The Netherlands Is Letting People Get Sick to Beat Covid-19

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Like a lot of other world leaders, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is now in the business of calming his citizens down. But he’s also a pragmatist. Last week at an update on COVID-19, he said, “The reality is also that in the coming period a large part of the population will be infected with the virus.”

That’s why the Dutch are trialling a different strategy to protect the vulnerable: they’re trying to achieve so-called “herd immunity,” the term for what happens when enough people have survived the disease to effectively slow its spread. “As we wait for a vaccine or medicine, we can slow down the virus spreading and at the same time build up herd immunity in a controlled manner,” Rutte said.

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