In an interview after a recent rally, Michigan State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey stated he doesn’t believe Michiganders need mask and social distancing mandates. He said, “Nobody should be misled here or of the opinion that you can keep it from spreading – it’s going to spread, so we just do the best we can.” He continued, “I’m also a big believer that there’s an element of herd immunity that needs to take place.”
Without an effective vaccine, herd immunity is not a solution for COVID-19. For it to occur, 50-70% of the population would likely need to develop lasting antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID19. Without a vaccine, the only way to do that is through infection, which would cause unnecessary deaths and suffering throughout the country, and we do not know how long immunity would last, with studies showing significant decreases in antibodies several months after infection. Before a vaccine is released and approved by the proper authorities, the best way to stop COVID-19 from spreading and killing more Americans, is to practice social distancing, wearing a mask in public, staying home when possible, and avoiding large gatherings. The “element of herd immunity” the senator speaks of would only cause more suffering.