While I appreciate and agree with many points in this article, the statement, "there’s never been a real case of herd immunity through infection," is egregiously incorrect. We have to look no further than a number of other respiratory viruses to find pathogens to which humans have acquired herd immunity naturally. Examples include the four known endemic human coronaviruses, HCoV-229E, -NL63, -OC43, and -HKU1 as well as parainfluenza virus and human metapneumovirus. The four endemic coronaviruses were likely causes pandemics or epidemics in the past. A fantastic article also from The Atlantic explains this concept well and can be found here:

https://medium.com/the-atlantic/the-coronavirus-is-never-going-away-1c48f40575d3

The interested reader is also welcome to take a look at a very similar story I wrote here for more clarity on how coronaviruses work.

https://medium.com/microbial-instincts/facing-three-fundamental-fears-about-the-coronavirus-261ba270f402

Lastly, I would like to emphasize that I am as hopeful as anyone that a safe and effective vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 is developed quickly. I also want to note that the concept of herd immunity is not an excuse or reason not to wear a mask, social distance, or try our best to protect one another especially the vulnerable.

Husband, Father, Health and science writer, Interpreter of medical jargon, Hospitalist physician, Board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store