Separation not just isolation

Infections are still high, most people with symptoms don’t self-isolate and super-spreaders are going to carry on regardless without a care. It doesn’t look like lockdown is working.
The biggest problem with isolating once you have the symptoms is that it’s too late; the virus has been passed on already in the several days previous when there were no symptoms. If only we knew from day 1 when people got infected rather than several days later.

Maybe the answer is separation and not isolation?
I.E. separate the people who won’t keep their distance/wash their hands from those who will. The former group (the pro-covid group) are probably going to get it anyway. So let them get it in a controlled way and they can separate themselves from others before they catch it. This will stop super-spreaders.

What if shops, pubs, other small businesses and people were to identify themselves as ‘pro-covid’ or ‘anti-covid’. So people who have Covid or who don’t believe in taking precautions would be classed as ‘pro-covid’ and can shop, eat, drink at specific places (or times) as long as they wear an identifiable pro-covid marker like a lanyard so that ‘anti-covid’ people and vulnerable people who want to take precautions and wash their hands know who they are and can keep their distance. The problem is not everyone believes in exercising caution or distancing and you can’t force them to. These people will probably catch it anyway so let them catch it, but rather than allowing them to be a super-spreader and passing it on unknowingly to vulnerable people in public, let them ‘shop and spread’ in a controlled environment. Whether that be in designated areas or specific times of the day. So people who want to be safe will be safer and people who believe in freedom and want to take their chances can do so.

A good example would be to use students who can isolate in halls with like-minded people - because a certain percentage of them are going to mix anyway so identify the ones who are going to mingle anyway and let them in their pro-covid bubble where they can catch it at the same time. This will give them and others they come into contact with in the future greater protection from greater immunity. A certain percentage may catch it again, but what percentage is this? Less than 5%? Surely that’s a good trade off. It will also allow others who are vulnerable or who fully intend to stick to the rules can fully separate themselves from the other spreaders. This is the only way to limit the spread! And it needn’t be for a long time, just a 2 week trial. At the very least it should be piloted in one area. Such as a university, where they are not interacting with others who do not have covid.

Even if just 1 young healthy person in a thousand were to become seriously ill from getting covid after such an experiment - they would have prevented the spread from infecting a further 3 to 4 thousand people! (because the ‘R’ value in people who don’t believe in social distancing is probably over 3 or 4 compared to 0.5 or less in the ones who do.

In your strange new world of minglers and non-minglers - won’t the non-minglers already be avoiding the minglers?

I can’t see how this would work? How does actually know who are carriers. People don’t know if they are or not. Isolation isn’t possible long term. One person’s idea of being careful may not be another’s. Segregation isn’t possible.


This forum is primarily for carers. Are you a carer of a family member or friend? If so, then welcome. If however you are only looking for somewhere to air your views on Covid, this is not the place for you to do it. There are more suitable places out there.

Melly1 Moderator

they would know because they would deliberately get it (if they are fit and want to get it) and then they would isolate/separate from day 1

I don’t think we are on the same wavelength! Why would anyone actually want to get such a dreadful illness?
Are you a carer? This is a forum for unpaid carers or ex carers who support each other. With practical help, or a friendly chat on roll call.
Melly1 one our moderators has asked you the same question and explained too.

yes I care for someone who is vulnerable. They can’t go out so I go shopping for them. I worry that I might pass it on unwittingly.

Probably best to leave it on their door step, then.


I know, good question, but I know of people like my daughter’s friends who believe that they’re super fit and won’t be harmed and would be happy to get it and take the risk - a bit like taking one for the team. Many footballers and athletes have had it and to them apparently it’s like a cold. They believe if they all catch it at the same time at uni that they then could have immunity (to an extent) and could then socialise without fear or prejudice.
Thinking about it mathematically; people who don’t exercise caution will probably catch it eventually anyway so let them catch it and let them socialise with others who have it. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
And a step towards herd immunity.

Hello, Mark. It is great that you care for a vulnerable person and are concerned about the risks of passing on COVID-19. Welcome to the forum. We gladly consider all posts, even unusual ones.

I am trying to be helpful, as indeed I am with all posts I respond to. However I find difficulty in understanding how your proposal is workable.

You say that the virus can be passed on before the infected person displays the signs or suffers the symptoms. This is called the incubation period. Yes, that is part of the problem and is the reason why we recommend social distancing.

You seem to suggest that there be areas where willing “minglers” could congregate, infecting one another but not the “non-minglers”, who would keep well away from these areas. I am not sure how practical it would be to set up such a system. But even if it could be done, the result would almost certainly be a huge increase in outbreaks of the disease among the minglers. Would it be fair for these minglers to then expect treatment from NHS workers, who are already stretched almost to breaking point?

I don’t think this huge increase in outbreaks would be offset by a vast reduction among the non-minglers. As you say yourself, not everyone believes in exercising caution or distancing and you can’t force them to. Such people would go where they like and maybe even move from one area to another, breaking your idea of segregation.

You mention herd immunity. Can COVID-19 be caught a second time? You seem to hinge your case on this. Please understand that this coronavirus is still fairly new and is not fully understood. Many diseases can be caught over and over again, e.g. influenza. The position with COVID-19 is less clear. Some people hav caught it twice. What is clear, however, is that our marvellous medical researches have come up with a reliable vaccine. To vaccinate everyone will take a lot of work, treatment of those infected takes very much more.

Those friends of yours who think they are super fit are part of the problem. Young fit people may have higher general resistance to disease but they are not completely invulnerable, and of course may carry it. There have been cases of young people catching it.

So I am sorry if I come over as not agreeing with your idea, but perhaps at least you may find my explanation helpful.

Regarding the person you care for. Is this a friend or relative you visit to kindly assist, or do you live in with this person? As Melly suggests, if you leave things on the doorstep rather than go in, then this helps you to minimise contact. You could consider supermarket delivery service.

If you live in with this person, perhaps you could tell us a bit more about yourself and the person you care for and their condition. Best wishes!