The New York state, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the U.S., has the most stringent isolation measures. The number of confirmed cases there has so far exceeded 360,000, while the death toll has crossed 28,000.
On top of these confusing statistics, another interesting piece of news came from the city yesterday. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo told the press that 66% of new coronavirus patients whos have been recently hospitalized are from among those who previously stayed at home, in line with the stay-at-home orders.
According to the BBC, President Donald Trump said he was “shocked” by the results, adding that the rate of contamination among those working in key sectors had been much lower compared to the overall population and that most new cases had been seen in those who did not go to work and stayed home.
Of course, this is not the only data that has led us to question the impact of isolation during the pandemic and to wonder why. There is also no significant difference in statistics gathered by countries that have implemented isolation measures and those who have opted for full or controlled herd immunity. The function of isolation is also not as clear as claimed.
For instance, the first case in Brazil – a country of 200 million people – was seen on Feb. 25. So far, 272,000 cases have been recorded and 18,000 people have died in the country, which has not taken any isolation measures. On the other hand, the number of recoveries has come to around 107,000.
Besides, there have been 31,000 cases so far in Sweden, which has applied controlled herd immunity. Some 5,000 people have recovered in the country of 10 million people, while the death toll has exceeded 3,700.
Meanwhile, the number of cases is 249,000 in the U.K., which has a population of 56. The country applied herd immunity at the onset of the pandemic but turned to isolation later. While the number of recoveries has not been announced, 35,000 people have died so far.
As for countries implementing strict isolation measures: The number of cases in Germany is 178,000, with 156,000 recoveries and 8,000 in deaths.
On the other hand, the number of cases in the U.S., with a population of 330 million people, has exceeded 1.5 million, 295,000 people have recovered and 92,000 others have died.
The number of cases in Italy, which presides over 60 million people, is 227,000, with 129,000 recoveries and 32,000 deaths.
Turkey has followed some of the most stringent isolation measures in the world. The situation in our country, where the first case was seen on March 10, is as follows: The number of cases is 152,000; 113,000 people have recovered and 4,100 others have died.
When the socioeconomic costs caused by isolation measures are handled in line with these statistics, one comes to an unavoidable question: Could support for the herd immunity theory have its roots in herd psychology?
The discourse on isolation, which is now accepted all over the world, maybe swaying over us like the sword of Damocles. However, we should be able to be brave and discuss all kinds of scientific theories and possibilities to avoid paying heavier prices in the near future.