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Is herd immunity the best way to beat coronavirus? Show more Show less

As governments have struggled to kill the spread of the coronavirus, policies have varied. Herd immunity - followed by countries including Sweden - has come under scrutiny. The strategy assumes a large section of the population will inevitably be infected whatever is done. Rather than enforce lockdown measures, herd immunity encourages social distancing in public places. The aim is to have as many low-risk people infected as possible. Immune people cannot infect others. Therefore, the more there are, the faster we kill its exponential growth, and the easier it will be to treat the vulnerable. The WHO has criticised the approach, as have many others. Is the Swedish government correct?

Herd immunity will not work Show more Show less

This approach to the coronavirus pandemic is counterproductive, foolhardy and dangerous.
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Some people have gotten the coronavirus twice

Because there is no evidence that proves that people gain antibodies after being infected by the coronavirus, being infected with it twice is a possibility.
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Context

The Argument

There have been some cases where people have caught coronavirus twice. Usually, patients are tested twice within a 24-hour period to see if there are still signs of the virus in their body.[1] In others, patients who were released after recovering from the virus returned to the hospital with the virus again. If certain people can catch coronavirus twice, it could suggest that immunity against the virus doesn’t exist.[2] Therefore, herd immunity would not be an available option to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Counter arguments

The cases of people who have caught the coronavirus twice has not been proven. According to the CDC located in South Korea, the reason why the tests come out as positive is because there are weakened amounts of the virus still present in the body, creating false positives.[3] Unless the coronavirus started mutating, there would be no threat of catching it a second time.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Patients are tested for the virus before they are released from the hospital. [P2] There have been cases where people have come back to the hospital because they caught the virus again. [P3] There is no chance immunity against the coronavirus.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] The cases where people have caught the coronavirus twice have not been proven as being a threat to stopping the spread of the virus.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/can-you-get-coronavirus-twice
  2. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8231669/There-no-evidence-people-survived-coronavirus-immunity-warns.html
  3. https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-scientists-conclude-people-cannot-be-infected-twice-11981721
This page was last edited on Monday, 25 May 2020 at 13:49 UTC