Kevin Battle: Herd Immunity vs. Mitigation. Action vs. Death. Schools vs. Spread. Thoughts on Covid-19.

    Kevin Battle
    July 21, 2020 - 11:32 am

    Politicians and unelected bureaucrats can put their hands against the dam and try as hard as they like in order to keep the waters from flowing.  This may have kept the hospitals from being overwhelmed and it may keep a panicked populace at attention but it will not stop the flood.  

    Covid-19 is seemingly coming for us all.  At some point many of us will likely contract the virus.  That is just how things work.  Granted, it may or may not be a serious case.

    The Pennsylvania Secretary of Health recently joined Larry Richert and me on the KDKA Radio Morning Show.  I asked Dr. Rachel Levine if it was time to isolate the most vulnerable, end the draconian and arbitrary lockdown scenarios or the targeted mitigation and simply let herd-immunity run its course?

    Her response: ‘No.  Not at all.  So, Herd Immunity means you let it burn through the community so that up to 60-80% of the community has had the virus and develop antibodies.  But, we know that a significant numbers of people get very sick from this virus.  Not just seniors.  But, younger adults as well, in their 20’s, 30’s & 40’s and that would overwhelm the hospitals.’  Dr. Levine added that she believes that the virus needs to be contained and targeted with ‘surgical mitigation efforts’ until further treatments are developed.  Listen to her interview here.

    Regardless of how any of us feel, ‘herd immunity’ seems to be well underway in parts of the country.  More and more people are contracting the virus while, statistically, less are dying from it.  

    Please do not minimize the seriousness of the pandemic.  Just be smart & courteous about it.  Be rational.  Protect the vulnerable and respect their peace-of-mind when you see them out.  

    Asking you to temporarily wear a mask, in my opinion, is not violating your rights any more than a flagman asking you to slow down at road construction.  The shifting guidelines by the experts now indicate that properly wearing a mask is more effective against the spread than a strict lockdown. 


    Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is receiving some praise and accolades for his initial and decisive action to lock things down.  As I mentioned numerous times:  A temporary three or four-week shutdown was acceptable, understandable, or condoned by most when faced with the predicted tsunami of an unknown virus.  With the possibility of an over-whelmed health care system and unimaginable death there was no time for consensus on how and what to initially shutdown.  It just had to be done until the worst past.  Unfortunately, it was not done universally and things quickly got out of hand.

    Not every state or region bought in.  Many delayed action.  Flair ups and hotspots continue.  The orders dragged on too long.  Too many exemptions were given.  The extended lockdown led to an economic disaster.  Politics was played.  Heck, an argument can even be made by looking at the charts that the lockdown ended too early. 

    Instead of starving the virus of hosts with a 3 or 4-week lockdown, it continues to be enabled nationally.  We are now at 6-months and counting.  Some predict it will be with us until next spring and economic fallout will continue for years.   

    Recently, I wrote recommendations about how to proceed during the NEXT pandemic.


    Unfortunately, the most vulnerable were never really protected.  Highly educated leaders in at least 5 states tied in making the world’s dumbest decision by putting covid-positive patients in nursing homes or long-term care facilities.  This academic plan, which ran counter to scientific or common-sense approaches, was reportedly implemented according to guidance from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  This led to an unacceptable surge in death!

    As a result, the disease has been more fatal in Pennsylvania.  Of the 101,738+ confirmed & probable cases in the Commonwealth there have been 7,018 deaths.  Sixty-Eight percent of those souls were in nursing homes! 

    States that are now dealing with a surge are finding lower death rates.  Texas has notched over 338,000 cases to 4,000 deaths.


    Testing is up and running.  More and more cases are being diagnosed.  This is natural.  My test came back negative.  Maybe next time it won’t.  

    We once thought that summer heat would kill this virus.  Now, Arizona, Texas, Florida, California, and other warm states are dealing with hotspots.  

    Some believe the virus may be weakening.  The number of deaths from Covid-19 is not rising as drastically as the number of cases.  According to ‘,’ there are a total of 14,773,910 confirmed cases worldwide.  Nearly 9 million have recovered.  That means there are currently about 5.8 million confirmed cases around the globe.  Roughly 60,000 of those are serious or critical.  

    Recently, I heard a doctor say on KDKA Radio that we should not worry about statistics.  He said we should worry about getting people tested and testing.  Well, statistics are the ‘science’ behind his business.  Science and statistics go hand-in-hand - especially in health care.  We were told by the experts that our response was science based….we should listen to the science….pay attention to the science….science matters.  Remember that? 

    If I roll into the office and my doctor says ‘Kevin, you have this, that, or the other ailment.  And, you have a 50% chance of survival unless you do this protocol.’  That is an example of statistics.  The doctor will ramble on about numbers and tell me that ‘statistically’ people that do this or that will survive my ailment.  So, why would we not pay attention to statistics and science with this pandemic?

    Again, here are some ‘statistics’ that you should know:

        •    68% of deaths in Pennsylvania occurred at nursing homes.  
        •    71% of PA Covid-19 deaths have been white residents
        •    21% of PA Covid-19 deaths have been black residents
        •    75% of PA cases have RECOVERED
        •    82% of Allegheny County deaths were over age 70
        •    29% of cases have been in the 20-29 age group
        •    Allegheny County has had 6,435 confirmed cases in a population of 1.2 million
        •    208 people in Allegheny County have died of Covid-19
        •    Currently, there are 667 Pennsylvanians hospitalized with Covid-19
        •    92 of them are on ventilators


    There have been no noted outbreaks of Covid-19 among schools.  In fact, kids are said to be at least risk.  Only 2% of all cases in the Commonwealth have been in children under 9 years of age.  Only 6% have been in kids under 19.

    Day cares have been open for months yet we are arguing whether or not schools should re-open this Fall.  Are they not similar?  Don’t politicians and teacher’s unions push for ‘Universal Pre-K’ which would include daycare in school systems?

    Alrighty, then.  We should have no problems if students and teachers all wear N95 masks properly, wash their hands regularly, distance, and have their temperatures taken each morning & afternoon, correct?  


    The United States, the UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China are all working on various possibilities.  Even Kim Jong Un is feeling neighborly.  North Korea claims to be working on a vaccine even though the ‘rogue regime’ boasts that NONE of its subject have contracted Covid-19.  Not one case!  Yet, his ’scientists’ are working on a vaccine  - apparently for the common good. 

    In the end, we all need to protect the vulnerable.  Wear a mask.  And, if you have come in contact with someone with Covid-19 then please isolate yourself.  If not, you may have to take Un’s vaccine.  

    Thank you for reading.

    Have a great day.

    Kevin Battle is co-host of the KDKA Radio Morning Show with Larry Richert.  The show airs M-F 5a-9a on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.

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