The Skeptics Guide #795 - Oct 3 2020
Host Stephen Avella joining me this week are Bob Davila everybody Cara Santa Maria Howdy Jane. Hey guys and Evan Bernstein good evening folks. So couple of milestones in in Hobart pandemic situation different than millstones go ahead. Yeah. So the the world surpassed one million deaths. Big How and that's the. Passed two. Thousand absolute disaster last week could we do that regularly? A. Two. Hundred four thousand hours. Yeah. It's about a thousand per day. So he has a few days ago and very little fanfare you know in the US about that nothing like the one hundred thousand I thought was a bigger news story than the two hundred co fatigue or are we? Becoming desensitized. I hope I don't worry. We'll. We'll have a big thing when we had five hundred. God we're not gosh I mean just because the news didn't go crazy on it doesn't mean that that number isn't affecting people in really pissing people off I think in general Steve where we are all completely exhausted by the news and everything that we hear in the news on a daily basis spent way too much and you just get to the point where Arcada glasses full and you can't really anything else in there. Yeah. You've got to do what I do now. Focus on Halloween that's. Trophies. Better. I will in all honesty one of the things that you do when there's a long term stressor in your life whatever that is you gotta give yourself. Mental. Holidays yeah absolutely. Yeah definitely. So absolutely by this, if you have a major way to distract yourself, do something fun take a vacation or just like tune out the news. Something to completely reset your mental battery store, do day in day out consuming the same stressful situation plus with the pandemic I haven't taken any vacation this year I mean like nobody. Just cancelled an awesome Disney trip for November. It. So in October, I'm going to take like long weekends. You know I'm going to take like Friday and Monday off like me twice maybe you know Thursday Friday Saturday so yes. Are To do and our boss basically told us. This is the fall in early winter is a good time to take a vacation because we we had mandatory no vacations over the through this summer. Right, because we had to make up for the shutdown, right, we had a backlog that we had to get through. We had extra days was extra work. No vacations. So I was like all right now is the time to take your vacation because when that second wave comes, we're going to be in the back to the same situation again. Big We're obviously don't know what's going to happen. That's the other thing gearing up for round two. You know because you can't guarantee. It's not going to happen at this point So I wrote today about herd immunity. Wanted to China a little bit about that immunity or mentality herd mentality. Very they signed similar. So. The basic concept is if enough people are immune to a specific infection than that, then that organism virus bacteria whatever doesn't have enough susceptible hosts to spread to and that shuts down community spread. Right. So that's the idea with vaccinations. You vaccinated enough people they have antibodies that render them resistant and infections can't spread or the spread it never gets beyond a very, very local. Local situation doesn't become an epidemic outbreak does not come become an epidemic and epidemic does not become a pandemic. That's the idea. What's the number of people you need to be have antibodies have resistance to achieve herd immunity it depends on the organism depends how contagious infectious it is. So it ranges anywhere from fifty to ninety, ninety, five percent right measles is highly contagious and you need something like ninety five percent to get really affected how heard immunity whereas other things lower right these are the questions surrounding covid nineteen and herd immunity. One is you know how contagious is it is the number we need to get to in order to have effective hurt immunity. The second is we'll vaccines effectively achieve that then third is will just the infection. Will the pandemic itself nap people becoming infected end surviving. Eventually get us to hurt immunity and that's one of the big controversial claim and the idea that some governments may be saying, well, let's just say on natural hurt immunity. and. Suitcase cropped up even in politics anything everyone's going to get it eventually get there, and then we'll we'll be. Out Great? Yes. which is not the thing to do by the way. So there's a recent study. This is what prompted. There's a recent study that looked at twenty eight thousand. People. A convenience sample people who were getting their blood drawn every month because they're on dialysis. So they were able to not only get data on a lot of people but follow them over time, and this is also was in forty six different states in the United States very broad sample and was demographically very representative as well although there was a slight underrepresentation of non Hispanic blacks but generally speaking was demographically pretty good and what they found was that averaging the entire country about nine point seven percent of people have antibodies, which is about ten times more than the number of people. who had confirmed cases so or nine point, three percent, the that means that even after seven million cases in two, hundred, five, thousand deaths we're at about nine point, three percent on our way to hurt immunity, which is going to be anywhere between fifty and ninety percent right. So basically, we're nowhere near it at the slow crawl. So if you extrapolate that would mean we would need between one and two million deaths right before we get to hurt natural herd immunity unaccepted not a good goal not a good path to get there. Now, there was a lot of regional differences. The northeast was the highest at somewhere between twenty six, twenty, seven percent New York state itself was about thirty, three percent. That's yeah. So the states that were really hit hard. A higher rate. So even New York state who was a hammered in the spring and we're most of our early deaths come from come from New York. They're not. They're not close to hurt immunity either and that was before we had like good social distancing measures before people had. Before like we all belong towns. Yeah. You were doing anything to try and prevent this or at least in the early stages the early. Yeah. The outbreak happened before we really knew what was going on. So the other way to look at this is how long would it take for us to get to hurt immunity? So at the current rate, it would take about three years right so that we really want this to simmer along for three years before we get to even the minimal level of potential herd immunity and it may be longer maybe four or five years well, it could be less we just had one massive orgy. That's. That's the thing you know. You're kidding but that's was my next point the other way to do. have. More cases quicker but that's exactly would increases the death rate. That's whole point of her. Has Overwhelms our healthcare systems and then you get not only higher rate of death from Kobe. Even Larry deaths because. Nobody can go to the hospital. So let's call that needless death because. To prevent that right so that that doesn't work. So letting this thing simmer for three to five years or Shooting up the death toll by trying to make it happen faster and in any case, having like a minimum of one to two million deaths before we get to natural her. None of these things are viable. Decide rable or ethical. Ethical. It's just his own, just not going to happen and and I haven't even included another variable. which is how long does immunity last? What if it lasts for three months which is? This point, that's all we can say it's at least three months, but we don't know if it's any longer than that. But let's say useless right let's say it's a year even a year. It'd be great right. If you're if you're getting a vaccine, you get one year and your immunity lasts for year and that's that's kind of what they're hoping for but the vaccine that's not. Exactly but let's say it takes you three years to have cases but immunities running out after a year or two years or even three years. The point is by the time you cut you come around again, the people are losing her their immunity who had it originally, and so you'll never get to hurt him immunity. That's you'll never get. Never. Get to this. You get to a steady state of people who are resistant to have antibodies or memory cells that can resist it and it never gets to hurt immunity because by the time you infect enough new people, the original people lost their immune. So it's never going to happen the or only hope our only hope is a vaccine is a vaccine and that view.