Chris Bricker asked Kathleen Keenan to comment on an article that appeared in The NY Times on March 20, 2020 in an oped piece regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The article was written by Dr. David L. Katz, a preventive medical specialist. His article described an alternative to reopening society based on what was known at that time about the virus. He proposed that those not infected and with the least risk of severe disease consequences, be able to go back to work and acquire the infection, thus developing more herd immunity. Those at higher risk (the elderly or immune-compromised) would remain isolated until a vaccine was developed.
A comparison was made between March 20 and today, April 28, about what we now know and whether this is still an alternative solution. Younger persons with the disease are being hospitalized from COVID-19 infection, dose exposure to the virus can cause more severe disease as seen in the deaths among our frontline responders and medical staff, and the infrastructure for reopening is not in place. We would need ramped-up testing for the virus, an army of contact tracers, and sufficient personal protective equipment to protect frequently exposed workers until herd immunity is achieved with the development of a vaccine.