Essential American Wisdom

Herd immunity and the Religion of Math and Science

Herd immunity (also called herd effect, community immunity, population immunity, or social immunity) is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through previous infections or vaccination, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune. In a population in which a large proportion of individuals possess immunity, such people being unlikely to contribute to disease transmission, chains of infection are more likely to be disrupted, which either stops or slows the spread of disease. The greater the proportion of immune individuals in a community, the smaller the probability that non-immune individuals will come into contact with an infectious individual, helping to shield non-immune individuals from infection.
Theory: a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.
There’s a lot of jubilation, or consternation, depending on your political bent concerning the “back-to-work theory” of national health vs the “continued lock-down, social distancing theory” of national health now percolating among Americans about our current health crisis. This is because of the advent of the “herd immunity” theory that might go to explain why places such as California has such a low mortality rate versus the other densely-populous states in America, such as New York.
It really is staggering when you adjust the death rates to populations, and then bring them all together as measured in deaths/per 1000:
(Based on official CDC death rates 4/11/2020, 7 AM)
                                                                                      Pop        Deaths        Rate
                                                        NEW YORK    19,850,000    7847    .39 per 1000
                                                        NEW JERSEY  9,000,000    1932     .21 per 1000
                                                        MICHIGAN       9,996,000     1281    .13 per 1000
                                                        MASS               6,900,000       599    .087 per 1000
                                                        CALIFORNIA   39,500,000     547    .014 per 1000
Compare:  US mortality rate/1000 (327 million) for 30,000 deaths in any category, from disease to auto deaths: .092
New York State is more than 4X the national average, while California is 6 1/2 times less.
These are just the top six states in deaths, but California’s rate places them low in the second tier of the states when measured by deaths/per 1000.  Which may also be why they are not so readily available.
You have to do your own math, and ask your own questions. But answering why this is so is as much a philosophical question of logic as it is a scientific question of math and probability.
In short, none of these numbers are entirely accurate. Nor can they be entirely. The American numbers are all gathered by the American Center for Disease Control, CDC, while the worldwide numbers are reported by the World Health Organization, WHO, neither of which are aligned the moral and philosophical purposes of AmericaBoth of these national and super-national organizations have their own professional and political agenda to pursue, so report data that is most favorable to their purposes, while, since we know this to be often, often report nothing at all if the data could be harmful to their purposes. (I’m being kind here.)
Virtually all the data I’ve provided here, and available to be seen at the Worldwide Corona-Virus chart has passed through their hands before publishing. All you see is what they have told us. You are on your own in trying to ascertain the things have not told you. In another period of history an alert and sympathetic media would have asked many of those questions in your behalf.
Moreover, in the United States every reporting agency to the national CDC collection agency has their own political and scientific agendas, i.e, state and city governments. Even hospital associations. For instance, showing high numbers, more often than not mean more “rescue dollars”. Or that a high death rate among certain low-income minority groups could mean hundreds of million of “rescue dollar” where the kick-back to middle-man politicians can be range as high as 40%.
And while death totals are easily available, those that serve as proof of the science models are most preferred, especially evidence that might contradict their models have to be dug for by third parties, such as the number of recoveries (which many states don’t report at all). For instance, we know, because the CDC has said so, that many deaths have been reported as Corona-caused without testing or verification, and the states had been instructed (or Okayed) to report them as Corona-deaths. Since this is so prevalent, private 3rd Party statisticians cannot be sure just how many people have actually died from this virus, or know many of the dead  were ever tested for it. Just observable respiratory ailments are often sufficient, which incidentally, I’ve suffered from the 20 years and 3 months since moving to Virginia.
(Should I keel over today I know that I too will be rung up in the CDC’s Corona Book of Casualties, in part because my wife, a retired state health department nurse, would insist on it, for, in her eyes it would be a mark of valor;  me charging up Pork Chop Hill into a hail of corona-fire, not to mention the Gold Star in her crown simply because it was her infallible state health department who said that’s what the enemy was firing in the first place.).
But there I go again.
What we COULD KNOW, but so far has not seen reported, is how many of those deaths were to people over 60, or 65, or even 70 years of age, and how many had other pre-existing ailments along with the virus…if anyone even bothered to test for it. This could account for 60%-80% of the deaths from this pandemic.
And as noted, I expect we will SOON KNOW is how many African-Americans, the same very same ones who are never allowed to vote, or are at least violently suppressed from doing so have also fallen victim. I lok for numbers on that by next week’s end, as the House prepares a new relief package, which, if they can’t get it, no one will be allowed to get anything.
What I can know, and do know, is that the dozens of retired black factory workers I have come to know and be befriended by the past several years will not be among the fallen. Many of them, no doubt, especially in St Louis, Detroit and Chicago, can’t be contacted or verified because they have been voting from the grave since 1956.
Yes, it has already become political.
I could go on like this for several more pages, just to prove that no one in government really knows what’s important to you, or us, except YOU or US. The best they can do is have a theory based on what they think is good for us and then try to sell it, by hoping we will also believe it, based on the possibility we are ignorant, but more likely because we are afraid.
The entire modeling theory of this virus, as articulated by its most ardent supporters in government and academe, is based on just that, theory; not provable fact. As a trial defense lawyer I dealt with this sort of theorizing weekly as matter of course for several years. But so did my opposing counsel, the prosecutor. We both had theories of the case, mostly based on interpretations of law and prior judicial decisions (just like Science does), since only about 10% of our cases ever made it to a contested trial. 90% of the criminal cases were”settled out of court”, usually after a deal had been struck reducing the sentence. But in those other 10% it was court-room shillelagh law from both sides, a judge keeping away from the other’s throat, then allowing the jury to decide. I never lost a case I took to the jury, from rape to “peeing on the sidewalk”, which for many in the Army was a career-ending, court-martial offense. And in each case I had to arrive at a different theory of the case, as well as a different interpretation (aka theory) of the morality and practicality of the case.
I have some sense of the variations in acquiring, reporting and assessing data from that perspective.
You see, there is a transcendental element to this virus issue, for much like religion, it can be passed from one person to another, sometimes without the other knowing, so when the “virus” takes up residence in the host, a totally new and different person emerges; better, healthier, even immune to the invasions of that Ol’ Clootie virus, from outside.
This is one way to look at herd immunity.
But Herd Immunity, as defined above, while very appealing, is still just a theory. Every element of it is theoretical, for every element can be explained by other theories, such as the difference in winter-spring air temperatures in California versus the seasonal air temps in the northern Midwest and Northeast. Even the George Carlin immunity theory of California having so many people living in pure filth could explain this, backed-up by a 70-year old retired medical professional friend, Sam, living in central Arizona, who now spends his days digging in dirt, hand-broadcasting fresh cow manure over a 2000 sq ft irrigated parcel along the Verde River. He says, as Carlin also said in the 1990s, with many more f-bombs than are safe to repeat here,, that Americans have lived such sterile lives the past half century that our immune systems are very under-developed.
I can attest to Sam’s theory to the extent that the first cigarette I’d ever smoked I picked up from the sidewalk in front of a store because it was still lit, when I was 14. For 30 years cigarettes never made me cough. Inside one month Virginia did.
None of the elements of this Hidden Immunity or any CDC model can be “proved” scientifically. They are all just theories. Still, Rush Limbaugh is really pushing this theory, and it has merit.
But some of the other theories are dead wrong. And there’s the rub. Like religion, some are the pure work of the Devil, but it takes a certain kind of philosophical discernment to know it.
In the end we are the one’s who decide. Not Donald Trump. Certainly not Dr’s Fauci or Birx nor that Marxist Ethiopian terrorist at the UN.
And not any governor.
Only the people can decide, and we only have to let the President, and our several governors know our decision…preferably by the 17th…so I can pay a wager to a certain writer-friend at . so we can join other citizens in the street who will take to the streets when our Governor Northem and his Administration tell President Trump “No.”

Vassar Bushmills

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