HERD IMMUNITY – COVID-19 Update by John Duran – May, 12, 2020

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Daily Update for Tuesday, May 12, 2020

LA County Cases 32,258 (up from 31,677)
LA County Deaths 1569 (up from 1530)

HERD IMMUNITY

Each day, I start with the number of cases and deaths in LA County. I could have used any chart. I could have used worldwide figures. Or the national figures. Or the State of California. Or be limited to just the city of Weho.

And while all of those numbers are significant and important to follow – I chose our local LA County for analysis.

The City of West Hollywood number of 144 cases to date with a population of 36,000 seemed too limited in scope. And how can I focus on that number when the neighboring Melrose district of Los Angeles has 412 cases, the neighboring Hollywood district of Hollywood has 214 cases and neighboring Beverly Hills has 119 cases. The virus doesn’t recognize the boundaries of La Brea, Doheny, Sunset and Melrose. So I won’t either.

The State of California with 67,939 cases and 2,770 deaths seemed too wide in order to analyze and make decisions. One half of the deaths are all here in LA County. I know this county well having been born and raised here. So if half the state’s deaths are here in LA – if I focus here – it will help the State.

We are the most populous county in the nation with 88 separate cities – a true megapolis. I have friends scattered from the San Fernando to San Gabriel Valleys and from Long Beach to Pomona. Our freeways acts like veins and arteries – and can transmit the virus from one part of the county to the other – a distance of 50 miles within one hour – with just one infected driver in a car traveling down the 10 freeway.

So of those 32,258 cases in LA County – 5,437 persons have been hospitalized at some point. That means 17% ended up in the hospital and 83% DID NOT.

Here in LA County – 240,000 people have been tested for COVID19. So 13% have tested positive but 87% DID NOT.

Yesterday, 39 persons were reported dead because of COVID19. 33 of the 39 were over the age of 65. 22 of the 39 had underlying health conditions.

All this math matters. Why?

Because of we continue down this path of a slow and steady reopen while monitoring contagion across the county – it is quite possible that:

1. It is more likely that you and I will NOT get COVID19.
2. If we do, it is more likely that you and I will NOT go to the hospital.
3. If we do go to the hospital, it is more likely you and I will NOT die.

So with that in mind, what are you willing to do, to sacrifice, to assist with protecting the health of persons over the age of 65 or with pre-existing health conditions? Does her life matter as much as yours? Does he have family and friends who love him just like mine do? It seems more of a moral and ethical consideration of personal sacrifice for community well being rather than an existential one.

All the statistics and health care experts seem to indicate that we will continue along this path for months to come. There is a possibility of a resurgence in the Fall. What can I do to minimize the amount of human suffering and death in the place I call home – LA County. My town. My paradise. My home.

We are all giving way too much air time (pun intended) to the fear of dying from COVID19. And we are not giving enough attention to living in the presence of a microbe that will be here with us for months and maybe years to come.

People living with COVID 19. That’s who we are. Whether we are positive or negative. We are one communal body.

So many talk about wanting “herd immunity”. Yet – unwilling to do what a herd does. What do they do? When a herd of buffalo or elephant feel threatened by a predator – they place the sick, frail and young into the center of the pack for protection. And then they fight with horns and tusks out.

Want herd immunity? Then do what herd animals do. The strong always protect the weak. That’s you and me. Put them in the center. And fight! With science, reason and determination. Herd immunity does not just mean passively sitting back to see who lives and who dies.

Where have I heard this before? Oh yeah……….

WE THE PEOPLE, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the COMMON DEFENSE, promote the GENERAL WELFARE and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves AND OUR POSTERITY ……..

Herd instincts. From the Founders ….

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