If you believe herd immunity is the answer when it comes to returning to normal, Louisiana would have an extremely long way to go.
If you dive deep enough into the world of COVID-19, or scroll a few times on Facebook, chances are you'll read about herd immunity. The exact definition of herd immunity is as follows: The resistance to the spread of a contagious disease within a population that results if a sufficiently high proportion of individuals are immune to the disease, especially through vaccination.
The level of vaccination needed to achieve herd immunity varies by disease but ranges from 83 to 94 percent.
Basically, if enough people in any given population become immune to a disease, they would act as a shield for those who are not immune, greatly reducing the spread of said disease. We've achieved heard immunity before, against diseases such as measles, mumps, polio, and chickenpox.
Naturally, as we enter what feels to be day one million in our battle against COVID-19, many people are suggesting herd immunity as a way to beat the virus and return to relative normalcy.
There's just one problem with that, we simply have a long way to go.
In Louisiana alone, we've seen nearly 78,000 COVID-19 cases. Compare that number to the population of Louisiana, and you'll see that herd immunity isn't even close to a solution... Yet.
With 4.6 Million people in the state of Louisiana, roughly 2% of our population has tested positive for the virus. For herd immunity to even come close to being a viable solution in our hunt for normalcy, that number would have to somehow grow towards 80%.
Granted, I'm just a radio DJ and certainly no expert in anything, much less something of this magnitude. Regional Public Health Director for Acadiana, Dr. Tina Stefanski, is an expert and this week she spoke about herd immunity. She says, "Herd immunity can only be achieved when upwards of 80 to 90-percent of people in a community, and we actually don’t know with this virus what that number would be, have recovered."
She also spoke about facemask-usage, saying, "The more people that wear face coverings in the public, we’ve learned from other countries that have done this successfully, what you do is then you have great compliance in the community then you drive down the level of transmission.”