The Balancing Act of Herd Immunity - Wealth vs Health

Harvard Suggest Intermittent Social Distancing Could Be More Effective

Harvard University researchers say an on-again, off-again approach to social distancing could be a more effective strategy to avoid overwhelming hospitals and to build herd immunity against the novel coronavirus — but other experts aren’t so sure.

An April study, conducted at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, championed intermittent social distancing — measures that are periodically reimposed when cases reach certain levels.

According to the researchers’ modeling, as long as social distancing occurred between 25 percent and 75 percent of the time, the world could both build immunity and keep the healthcare system from overloading.  Watch the video on this page.

Social distancing restrictions could be eased under various scenarios, according to the authors—if COVID-19 treatments become available, if hospitals can increase their intensive care bed capacity, if there’s aggressive contact tracing and quarantine, or if a vaccine is developed.
“I think social distancing interventions of some sort are going to have to continue, hopefully, lightened and in conjunction with other interventions,” said Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics and co-senior author of the study, in an April 14 article in STAT.

Here is a video explaining how the no lockdown strategy and accelerated "herd immunity" might be working in Sweden but also explains the risks.   Sweden prefers to use the term "transmission" for fear that they are perceived as giving up on fighting the disease.  Sweden's strategy would mean their death toll will be higher earlier and lower later as herd immunity is achieved.  Thus, Sweden would not likely experience a second wave of transmission in the fall and winter months.   



It also raises the question of how many people are actually following the stay at home orders
Here is a Twitter poll asking if Intermittent social distancing would be effective? 

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