Yesterday The U.K. Daily Mail reported that the Amish community in New Holland Borough, Pennsylvania, has achieved herd immunity to the coronavirus.
The article reports:
The administrator of a medical center in the heart of the Amish community in New Holland Borough estimates as many as 90 per cent of Plain families have since had at least one family member infected, and that this religious enclave achieved what no other community in the country has: herd immunity.
‘So, you would think if COVID was as contagious as they say, it would go through like a tsunami; and it did,’ said Allen Hoover, an Old Order Mennonite and administrator of the Parochial Medical Center, a clinic that primarily serves the Plain community.
The article also notes:
By late April, when Pennsylvania was still under stay-at-home orders, the Plain community had resumed worship services, where they shared communion cups and holy kisses, a church greeting among believers.
Infections quickly followed.
‘It was bad here in the spring; one patient right after another,’ said Pam Cooper, a physician’s assistant at the Parochial Medical Center.
Just how deep into the community the infections spread is impossible to know. Hoover speculated that among those displaying symptoms, fewer than 10% consented to be tested.
In late April and early May, when Hoover said the virus ran unimpeded through the Plain community, the county’s positivity rate — the percent of positive tests — exceeded 20%, its highest of the pandemic, according to Covid Act Now, a nonprofit that provides local disease data. (Last year, the World Health Organization recommended governments use a rate of 5% or lower for two weeks as the threshold for reopening.)
If Hoover’s assessment is accurate, and if more Plain patients had been tested, the positivity rate could very well have been higher.
While so few were tested, many exhibited all the symptoms that have become so emblematic of the disease.
Cooper estimated the medical center saw — on average — nearly a dozen infections a day, or roughly 15% of the patients it serves daily.
The disease, as has been true in the wider community, knew no boundaries. Hoover became infected in November; at least one of his children was infected twice.
‘It really went through pretty quick, in a few weeks,’ Cooper said.
The number of patients ebbed in the summer before picking up again in the fall, although not at nearly the rate as was seen in the spring.
Cases now are rare. Hoover said Tuesday that the center hasn’t had a patient present with COVID-19 symptoms in roughly six weeks.
Please note how reluctant the medical types in the article are to admit that this community might actually be done with the coronavirus. The article also fails to note how many people died from the coronavirus during the time it was going through the community.