably because of the year round summer weather with temperatures above 80F, plenty of sun, and high humidity (rain + sun = rainbow state).

    We really are just talking about different ways to reduce the infection rate. Anywhere the cases are decreasing over time has achieved herd immunity. But, it is not a permanent state. If it gets cold or people stop washing the immunity could go away.

    1. Yes, and that’s a HUGE oversight in this consideration. In almost every country that had an outbreak start in February/ early March, the effective reproduction rate is around or below 1 (as indicated by active cases holding steady or decreasing). This has remained the case even as mobility has increased (https://www.apple.com/covid19/mobility). This indicates that herd immunity is actually quite close, presuming people remain cautious in their behaviors.

      The sad part is, if that were the message, it would encourage people to stay cautious. But the message has bifurcated into two messages: the “it’s no big deal, huff people’s saliva if you want to” message and the “OMG STAY INDOORS FOR THE REST OF TIME” message. Both, I think, degrade cautiousness overall. The former directly, the second via fatigue.

  7. That’s the flip-side – either CV is VERY virulent, meaning the mortality rate is far lower than the government and media “scary numbers” say, or it is NOT very virulent, and while the mortality rate is correct, it is very hard to pass along via casual public interactions.

    Pick A or B, but neither case supports the egregious, knee-jerk, highly destructive actions recommended by public health “experts” and put in place by the governments they advise…

  8. Good thing that people are not sheep, right?

  9. So it’s not that contagious, then?

    1. Thank god bailey wasnt hyping up to 40% a few weeks back.

      1. You must not have gone outside. You haven’t seen the bodies stacked like cordwood along the side of the road. The carnage is indescribable. If only we had more testing!

        1. I’m in the epicenter, and … for fuck’s sake, you wouldn’t believe it … I see these old ass geezers in the street, NO MASKS, just fucking walking around in the sun, soaking it in.

          Selfish cunts.

  10. Now I know that not everyone in Sweden has gotten corona virus tested and not everyone there has had their blood tested either. But the population of Sweden is 10.23 million according to 2019 census counts. 5% of that is 511,500. The current number of coronavirus positive tests is 32,809. Now Im not no expert, but to me that shows that current corona virus tests are extremely faulty cuz the reports of current infected and those tested with swab tests vs blood test is incorrect. Why does no one else wonder why these things are so widely inaccurate and yet were making a huge deal over something we cant even tell if its serious or not? To me, every news article spouting drastically different information tells me that this whole things closer to being a giant hoax or some giant worldwide case of hypochondria. I understand the numbers will fluctuate cuz of this or that, but honestly its sounding more and more like horse shit.

  11. Is this story still going on? They say nearly 100k died from a virus while at the same time over a million In the us died from natural causes or accidents. Media didn’t go apeshit in the past but now it’s all about getting Biden lucent enough to win without insulting more black people. So the bullshit wins in American politics.

  12. Currently, India is facing huge cases of COvid-19 but we are thankful to the immune system that we have very high recovery rate of near about 50% which is too high for any country it is all due to hard work done by us. https://desixxx.in/

  13. A brief summary of drugs effective against Covid-19 to varying degrees:

    1. Hydroxychloroquine: (prevent cytokine storms, mild to moderate anti-viral effects)
    2. Zinc Sulfate: (“Enemy of all viruses) HCQ allows zinc to get into cells to disable viruses
    3. Azithromycin (Antibiotic with anti-viral properties)
    4. Doxycycline (No anti-viral properties, but reduces lung inflammation) use for people with QT extensions in their ECG
    5. Ivermectin: (Well-known anti parasite drug) with very powerful anti-Covid properties. There are NO contraindications. So far only ONE human study which showed 84% effective. Half life of 18 hours for each dose. Only one dose was provided for human study. Still very effective. (5 pills = adult dose)
    6. Human Covid-19 recovery plasma to provide antibodies from a previously infected source, each donation can help 4 patients: DONATE! DONATE! DONATE! If you have antibodies, I beg you.
    7. Laronlimab: Anti-viral No substantial unwanted side effects, fight and eliminate cytokine storms. Under active studies and very promising. Some doctors believe it also strongly INHIBITS Covid-19 virus, even if a Cytokine (RANTES) storm starts.
    8. Famotidine (well known H2 inhibitor for people with gastric over-acid secretion.) 2-fold decrease in risk of intubation/death. Still in testing stage. May work.
    9. Remdesivir: (Anti-viral) Less promising. Not overly exciting results so far
    WE HAVE NO GUARANTEE THAT ANY SPECIFIC DRUG WILL CURE A SPECIFIC PATIENT. Probably a drug “cocktail” or combination will work best. This has proven true with the HIV-AID’s virus. It has taken months to try to develop studies for these drugs. It remains a Hurculean task.
    It is MY opinion that MOST people can survive Covid-19 if their treatment is started early enough. Not ALL nursing home/extended care elderly patients can be saved, mostly because they develop and progress through the disease very quickly and have to be watched CLOSELY as they decompensate. Most of them are started on treatment TOO LATE to save. They decompensate too fast to get them into ventilation therapy.
    We have (and are getting more and more) effective treatments. We HAVE AMMUNITION in our belt. By the end of the year, I believe over 90% of Covid-19 patients can be saved, if identified and treated EARLY. Early treatment is very important in cancer too. This should be no surprise to anyone.
    Please try to IGNORE political rants against Hydroxychloroquine. It must be started EARLY to work. It should be given with zinc and Azithromycin.

    I actually AM a doctor. I operated patients during the HIV-AID’s epidemic. This is not my first epidemic. I am deeply concerned about the politicization of HCQ. I fear other drugs will also be politicized. Please note that MOST doctors are deeply worried about the shut-down. Please understand that treatment of this disease is NOT within my specialty. (Disclosures) I am also NOT an infectious disease specialist, even though I treated many serious infections sometimes with them, sometimes not.

    My brother killed himself with a handgun during the savings and loan crisis, due to depression over job loss WE HAVE TO END THE SHUTDOWN.

    It is overwhelmingly likely we will be able to SAVE you if you get Covid and get treatment quickly. I encourage you to look up information about these. With knowledge comes power and less fear. Even though I am an old man, I don’t have much fear. I know too much to have unreasoning fear. You are in control to control your fear. Don’t give power to others who have an agenda. Print this list and give it to your doctor. Ask your doctor which he/she prefers. You do not have to be “satisfied” if your doctor “only” gives you antibiotics. By all means PLEASE do your own research online.

    Sanjosemike (no longer in CA)
    Retired surgeon

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