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Hand sanitization, use of mask may kill ‘herd immunity’, grant free pass to coronavirus?

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The medical suggestions and medical instructions to general public should not be seen as an exercise where the instructions are plucked directly from the classic textbooks and then gifts same to people during pandemic as ‘holy gospel’. Instead all such instructions must fit perfectly into the context; after due understanding of the context where it has to be followed. Otherwise all such instructions may produce more adverse possibilities than any beneficial effect.   

The context refers to the diversity, population dynamics in India, social and cultural behaviour, health awareness; emergency preparedness of the government, economic status and many other factors such as how life and livelihood are intermingled and how people can be forced to follow all such norms by pushing their livelihood under permanent peril. 

The divine orders prescribed therein by our ‘Lord community’ to ordinary mortal beings to follow are frequent hand wash or hand sanitization, wear mask, social distancing etc. No sensible citizen would mock down all the above instructions. But the larger question is have we followed due process of scientific understanding that is operating in India before giving such sermon. 

The research work done by the scientists and medical experts from the University of California and then published in British Journal of Dermatology in the year 2008 under the title “Skin Microbiota: a source of disease or defence?” provides plethora of evidences on how the holy instruction of our Lordly people to prevent coronavirus spread such as hand wash, use of mask, social distancing etc., can defeat our innate immunity progressively. 

At the end we may become SCID mice, worth to live only inside sterile chamber, can eat only well sterilized food, can breathe only sterilized air, can even talk only to people who are otherwise another SCID mice.    

The other side of the ironically is that, the same medical fraternity or the Lordly people only have imported the term ‘herd’ immunity and brought the same to the centre stage of discussion; with the suggestion that, we must bank on herd immunity and the herd immunity alone can save us because a full proof medicine or vaccine is far from sight.    

Social distancing, frequent hand sanitization, use of mask and the so called herd immunity paradigm always stands as two parallel lines, like in mathematics, in medical science also, the two parallel lines shall never meet or at best may at infinity.  

However we must appreciate and follow the above bizarre contradiction instead of being resilient, contemplative or complaining about the divine order issued by our divine people.

Let us first decode what is herd immunity. Most of us would have heard at least, the term, herd immunity. 

It is like how our spiritual leaders would spontaneously recall destiny and the theory of karma or previous birth when they could not explain certain questions or incidents in our life, the medical fraternity also would use the phrase ‘herd immunity’ if they could not explain why certain people or population doesn’t get infected or are reasonably protected or show least susceptibility towards certain diseases or otherwise are at high risk. Immediately the answer would come, that is ‘herd immunity’. 

Scientifically herd immunity cannot be tested or validated either its existence or its origin like destiny and karma, the theory of cause and effect. 

The immunity that we develop mostly is from the way we live. 

Most of the microbes in our skin including in our hands are non-pathogenic but they frequently remind and familiarize our defence mechanism to be ready to fight when a pathogen enters. Further, as a thanks giving gesture, all those non-pathogenic microbes that harbour and harvest over our skin, mucus membrane, intestine etc., also will not give up their identity or space to a pathogen so easily; even if the pathogen is so deadly. 

That is why several pathogens take reasonable period of time to cause infection from their date of entry into a new host.  Such harmless microbes constantly entertain our immune defence and provide regular drill and preparedness to our cluster differentiation cells (CD). When we forcefully and continuously evict all such harmless, otherwise necessary microbes through frequent hand sanitization, wearing mask and following social distancing, are we not going to kill ‘herd immunity’? In other words, are we not issuing ‘frisk free’ pass to novel coronavirus to entire into our system? 

The possible chance of a microbe fighting against a new invader microbes and those frequently service our immune defence mechanism, are we not destroying by the above gospel instruction? 

What protects Indian is our immunity whereas the western world is protected largely by their medical care and treatment advancement. 

Today every country are fighting for their identity, be it US under Republican Donald Trump or UK under Borris Johnson’s Brexit exit to keep the identity of UK or Modi who wants to reforest entire India with only one species of political culture called Hindutwa. 

Should we then not recognise the truth that by frequent hand or hand sanitization, use of mask and following social distancing, we are likely to lose our native microbe population in our hand and skin?When we knock out or exile our native skin microbiota, the alien is going to celebrate such event. Are we so fooling in serving the above such instructions? 

The point of discussion is not about following health and hygiene practices, which are needed, the deterring fact is only the thrust for overdoing, in the name of protection.    

Every country has to customize its treatment and scientific approaches. Even science is not one size fit all gown.   

The high susceptibility of western population to novel coronavirus also may be due to the lack of ‘microbe soldiers’ in their system. But in India, microbe soldiers only may be present in corona war than our real immunity; due to poverty, starvation, mal-nourishment, poor hygiene, substandard drinking water quality, high pollution, dilapidated living conditions, dense community arrangement etc. 

The point of argument is not the continuation of what and how India is but it is about how our ‘Lordly people’ can give such esoteric sermons to poor people to fight coronavirus by forcefully evicting those already born with us to protect us from invading pathogen. 

We are focusing more upon how to treat the patient and how to prevent the spread than about the pathogen and its competition with abundant microbes that cohabitate in each one of us. 

Let us not remain arboreal or reside in ivory tower and then sermon instructions from text book without understanding the ground reality, life and livelihood. 

At the end all such instructions would become ‘GOD’ and only those who have divine eyes and vision can see and follow the GOD and not the ordinary mortal being.       

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