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Abstract

A pandemic is not only a biological event and a public health disaster, but it also generates impacts that are worth understanding from a societal, historical, and cultural perspective. In this contribution, we argue that as the disease spreads, we are able to harness a valuable key resource, namely people who have immunity to Corona. This vital resource must be employed effectively, it must be certified, it must be searched for, it must be found, and it may even be actively produced. We discuss why this needs to be done and how this can be achieved. Our arguments not only apply to the current pandemic, but also to any future rapidly spreading, infectious disease epidemics. In addition, we argue for awareness of a secondary non-biological crisis arising from the side effects of pandemic reactions. There is a risk that the impacts of the secondary crisis could outweigh that of the biological event from a health and societal perspective.
Certied Coronavirus Immunity as a Resource and Strategy
to Cope with Pandemic Costs
Reiner Eichenberger, Rainer Hegselmann, David A. Savage,
David Stadelmann and Benno Torgler*
I. CORONAVIRUS IMMUNITY AS A GROWING RESOURCE
It seems generally accepted that in most cases the course of the COVID-19 dis-
ease is mild, often resulting in no or few symptoms (asymptomatic cases). An es-
timated 80% of known COVID-19 cases are currently classied as mild,
1
and the
number of unreported asymptomatic cases is thought to be high. The probability
of full recovery is high for many people, especially for younger people and those
without previous illnesses. Those who have survived the disease are, according
to current knowledge, largely immune. The probability of contracting exactly
the same virus a second time within a few years and passing the disease on is
small compared to a rst occurrence of the illness. Peter Doherty recipient of
the Nobel Prize for discovering how the immune system identies cells that have
been infected by a virus
2
recently argued that reports of individuals contracting
COVID-19 twice were unlikely to be correct. Furthermore, he suggested that
even if it was a reinfection, prior infection would give an individual a degree
* Prof. Dr. Reiner Eichenberger: University of Fribourg, Switzerland and CREMA - Center for Research in
Economics, Management and the Arts. Prof. Dr. Rainer Hegselmann: Frankfurt School of Finance & Man-
agement, Germany. Prof. Dr. David A. Savage: University of Newcastle, Australia, and Centre for Behav-
ioural Economics, Society and Technology (BEST). Prof. Dr. David Stadelmann (corresponding author):
University of Bayreuth, Germany, Centre for Behavioural Economics, Society and Technology
(BEST), IREF - Institute for Research in Economic and Fiscal Issues, and CREMA - Center for Research
in Economics, Management and the Arts. Prof. Dr. Benno Torgler: School of Economics and Finance and
Centre for Behavioural Economics, Society and Technology (BEST), Queensland University of Technol-
ogy. We would like to thank Igor Douven, Gerd Folkers, Marco Frank, Bruno Frey, Christian Girardi,
Raymond Frempong, Anna Maria Koukal, Wolfgang Lieb, Alison Macintyre, Simon Milligan, Johannes
Marxgut, Florian Mitscherlich, Thomas Ochsenkühn, Jan Osterloh, Margit Osterloh, Katja Rost, Patricia
Schafer and Frederik Wild for important discussions. The editors publish short articles together with expe-
rienced coauthors which propose robust solutions to large-scale societal problems requiring a combination
of insights from social sciences.
1
https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200301-sitrep-41-covid-19.pdf?
sfvrsn=6768306d_2 (accessed March 22, 2020)
2
https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/1996/doherty/facts/ (accessed March 22, 2020)
KYKLOS ,Vol. •• – •• 2020 No. ••,111
© 2020 The Authors. Kyklos published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd 1
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and
reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
of immunity, allowing them to recover very quickly. In addition, the coronavirus
causing COVID-19 has not rapidly mutated so far, which could indicate that im-
munity confers long-term protection
3
.
There are now potentially millions of people who have been infected with the
coronavirus and who are now immune. Their immunity makes each of them in-
dividually a valuable resource in the ght against the virus, and such resources
multiply as the number of people infected increases. Antibodies from immune
people might even be used to produce blood serum as a potential treatment.
Moreover, from a societal perspective, the larger the stock of people with immu-
nity grows, the lower becomes the risk of infection for the elderly and those with
pre-existing medical conditions. As the number of immune people grows, restric-
tions on all but the most vulnerable can gradually be relaxed. Those who are al-
ready immune can go back to their economic and social activity immediately and
may even provide active support to the health care system. Their engagement and
contribution to society and the economy may reduce both the risk of
overburdening the health care system and the potential for economic and social
breakdown which might be caused by the measures set by decision makers
against the virus. The resource of immune people is already much greater than
we know: All those who have been infected with the virus are immune, but many
whose cases were asymptomatic may not even have realized that they had the
disease. Consequently, they have never been tested.
Thus, the vital resource of immune people must be employed effectively, it
must be certied, it must be searched for, it must be found, and it may be even
be actively produced.
4
Taking a resource perspective on epidemics allows the
problem to be viewed through the lens of other standard allocation and distribu-
tion problems. This means that economists and other social scientists, well
trained in handling such problems, should and will be able to provide useful so-
lutions to cope with epidemic diseases and mass-infection outbreaks.
I.1. Employ immune people
Immune people can be reinstated to all activities and can pursue all social con-
tacts as usual, but more importantly they could be employed in the care of the el-
derly and the sick without endangering particularly at-risk people. The quickest
possible and most comprehensive engagement of immune people is therefore
sensible from public health, economic, and social perspectives. Their employ-
ment is necessary for our society to return to normality.
3
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-22/doubt-over-contracting-coronavirus-covid-19-twice/12075878
(accessed March 22, 2020)
4
Relevant aspects and consequences of the resource view presented in this paper have been discussed in the
following publications: Frey and Osterloh (2020), Eichenberger, Hegselmann and Stadelmann (2020),
Eichenberger (2020) and in an interview with Reiner Eichenberger (see https://www.20min.ch/nance/
news/story/---26853349 accessed March 10, 2020).
REINER EICHENBERGER/RAINER HEGSELMANN/DAVID A. SAVAGE/DAVID
STADELMANN/BENNO TORGLER
© 2020 The Authors. Kyklos published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd2
I.2. Issue immunity certicates
To make full use of their power, people with immunity must once again be able
to move freely, without any restriction and without fear. To do so, they must be
certain that they are immune, and other people must be able to distinguish them
from the non-immune. That is why they need a reliable immunity certicate,
which can be based on having antibodies or having experienced the illness. This
immunity certicate serves as a kind of passportto normality and certies the
value of the resource. Such certicates should not only be given to the domestic
population, but coronavirus-immune doctors and nurses from, for example,
China should also be certied accordingly. The same holds for immune people
from stricken European countries such as Italy and Spain; these countries will
soon have large stocks of immune people that other countries urgently need. This
illustrates an additional reason why we should provide strong international sup-
port and resources to locations that are currently suffering the most from the ep-
idemic; offering hospital equipment and other materials now will mean those
areas can provide their certied immune people in the future as support when
we reach peak healthcare demand. Many commercial planes that are currently
not being used due to travel bans could quickly move immune people and neces-
sary equipment in response to needs. The geographical trajectory of a pandemic
can therefore be efciently addressed if international collaboration is improved.
That is the solidarity that the world can and should deliver during a pandemic
and that is why coordinated global action is so vital. Immunity certicates facil-
itate such an important global exchange.
I.3. Search for immune people
Like other valuable resources, people immune from the novel coronavirus must
be sought out, and this requires widespread administration of tests. Testing is
not only about identifying virus carriers in order to protect society; it must also
be to identify immune people, who can help to save society. On the one hand,
tests for viruses can be used to identify people who are currently infected and
who are then known to be immune around two weeks after infection, when po-
tential symptoms and infectiousness have subsided. On the other hand, tests for
antibodies can be used to nd people who have never been tested but were in-
fected without symptoms of the disease and are now immune. These people do
not yet know about their immunity. Since the test capacity is still small today de-
spite rapid growth in facilities, the rst step is to search for immunity in infection
hotspots. Over time, better tests will be introduced and searches can be con-
ducted worldwide to nd and certify immune people.
CERTIFIED CORONAVIRUS IMMUNITY AS A RESOURCE
© 2020 The Authors. Kyklos published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd 3
I.4. Find immune people
The value of the immunity certicate facilitates the search for people who are al-
ready immune. Those who are certied immune no longer need be anxious about
the disease, nor do they need to remain in isolation as they resume a reasonably
normal life. This systematically provides incentives for healthy people who may
have been infected to think about whether they may have had mild symptoms of
the disease, such as loss of smell and taste. Active cooperation with authorities to
obtain the immunity certicate becomes particularly rewarding. The same ap-
plies to patients with mild symptoms, who are currently suffering from fears of
stigmatization, which prevent self-identication as potentially sick.
I.5. Produce immune people
Like other resources, immunity may even be actively produced. Individuals may
want to seek immunity voluntarily (under medical supervision) through self-in-
fection
5
. Maintenance or restoration of dignity can be important in this case, as
people want to feel useful rather than a burden to society (Tirole 2017).
Self-infection can be managed and organized by public and private health service
providers and supported, if necessary, by government regulations. Thus, the pro-
duction of immunity can potentially be organized without any major externali-
ties, and actively increasing immunity can help in the ght against a pandemic.
Until a truly effective treatment or vaccination is available, immune people are
the crucial resource in the ght against epidemics such as coronavirus that spread
very quickly. This is true even under substantial uncertainty; moreover, it holds if
current government measures are relaxed for the general populationbecause of their
enormous economic and social costs, or if we see a change in the assessment of the
dangers of coronavirus
6
. After all, coronavirus is certainly dangerous for the elderly
and for people with health problems. Understanding immune people as a resource is
therefore essential and will enable a faster return to normality from a crisis.
5
Assuming that the spread virus of the virus can only be contained or slowed at immense social and economic
costs, an early and voluntary infection of some people might be socially desirable (e.g. voluntary infection of
some doctors or health workers). Similarly, some decision-makers might nd it benecial to self-infect to
build immunity. This might even allow them to counteract and combat the negative effects of behavioral in-
fectionand fear in society.
6
The number of unreported asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases may be several times higher (even
up to a factor of 20 times higher) than the number of reported cases of infection according to the Robert Koch
Institut in Germany, e.g. https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Steckbrief.
html#doc13776792bodyText7, accessed March 25, 20). In this case the direct health consequences of
Covid-19 would be comparable to a severe seasonal inuenza or a pandemic inuenza. On March 19,
2020 the British Government declared COVID-19 no longer to be considered a high consequence infectious
diseases in the UK (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/high-consequence-infectious-diseases-hcid, accessed
March 20, 2020).
REINER EICHENBERGER/RAINER HEGSELMANN/DAVID A. SAVAGE/DAVID
STADELMANN/BENNO TORGLER
© 2020 The Authors. Kyklos published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd4
II. BEHAVIORAL INFECTION INCREASES ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
MISERY
Many central features of our global society, such as connectivity, mobility, and
social interactions, render the world more vulnerable to the challenge of pan-
demic diseases. Coronavirus is infecting people and affecting the health of indi-
viduals, but it is also quickly and dangerously infecting society as a whole
through the mindset of citizens and decision-makers handling the crisis on a daily
basis. The strong xation on the virus is impacting collective consciousness, and
many of the observed behaviors, hastily implemented policies, and sudden regu-
lations demonstrate this in action. Snowden (2019) reports that historically, ma-
jor epidemics caught authorities unprepared, leading to confusion, chaos, and
improvisation(p. 77). Decision-makers may fail to see that the regulations they
impose could directly or indirectly do far more harm the health system, the econ-
omy, and the lives that they may try to protect. In a situation of extreme
healthcare worker scarcity, excessive regulations that affect the supply of doctors
and nurses negatively (e.g., self-isolation of those who have been in contact with
infected people but have not been tested) may prove counterproductive. Solu-
tions based on rational calculation, even when faced with a situation of extreme
uncertainty, are preferable to strategies driven by hysteria, confusion, or chaos.
Similarly, decision-makers also often fail to see the quick warning signs of an
economy starting to atline or the long-run consequences that come with it.
Since the outbreak in northern Italy, the policy response of almost every govern-
ment, with a few notable exceptions, has been ubiquitous: lockdown and self-isola-
tion, no large gatherings, no social events (sporting, music or other), and eventually
the closure of all non-essential businesses. Thus, the world is on the brink of a sec-
ond very real crisis, but this crisis is not the one caused by the coronavirus.
It is a secondary or side effect caused by our overreaction to the pandemic,
which could be far worse than the health crisis itself. As the coronavirus has
spread around the world, so too has a behavioral contagion, which may spread
even faster than the virus, and its insidious effects may end up taking a much
greater toll on our economies and the social fabric of our societies. The economy,
like culture and society, are amorphous structures that can grow, shrink, and die
depending on the conditions under which they operate. Immense resources may
be lost in the future due to behavioral contagion. From the nancial crisis of
2008, we are keenly aware that bankruptcies can lead to banking crises, which
lead to nancial crises and economic crises. These potentially lead to government
debt crises, as in the case of Greece during the ensuing Euro-crisis of banks,
which in turn led to dire economic consequences; in short, contagion is also an
economic and social phenomenon. There is, for example,strong evidence that bank-
ing crises also lead to major, widespread, and lasting psychological losses
(Montagnoli and Moro 2018). Furthermore, a strong economy has always been
CERTIFIED CORONAVIRUS IMMUNITY AS A RESOURCE
© 2020 The Authors. Kyklos published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd 5
closely linked to the health of its citizens and their life expectancy (Jetter, Laudage,
and Stadelmann 2019). Populations with poor health are not very productive, and
highly productive populations have good health. Similarly, high incomes are a good
predictor of a long life, life satisfaction, and a good health system.
It is possible and even likely that institutions such as rule of law and executive
constraints are threatened by societal overreactions to pandemics, similar to an aller-
gic overreaction of the human body. Such a weakening of institutions may have neg-
ative and long-term effects, but those effects will become evident much later. Proper
communication and optimal decision-making are an ongoing challenge as contex-
tual factors are changing. The principle should be to derive intelligence from avail-
able information, but inferences can be challenging if information is subject to
biases and fears; the terror of sudden death is hard to digest. Fear and anxiety distort
decision-making during a pandemic (Gyrd-Hansen et al. 2008). Intelligence means
effective adaptation to an environment, and effective adaptation requires resources,
capabilities to use them, and knowledge about the world (March 2010).
Ioannidis (2020) criticizes and illustrates the danger of exaggerated information
and non-evidence-based measures. Policy analysis would benetfromseeingre-
searchers expressing uncertainty about their ndings and should be skeptical of
studies that express certitude (Manski 2013). Often, early estimates of infections,
community transmission, and fatalityrates tend to be markedly biased. Policy needs
to be based on available data, but it must always consider trade-offs. If clear evi-
dence is lacking, impulsive actions can cause substantial harm (Ioannidis, 2020).
Moreover, despite some serious and informative media coverage on policy analysis,
overreach in general is all too common (Manski 2013).
In addition, we should not forget that economic meltdowns cost many lives
too. Not only do essential institutions such as hospitals require a healthy func-
tioning economy, but there may be a substantial number of statistical lives lost
due to neglecting other facilities, infrastructures, and public good provisions
through reallocation or misallocation of resources (Frijters 2020a, 2020b). Again,
trade-offs need to be taken into account while remaining aware of the negative
externalities they will cause in the future
7
. These externalities are currently less
visible, and politicians are known to have a tendency to go for short-term strate-
gies that provide political benets most importantly, a higher probability of get-
ting reelected (Mueller 2012). Politicians also tend to be subject to action bias
due to fear of being accused of negligence through inaction (Ioannidis 2020).
In addition, the likelihood of imitating a particular policy depends on its per-
ceived legitimacy, which itself depends on the number of other countries who
7
When considering current death rates, we should not forget that road trafc accidents alone lead to 1.25 mil-
lion deaths a year globally (World Health Organization 2015) and that the global burden of other diseases
such as malaria remains high. Although improved tools have been successfully applied in the ght against
malaria, with 445,000 deaths and more than 200 million cases (year 2016), the burden of malaria is still sig-
nicant (Ashley et al. 2018).
REINER EICHENBERGER/RAINER HEGSELMANN/DAVID A. SAVAGE/DAVID
STADELMANN/BENNO TORGLER
© 2020 The Authors. Kyklos published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd6
have already adopted a specic practice, such as lockdown (March 2010). Learn-
ing about the external effectiveness of a policy is, of course, challenging. How-
ever, an obsession with the short-term problem of coronavirus contagion by
attening the curvefails to focus on future deaths as a result of the societal ef-
fects and economic meltdown. Thus, we need to take into account longer-term
perspectives and take advantage of societys growing resource of immune people
to reduce such negative societal externalities.
There is always uncertainty, and the unobservability of counterfactual outcomes
is a challenge (Manski 2013). Policy strategies require systematic observation and
broad analysis of all relevant impacts. However, at the start of a health pandemic,
there is short-term uncertainty and a risk that actors focus mostly on the direct effects
of the virus on its victims. Short-term effects on society and the economy of policy
measures to contain the virus tend to be underestimated and weighted lower by de-
cision-makers. Similarly, long-term societal damages tend to be underweighted,
even though we know a lot about the long-term effects of pandemics and we also
know that negative economic shocks have large negative consequences on health.
Large economic shocks such as the nancial crisis of 1929 have also been linked
to mass unemployment, negative political consequences (e.g. stability of democ-
racy) and lower public health. According to Snowden (2019), plague regulations
have cast a long shadow over political history, leading to a vast extension of state
power into diverse spheres of human life, at times marking a moment in the emer-
gence of absolutism or promoting an accretion of power and legitimacy. This is
not unrealistic even today: For example, Hungarys parliament is supposed to be
considering an emergency bill that would give prime minister Viktor Orbán rule
by decree. The government claims it is necessary to deal with the challenges of
the pandemic, but critics see it as a further step in Hungarys political system to-
wards an autocracy or illiberal democracy
8
, stripping away citizensdemocratic
rights under the pretence of tackling the crisis
9
.
III. INJUSTICE AND INEQUALITY OF INFECTION
The victims of COVID-19 are not truly random. The elderly, especially those
with damaged lungs due to work-related hazards, smoking, or previous pneumo-
nia, are more severely affected, and there is a higher mortality rate within this age
group than any other. However, it is not only the risk of serious illness that is un-
equally distributed in society. The economic and societal costs of lockdown mea-
sures taken to slow the pandemic vary considerably: permanent employees and
civil servants are far less affected than, for example, employees in the catering trade,
8
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/10/world/europe/hungary-orban-democracy-far-right.html (accessed
March 22, 2020)
9
See, e.g., https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/23/hungary-to-consider-bill-that-would-allow-
orban-to-rule-by-decree (accessed March 22, 2020)
CERTIFIED CORONAVIRUS IMMUNITY AS A RESOURCE
© 2020 The Authors. Kyklos published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd 7
self-employed cultural workers, and most shop owners. While executives can often
work from home, there is no home ofce for production employees. Career starters
currently have few opportunities. Such disparities have the potential to turn into so-
cietal explosives. Thus, the potential benets of lockdowns need to be weighed
carefully against psychological and societal costs. Studies exploring the psycholog-
ical outcomes for people quarantined in the past (e.g., during the SARS epidemic)
indicate thatthose quarantined were more likely than those not quarantined to suffer
acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress, exhaustion, emotional disturbance, de-
pression, low mood, nervousness, confusion, detachment from others, anxiety, irri-
tability, insomnia, poor concentration and indecisiveness, reluctance to work, and
deteriorated work performance: all effects that can emerge after more than 10 days
(for an overview, see Brooks et al., 2020). Only one study investigating an under-
graduate cohort found no mental health issues due to being quarantined (Wang
et al. 2011). However, that study relied on survey data completed at the end of the
quarantine period, which reduces its potential relevance to long-term psychological
effects. With respect to later psychological outcomes, feelings of anxiety and anger
were still present 4-6 months after the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome epidemic,
although they were substantially reduced (Jeong et al. 2016). Risk factors reported
in that study were inadequate supplies, social network activities (email, text, Inter-
net), nancial loss, and history of psychiatric illnesses. Another study looking at
consequences of the SARS outbreak among hospital employees still found alcohol
abuse and dependency symptoms three years later (Wu et al., 2008). Core stressors
during the quarantine were duration, fears of infection, frustration and boredom, in-
adequate supplies, and inadequate information. Post-isolation stressors were nan-
cial losses despite nancial assistance, due to measures being insufcient and too
late, and being stigmatized (Brooks et al. 2020). Allowing individuals with corona-
virus immunity to go back to normal would help to mitigate the societal conse-
quences of such negative psychological costs.
IV. CONCLUSION
It may at rst seem logical to many of us in the grip of pandemic fever that we
need to stop all groups congregating and go into isolation. While some may be
happy to suffer the short-term inconveniences of self-isolation and lockdowns,
in a matter of weeks this may turn into a true economic and social crisis. In a sur-
prisingly short time, people may want their normality back, they will want deliv-
eries, services, and the million other things that makes our lives livable. This
applies especially to people who have already suffered the illness and who are
therefore immune. For them, the health pandemic is less dangerous, but they
may still suffer the costs of government intervention. Therefore, they may tend
to oppose and undermine government intervention.
REINER EICHENBERGER/RAINER HEGSELMANN/DAVID A. SAVAGE/DAVID
STADELMANN/BENNO TORGLER
© 2020 The Authors. Kyklos published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd8
There is a pathway back towards normal: We have to understand that immune
people are a resource that is growing every day and that has to be certied with
immunity certicates. As the resource grows, scaling back the current measures
can be planned. Viewing immune people as a resource enables economists and
other social scientists to apply powerful tools of thought to argue for the best em-
ployment of such a valuable resource in the ght against any pandemic. The re-
source view is central, as the challenges of pandemics cannot be solved
efciently without integrating knowledge and expertise from the natural sciences
with that of the social sciences and humanities. The pursuit of consilience is an
important enterprise that political decision-makers need to embrace.
We would like to highlight explicitly that pandemics and particularly reactions
to them increase the general problem of scarcity that always exists in society.
Consequently, economists and all other scientists who take a resource view can
contribute systematically to solving the problems arising from pandemics. The
important secondary effects must also be taken into account from the start.
During pandemics, some resources become scarcer, such as beds in hospitals,
but some resources may also become more abundant over time, such as the num-
ber of immune people. At the start of the pandemic, there is an increase in scar-
city, and decision-makers face trade-offs. For every decision made, there is an
opportunity cost which has to be taken into account if total damage is to be re-
duced. Taking a resource view and keeping in mind the central principals of eco-
nomics (see, e.g., Mankiw, 2017) is central to solving such a crisis. It also allows
hypotheses to be derived and predictions to be made.
We would like to formulate four hypotheses, and it is easy to derive many
more from our discussion:
1. Ceteris paribus, the fraction of elderly dying early due to coronavirus is ex-
pected to be lower in regions and countries with higher resources in
general and with higher resources in the health sector in particular, i.e. with
high gross domestic product and higher health spending per capita.
2. Ceteris paribus, in countries where the supply of health services is more
elastic and where the regulation of labor markets and other factor markets
is more exible, we expect better crisis management and to see fewer
deaths as a fraction of infected people. We expect the opposite effect in
countries where government regulations decrease the supply of health ser-
vices in times of crises (e.g. due to strict isolation requirements on health
workers or other staff).
3. The side effects of societal infections could be vast. Unfortunately, it will
be difcult to distinguish whether the cure may have been worse than the
disease. However, there are sectors where the negative side effects of gov-
ernment measures against the crisis can be easily investigated. For in-
stance, we expect online gambling, alcoholism, domestic violence,
CERTIFIED CORONAVIRUS IMMUNITY AS A RESOURCE
© 2020 The Authors. Kyklos published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd 9
divorces, obesity, and suicides of non-infected people to increase. We also
expect shadow market activities to increase.
4. Countries where where an economically inspired resource view is taken
early by decision makers are expected to perform comparatively better
over time than others.
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SUMMARY
A pandemic is not only a biological event and a public health disaster, but it also generates impacts that are
worth understanding from economic, societal, historical, and cultural perspectives. In this contribution, we
argue that as the disease spreads, we are able to harness a valuable key resource: people who have immunity
to coronavirus. This vital resource must be effectively employed, it must be certied, it must be searched for,
it must be found, and it may even be actively produced. We discuss why this needs to be done and how this
can be achieved. Our arguments not only apply to the current pandemic but also to any future rapidly spread-
ing, infectious disease epidemics. In addition, we argue for high awareness of a major secondary, nonbiolog-
ical crisis arising from the side effects of societal and economic pandemic reactions to actual or imagined
health risks. There is a risk that the impacts of the secondary crisis could outweigh that of the biological
event.
CERTIFIED CORONAVIRUS IMMUNITY AS A RESOURCE
© 2020 The Authors. Kyklos published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd 11
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