Regardless of mask policies, lock downs, school closures, shaming, stay-at-home orders, or lack of any of those things, reality wins. In the end, it was always going to be the same old boring immunity that has kept humanity going through tens of thousands of epidemics since the Beginning.

The University of Washington admits it:

The large number of people already infected with the coronavirus in the US has begun to act as a brake on the spread of the disease in hard-hit states.

“Immunity may play a significant part in the regions that are declining,” says Gu. At least until the fall, which is how far his models look forward, he says, “I don’t think there is going to be another spike” of infections in southern states.  

“I would say in Sweden there is no doubt that immunity plays an important role, more than in other countries,” says Britton. “Now this epidemic is slowly stopping.”

There’s this little bit at the end which requires a little more thought:

“Are we protected from big outbreaks if all the restrictions are released? The answer is no,” he says. “On a national scale the immunity is not that high—it might be 20%. But in Stockholm it’s maybe 30 or 40%. We may be close to herd immunity [there], so they could relax restrictions a bit more.”

The proper response is: why? What’s the material difference between getting herd immunity quickly or slowly? It isn’t hospitals being overwhelmed (they never were, outside of northern Italy). For some reason, the mantra that we need to “slow the spread” is simply taken for granted as an axiom.

I propose we replace “slow the spread” with the more accurate term “extend the panic”. That’s the only thing any of this “slowing” does, even if it really does slow the spread.