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horn4life

Would self-infecting and isolating young people be a cost effective solution?

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Posted (edited)

Right now the idea is to try to slow the spread into the higher risk categories to reduce death due to hospital overflow. Young people are the highest risk group for the spread of the virus, and as the age spectrum increases risk increases, infection severity increases.  Since we are now talking about how much more than $1 trillion we are gonna spend on the "slow it down" strategy, might there be a more affordable option that might kill two birds with one stone?

My thinking is that the demographic most injured by the collapse of the service industry are predominantly at the young end of the age spectrum.  They are also mostly healthy and are now out of work.  So this is a group in financial need, that is also probably the hardest group to get to self-isolate because their personal risk is low.  So why not take a newly unemployed healthy young person, infect them with the virus, and cut them a check to stay home for 21 days?  I would try to do this in as larger groups if possible where all the participants are roommates or friends. We would need to probably have some sort of "meals on wheels" support to make sure any external needs could be met to maintain the isolation. You would need to attach some sort of criminality and incarceration to not adhering to the isolation restrictions, but might this be a way to provide immunity to the bulk of those most likely to transmit without any symptoms?  The very big assumption here is that infected persons do develop immunity, but that is the best I have to go on currently.

Just wondering if you think my oddball idea is something that might potentially work.  My thought is pay the poor folks that are not going to have a workplace anymore to infect themselves and isolate for 21 days. IF and it's a huge IF, but if we could come out of this in say two months knowing that most of our young people now had some immunity to the virus, that would be a very, very good thing I would think.  If we could do that, help the newly unemployed and perhaps help the nation develop herd immunity? 

OK now tell me I'm a moron. But fiscally it might be an actually effective to kill two birds with one stone; reduce the transmission by the biggest transmitters, and supplement the incomes of those most impacted by the economic downturn. Then we come out with immune young folks that were able to pay there bills and are ready to work.

 

Edited by horn4life

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, horn4life said:

Right now the idea is to try o slow the spread into the higher risk categories to reduce death due to hospital overflow. Young people are the highest risk group for the spread of the virus, and as the age spectrum increases risk increases.  Since we are now talking about how much more than $1 trillion we are gonna spend on the "slow it down" strategy, might there be a more affordable option that might kill two birds with one stone?

My thinking is that the demographic most injured by the collapse of the service industry are predominantly at the young end of the age spectrum.  They are also mostly healthy and are now out of work.  So this is a group in financial need, that is also probably the hardest group to get to self-isolate because their personal risk is low.  So why not take a newly unemployed healthy young person, infect them with the virus, and cut them a check to stay home for 21 days?  I would try to do this in as larger groups if possible where all the participants are roommates. We would need to probably have some sort of "meals on wheels" support to make sure any external needs could be met to maintain the isolation. You would need to attach some sort of criminality and incarceration to not adhering to the isolation restrictions, but might this be a way to provide immunity to the bulk of those most likely to transmit without any symptoms?  The very big assumption here is that infected persons do develop immunity, but that is the best I have to go on currently.

Just wondering if you think my oddball idea is something that might potentially work.  My thought is pay the poor folks that are not going to have a workplace anymore to infect themselves and isolate for 21 days. IF and it's a huge IF, but if we could come out of this in say two months knowing that most of our young people now had some immunity to the virus, that would be a very, very good thing I would think.  If we could do that, help the newly unemployed and perhaps help the nation develop herd immunity? 

OK now tell me I'm a moron. But fiscally it might be an actually effective to kill two birds with one stone; reduce the transmission by the biggest transmitters, and supplement the incomes of those most impacted by the economic downturn. Then we come out with immune young folks that were able to pay there bills and are ready to work.

 

(1) We don't really know how post-infection immunity works with this particular virus. It may only provide short term protection.

(2) A significant percentage of the infected young still need hospitalization. We can't infect people in mass, even young people, without risking overwhelming the healthcare system.

(3) We really don't know the long term effects of infection at all, so ultimately what you're suggesting is a massive medical experiment on young people. And, that experiment will have no health benefits to them and unknown health consequences. While perhaps an exception can/should be made for this situation, that would be considered unethical under modern medical practice.

(4) You're not a moron.

Edited by Dahobbs

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Posted (edited)

We don't know if infected persons develop immunity or not, and if so, for how long.  We also don't know if this thing is gonna be seasonal with different strains every year and so on.

I'm in favor of anything that makes millennials stay out of public places, but I don't see how this is likely to help.

Edited by TexArcher

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My other fiscal thought was just let the herd thin.  I KNOW that one is a fiscal positive, but I like my parents.

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The government cannot compel citizens to inject themselves with a novel virus and very few would volunteer given the unknowns. The "soon to be out of work millennial" does not represent a big enough piece of the pie to induce herd immunity even if you get long term immunity after infection which we don't know. Also, just teens of millions still ensures thousands of hospitalizations, stressing the healthcare system.

 

I see where you're coming from in theory but this is not at all practical.

 

 

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1 minute ago, gmr548 said:

The government cannot compel citizens to inject themselves with a novel virus and very few would volunteer given the unknowns. The "soon to be out of work millennial" does not represent a big enough piece of the pie to induce herd immunity even if you hey long term immunity after infection which we don't know. Also, just teens of millions still ensures thousands of hospitalizations, stressing the healthcare system.

I see where you're coming from in theory but this is not at all practical.

Again, it is also unethical. You can't run a medical study that has no possible benefit to those in the study.

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... but then i thought, when am i going to make it back to haiti?

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If I have to move back into my currently empty college dorm with my fellow '04 HS grads and do my part in making sure the girls' floor catches the virus, I'll step up to the plate and serve the greater good.

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Again, it is also unethical. You can't run a medical study that has no possible benefit to those in the study.
Extremely unethical. I thought we were excepting that as a given, hah.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Dahobbs said:

Again, it is also unethical. You can't run a medical study that has no possible benefit to those in the study.

Compel and volunteer are two different things.  My idea was voluntary, but a lot of flat broke healthy kids would risk the virus just like they have freely and voluntarily have and are still doing. The cash benefit is... well a benefit.   The other benefit (AGAIN ASSUMING POTENTIAL IMMUNITY) is that infection may provide immunity.  Some folks would get really sick but that's part of the risk. A lot of them would have very mild or perhaps no symptoms but we would at least have a pool of people we knew had been infected.  Right now we have no idea who is who without adequate testing.

The bottom line is that if infection DOES NOT provide any immunity then, we do need to just let it go, thin the herd and move on.  I'm 59 so I might be among those that get thined so my thinking is not hypothetical in this aspect.  

Edited by horn4life

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From what I've seen on the news from Florida spring break spots early this week, young people seem to be doing a great job of spread and self infection, I just don't trust them to do the isolation part.

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24 minutes ago, horn4life said:

Compel and volunteer are two different things.  My idea was voluntary, but a lot of flat broke healthy kids would risk the virus just like they have freely and voluntarily have and are still doing. The cash benefit is... well a benefit.   The other benefit (AGAIN ASSUMING POTENTIAL IMMUNITY) is that infection may provide immunity.  Some folks would get really sick but that's part of the risk. A lot of them would have very mild or perhaps no symptoms but we would at least have a pool of people we knew had been infected.  Right now we have no idea who is who without adequate testing.

The bottom line is that if infection DOES NOT provide any immunity then, we do need to just let it go, thin the herd and move on.  I'm 59 so I might be among those that get thined so my thinking is not hypothetical in this aspect.  

From a medical ethics standpoint, it simply doesn't matter whether someone is compelled or volunteers. You can't run a medical experiment on people with no possible medical benefit to them. There has to be some expectation that the potential benefits to the patient outweigh the potential risks. Here, there are only risks and no benefits. It isn't an ethical study, period. There are plenty of potential useful studies that we haven't run because it would be unethical to do so. This is just another one. 

As to your latter point, if infection does confer later immunity, then you can't "thin the heard and move on." There would be no moving on because individuals would still be vulnerable to the disease. 

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Lets see for some it would go like this:

young-attractive-man-lying-on-600w-51471

Look I am a volunteer

patient-respirator-hospital-34079065.jpg

Not going so good

dead-man-morgue-260nw-1279100890.jpg

Well that did not go as planned.

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1 hour ago, horn4life said:

Compel and volunteer are two different things.  My idea was voluntary, but a lot of flat broke healthy kids would risk the virus just like they have freely and voluntarily have and are still doing. The cash benefit is... well a benefit.   The other benefit (AGAIN ASSUMING POTENTIAL IMMUNITY) is that infection may provide immunity.  Some folks would get really sick but that's part of the risk. A lot of them would have very mild or perhaps no symptoms but we would at least have a pool of people we knew had been infected.  Right now we have no idea who is who without adequate testing.

The bottom line is that if infection DOES NOT provide any immunity then, we do need to just let it go, thin the herd and move on.  I'm 59 so I might be among those that get thined so my thinking is not hypothetical in this aspect.  

So when you say young person, you meant 18 to 30ish?  I was thinking of actual kids.  I don't think you'd get enough volunteers to make a difference as far as herd immunity goes.  I also think actual kids are the biggest carriers which is why school closings are probably the most important part of this social distancing operation.  The 18-30ish crowd are far better candidates for voluntary vaccine testing.  Novel drug testing used to be a thing in Austin back when I was there.  Don't know if it still is.

Mandatory infection is pretty much a nonstarter anyway.  Nobody is going to intentionally infect my daughter unless they kill me first.  99.9% of parents feel the same way.

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Demographic if young 18-30 workers mainly from the service industry.   Voluntary, just like signing up for something at one of the testing labs.  No guarantee at all that they won't die, just that the studies show thus far that percentage is very, very small. I assume that all trials involve some sort of financial compensation from  OF COURSE they would have to be adults, not minors. 

IF it doesn't give immunity and we do thin the heard, believe me we will move on.  Unless there is nobody left.  For whatever reason ,this really takes hold in some people and not in others.  So a portion of the herd will indeed "move on."  Very possibly with a lot smaller human footprint.  Some people seem to have "immunity" from the severe symptoms, so my bet is big on human survival no matter what.

These young volunteers might also act as a control group from which to draw blood serum which might help develop a vaccine? IF they did get immunity they could be the front lines as part of Trump's New Corona Corps!  Like the Peace Corps, but for America.

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