I want to tell you a secret about coronavirus: “herd immunity” is a myth.
This so-called strategy against coronavirus is a fancy term for doing next-to-nothing. Herd immunity means letting the virus just run rampant until 70%+ of the population is infected.
The result would be a catastrophic number of deaths. Yet, President Trump’s now-favorite advisor on the virus, Dr. Scott Atlas, is a proponent of it.
As is Sweden. It took a lax approach to coronavirus restrictions. Yet, it is still far from herd immunity.
And thanks to researchers using genomic sequencing techniques, we now know that people can be reinfected with the coronavirus.
History is not on our side, either . . .
Human coronaviruses have not been known to produce herd immunity. They’ve infected humans for decades. Many of us have been infected by coronaviruses again and again over the course of our lives.
For proof, think about the HCoV-NL63 coronavirus . . . the common cold.
Human immunity to the cold virus is very short-term, a six-year study found. Some people were reinfected by the cold virus within three months.
This same study found that herd immunity to this cold virus was never acquired. The virus persisted for the entire six years of the study.
What we need to do is to acknowledge this risk of reinfection. We should forget about herd immunity.
We should do everything we can to develop a vaccine. It should not only be safe and effective, but one that factors in the possibility of reinfection.
We should also wear masks and follow other public health interventions until a vaccine is available.
It will be good practice for when another lethal coronavirus comes along.
The Big News
Century-Old TB Vaccine Shows Promise vs. Covid
Doctors in Greece wanted to find out whether the TB vaccine would protect older people from viral infections. The study found that during the year after receiving the TB shot, the group vaccinated had 80% fewer serious respiratory viral infections than the unvaccinated group. This study is a sign that some existing vaccines could have broad beneficial effects against Covid-19
Russia Sells Controversial Vaccine to 10 Countries
Some countries are desperate for a Covid vaccine. Any vaccine apparently will do. Russia has made deals to sell its very controversial Covid-19 vaccine to more than 10 countries. These include Brazil, India and Saudi Arabia. The shot was approved by Russian authorities in August after small-scale tests on a mere 76 volunteers. Trials on 40,000 volunteers did begin in late August.
Cruise Lines Look to Set Sail
Cruise companies hope to set sail again after a long halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines said Monday they submitted a report to the CDC detailing 74 steps for health and safety. The protocols included enhanced sanitation practices, controlling shore excursions and better protection for crew members. Cruise operators’ stocks have lost about half to two-thirds of their value so far this year.
Healthcare Stocks Take a Hit
Uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act dragged down healthcare company shares. Stocks including Centene, HCA Services and Universal Health Services fell yesterday. Justice Ginsburg had been a staunch defender of Obamacare. Her death has Wall Street analysts lowering their forecasts for companies that benefit from the law’s “individual mandate.” This mandate could be struck down in a case that the Supreme Court will hear in November.
The Autumn Surge Has Begun
The fall surge of coronavirus that public health experts had feared has started. The number of new daily confirmed cases in the U.S. jumped more than 15% in the past 10 days. It is the sharpest increase in cases since the late spring.
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The Coronavirus Numbers
U.S. daily coronavirus cases has again climbed over 50,000.
Here are the numbers from Tuesday at 8 a.m. E.T. from Johns Hopkins University:
- 31,346,086 Infected Worldwide
- 965,294 Deaths
- 6,858,130 Infected in the U.S.
- 199,890 Deaths in the U.S.
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The stock market and the coronavirus remind me of two trains rushing towards each other on the same track.
The coronavirus does not care about economics or politics. Its sole purpose is spread by infecting people.
The stock market does not care about the effects of the coronavirus. Its sole purpose is to, apparently, take the Fed’s money and bid up the prices of technology stocks.
Will these two ‘trains’ collide?
No one knows, of course. So, stay tuned.
For now, it looks like the current trend will continue. That means technology stocks and IPOs remain at the forefront of investors’ attention.
Yours in Health & Wealth,