A new CDC publication should clarify for everyone what was always true–you can’t stop a respiratory virus. Despite the warnings of some scientists, who were pilloried then and who should be apologized to and applauded now, the United States and most other countries undertook an absurd exercise in hubris. We were told by our public health experts that through testing and tracing, use of plastic barriers, social distancing, closing schools and businesses, wearing masks, even vaccination, we could limit the spread of CV-19. This was expensive and damaging to all aspects of our population’s lives. And it turns out it was completely useless. (CDC Study)
The study is based on seroprevalence work–that is, attempting to ascertain rates of infection by the presence of certain antibodies in the blood. There are several groups which have done ongoing surveys of this type. CDC compliled data from a few of these sources. An astounding 75% of children up to age 11, 74% of children aged 12 to 17 and 64% of adults aged 18 to 49 have been infected. 50% of those aged 50 to 64 and 33% of those over age 65 have been infected, according to this data. I would suspect undersampling of the older age groups, but the lower rates are consistent with generally lower social contact rates in those age groups as well as a likely much higher use of avoidance tactics, such as social isolation.
Looking at the childhood exposure rates makes it clear that it really is completely unnecessary and foolish to push for vaccinations of young children, especially given the risks of adverse events in these ages compared to the risks from CV-19. Research continues to show that CV-19 infection provides a superior adaptive immunity to that from vaccination.
But the big takeaway, which we probably won’t learn, is that we need to completely overhaul our public health agencies and we need to have a much clearer focus on total public health and well-being when addressing a respiratory virus epidemic and a greater appreciation of the limits of our abilities to impact the course of an epidemic.