Which was, it seems, the UK’s strategy until this afternoon.
Sort of. Boris Johnson’s government believes that mass infection of the population is inevitable and, what’s more, could actually produce a much worse outbreak than the current one this fall via a “second wave” of contagion, as happened with the flu in 1918. Solution: Use the current outbreak as an opportunity to let healthy younger people get infected and build “herd immunity” among themselves.
Don’t shut anything down. Don’t try to test every suspect case. Rather, have the old and the chronically ill quarantine themselves for four months or more while people who are less at risk of dying are out and about, passing the virus among themselves. By the time senior citizens emerge in the fall, many younger Britons will have already had the disease and recovered, which will make them immune from contracting it again.
That means they won’t need hospital treatment at a moment when seniors will be falling ill from the disease and crowding ICUs.