Viral Infections and Herd Immunity

 

Here is a piece I did on 5/2/20 and published on YouTube.

 

Hello,

Do you ever wonder why the death counts in influenza or coronavirus, go up, reach a peak, and then come down?  What’s going on here? 

Did the virus just get tired and decide to stop killing people? 

No.

Did the virus decide to take the day off and go to the movies? 

No.

When a new virus enters a virgin population, there are no infected people. As the virus spreads throughout the population, more people become infected. One would naturally think that the virus would eventually infect everyone because more people are infected, but it doesn’t. 

Why? 

It doesn’t because as more people become infected, they, after one week, stop spreading the disease, become immune and therefore thus less likely to spread the virus. In other words, there is a counter force called immunity that naturally opposes a virus and its ability to infect people.

Now of course, there is a short lag time of about a week.  The virus enters the body and sets up shop.  Immediately the body begins to produce antibodies to fight the infection.  The infection may be, depending upon the individual, asymptomatic, mildly symptomatic, or severely symptomatic.  Regardless the average amount of time of contagiousness is about a week.  

So what you get is a parabola effect on a graph if you plot out the number of people infected or the number of people who die.  It is similar to throwing a baseball in the air; only in the case of the baseball, it is gravity that is the opposing force.

Now, do these graphs signify that everybody has become infected with the virus?

No.

Do these graphs signify that everybody who can die, has died?  

No.

The graphs are only a reflection of what has happened. The virus does not follow the graph; the graph follows the virus. The virus came first; the graph came second.

The virus entered the population, infected many people, killed many people, then left.

The number of infections, and consequently the number of deaths slowed down because immunity had developed. We call this herd immunity.

Herd immunity is the naturally occurring opposing force, like gravity, that takes a virus down.  

If this force, herd immunity, was not there, the virus would have continued to infect and kill people. But it did not.

This is the principal reason why a particular strain of influenza dies out each year only to have a slightly different strain of influenza, produced by antigenic drift, arise the next year.

Why doesn’t the same identical strain recur the following year?  Because of herd immunity that developed the prior year.  Had herd immunity not developed, the virus would have continued to infect and kill people.  Instead the virus stopped and mutated.

Note:   I’m not saying that the same identical strain can’t hang around and infect a few people the following year.   Principally, antigenic drift occurs to produce a new predominating strain (or sub-strain).

Thus, herd immunity is not some phenomenon that is far off in the future. Herd immunity develops right then and there as the virus tears through the population.

Note:  Put aside the technical definition that herd immunity occurs at that point at which the disease does not propagate. I reject that definition as misleading.

This is important to understand because conventional wisdom today convinces people that herd immunity cannot be developed for coronavirus.

I disagree.

But then, I don’t disagree. 

I don’t disagree because Dr. Fauci decided to sequester huge segments of the population in their houses. These people were thus not exposed to the coronavirus. He essentially created a sanctuary of virgins who will be available to become infected with the coronavirus next year. In other words, by failing to allow herd immunity to develop naturally, he has relegated us to another year of becoming infected with coronavirus.

Why did this happen? It happened because Dr. Fauci and his colleague Bill Gates mistakenly played the game on paper instead of in the real world.  They became convinced that lowering the R0 value was the key to beating coronavirus.

What were they thinking? Were they thinking that a vaccine could be developed within six months?  Did they place too much confidence in their own abilities or in the technical prowess of our modern society?

If so, they would be in good company with the White Star Line and Mr. Bruce Ismay.

If you stare at a graph long enough, you will begin to think that the graph is reality. You will begin to think that the graph came first. But the graph didn’t come first.  The virus came first.

If you believe that the graph is reality, you will make policy and decisions based upon the graph, not the real event. 

This is dangerous.  Instead of operating in the real world based upon what the virus is really doing, you operate in the world of the graph and begin to manipulate parameters within the graph in order to change things in the real world.

Robert McNamara did this in Vietnam.  He viewed war as a statistical game. If we kill so many people in such and such a time frame, we will win the war.

By focusing on statistics, he took his mind away from real events –  the people who were involved in the war, what they were doing and what their motivations were.  

So yes, McNamara killed a lot of people. But the number of Vietnamese were infinite compared to our forces.  And so they would retreat into the jungle to sequester themselves to fight another day. In time they would wear down our forces mentally.

To return to the case of the coronavirus, you don’t win the war by lowering an R0 value.  A virus does not know what an R0 value is.  

Dr. Fauci and Bill Gates have lowered the R0  value and have thus suppressed the virus’s ability to infect.  But they have done this by creating sanctuaries of virgins who will be available to become infected next year.

Let’s do a side by side comparison.

 

Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 6.34.30 AM

 

This analogy is entirely valid because Robert McNamara had many disciples who moved into healthcare. In fact it is McNamara’s disciples who are responsible for much of the nonsense and policy in our healthcare system today. Alain Enthoven was a McNamara disciple.  He was the father of managed care.  Other disciples moved into other areas of healthcare and disease management.  They will all prove to be just as wrong as Robert McNamara.

* * *

I have spoken before of the definition that epidemiologists have given to herd immunity.  They define it as that percentage of the population that you need to prevent propagation of infection.  The problem with that definition is several-fold.  1) it focuses you on a number.  2) it entices you to believe that there is no herd immunity until that point is reached.

The current batch of epidemiologists that we have are like Robert McNamara –  they are calculus happy. They’re geeks. They look at metrics (a phony word if ever there was one), not people, not motivations, not real world situations.

This coronavirus issue is not a problem can be solved on paper.

* * *

Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 6.34.42 AM

 

Okay, why was the coronavirus contained this year?  Why did the new deaths and new cases go down?   Isn’t that indicative that herd immunity developed?  Yes, herd immunity developed to a certain degree, but not to the fullest degree that it should have.  And that is because Dr. Fauci locked people up in their homes.  Once these people are released from their homes and then included with the functional population, effective herd immunity in the population goes down.  Thus, we’re sunk.

 

Screen Shot 2020-07-15 at 6.34.53 AM

 

Sincerely,

Archer Crosley, MD

McAllen, TX 78501

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Copyright 2020   Archer Crosley   All Rights Reserved

 

Support Donation

Did you like the column? How about a buck? Thanks much.

$1.00

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s