Just words: herd immunity

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Hey, Friend,

It’s been another long work day. I had meant to write to you in the morning … Well, I am doing it now. So? How are you? Have COVID-19 and the general state of the little world we find ourselves in also impacted your daily schedule, workload, energy, emotions, expectations and even your ability to think as much as they have mine?

Am I really just one in a herd? And I am supposed to wait for herd immunity? I don’t know about that. Even the word irks me.

Immunity apparently came from Latin via French into English.
Not very rare and interesting — for a word.
What it meant first is interesting. Today!

immunitatem
: “exemption from performing public service” or

immunis
: “exempt, free, not paying a share”. What can I say? Is this where it is going this time?

Only in the late 19th century, the word immunity got its medical sense of protection from disease.

Don’t get me started on herd! What am I supposed to be? An ox? A bellwether? Or some non-descript cattle? What does it take to be part of this herd immunity?

Why are an animal metaphor and a strange old legal term being hooked up and dangled before us from time to time as a possible exit from a pandemic? Maybe, just maybe … there are better ways.

Hanging in there as always and thinking of you (plural, of course; but that’s a topic for another day…).

In any case. Just write. I want to know what you think. Can you derive any sense out of this?


As I promised, I am moving the posts from Just words from the Panta Rhei website here, one by one. And the series will continue here.

One thought on “Just words: herd immunity

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