A North Carolina nurse said she’s treating patients who have attended “coronavirus parties” in an attempt to catch the deadly bug and hopefully develop immunity.
“Over the last few days, we have heard from a lot of patients and the community that they’re unafraid of getting the virus,” Yolanda Enrich, a nurse practitioner at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, told an NBC affiliate.
“People are actually out and about trying to get the virus, so attending gatherings, parties trying to maximize their chances of exposure.”
Ernich said younger patients have told health care workers they’re hoping to develop antibodies so they no longer have to take precautions while they’re out in public. Though health experts have not yet determined whether coronavirus antibodies actually deliver immunity.
“We’re really concerned about this trend,” Enrich said. “They can spread the virus around the community and hurt our vulnerable populations that will have serious health implications.”
Gov. Roy Cooper and state health officials are sounding the alarm on the idiotic concept.
“You can easily kill someone you love,” Cooper said at a news conference this week, adding that the sickening soirees are “completely irresponsible and absolutely unacceptable.”
Dr. Mandy Cohen, North Carolina’s secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said more cases translate to more risk for vulnerable residents.
“There is no circumstance under which we want people to actively pursue getting COVID-19,” Cohen said. “The reason we’re working so hard collectively to keep virus spread low is the fact that when there is more virus in our community, it not only impacts those who have it, but particularly those who are at high risk of getting severe reactions to disease.”
Soumya Swaminathan, the Wold Health Organization’s top scientist, earlier this month threw cold water on the idea of developing herd immunity against the virus.
Around the world, studies have shown rates of natural immunity between 10 and 15 percent — far from the 90 to 95 percent of the population what would need to develop immunity to achieve herd immunity, Swaminathan said.
Embracing a heard immunity approach would mean accepting a “high rate of death,” she said.
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