Under 10% of US Population Has Coronavirus Antibodies
By Desmond Yu
Since lockdown/shelter-in-place began in California because of coronavirus on March 19, a lot of people speculated that the virus had been around since December. Theories and ideas have been in the air, such as the idea of herd immunity in the United States.
Despite the attention it gets, we aren’t close to a herd immunity. The data was part of a study done by The Lancet, and they looked at blood samples from 28,500 patients on dialysis in 46 states, the first nationwide analysis. The results were identical to the data released by the CDC (Center of Disease Control and Prevention), which found that only 10% of blood samples from the test had the coronavirus antibodies. That leaves 90% of the whole population of the United States vulnerable to COVID-19. This has proved valuable information because current President Trump, in collaboration with his new medical adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas, wants to reach herd immunity by cancelling lockdowns, mask-wearing campaigns and social-distancing requirements. The idea is thought to let the coronavirus wash through the population, while also trying to protect the vulnerable part of the population.
Health experts strongly disagree with the idea, stating that it would lead to hundreds of thousands more deaths, since a large portion of the country's population is elderly or has pre existing conditions.
The data shown by The Lancet had wide variances in antibody levels around the country. For instance, in the New York metropolitan area, including New Jersey, antibody levels were higher than 25 percent from the samples tested. However, in the western United States, it was only below 5 percent. Some states even had less than 1%. The takeaway from these data and antibody studies is that the vast majority of Americans are still susceptible to the virus and should continue to pre-cautions, such as wearing masks, staying home when sick, washing hands frequently, and staying six feet away from other individuals.
Even if we individuals are healthy and have a low chance of getting seriously ill or dying, we have to think about the vulnerable population. In the US, more than 133 million Americans, or 45 percent of the population of the United States, have at least one chronic condition. The CDC, Center of Disease Control, states “There are also other factors that can increase your risk for severe illness, such as having underlying medical conditions”. Be kind, be considerate about people around you, social distance, and wash your hands! We aren’t just protecting ourselves, we are protecting other loved ones who are vulnerable to this cruel virus.