Handling the Coronavirus

May 2, 2020 Updated: May 8, 2020

We know from decades of medical science that infection itself allows people to generate an immune response—including ­antibodies—­so that the infection is controlled throughout the population by “herd immunity.” Indeed, that is the main purpose of widespread immunization for other viral diseases—­to assist with population immunity. In this virus, we know that medical care is not even necessary for the vast majority of people who are infected. It is so mild that half of infected people are asymptomatic, shown in early data from the Diamond Princess ship, and then in Iceland and Italy. 

This has been falsely portrayed as a problem requiring mass isolation. In fact, infected people without severe illness are the immediately available vehicle for establishing widespread immunity. By transmitting the virus to others in the low-risk group who then generate antibodies, they block the network of pathways toward the most vulnerable people, ultimately ending the threat. Extending whole-population isolation would directly prevent that widespread immunity from developing.

Scott W. Atlas, M.D., is a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and the former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.