How Amish Communities Achieved “Herd Immunity” Without Higher Death Rates, Lockdowns, Masks, Or Vaccines

In Brief

  • The Facts:
    • Amish communities of thousands in Lancaster, PA chose to not lockdown and instead went on with life in 2020.

    • Their communities were infected by COVID but death rates were not any higher than other places.

    • They lived life normally, did not wear masks and stuck to their values and culture.

  • Reflect On:
    • How much value should we put on living life to the fullest instead of focusing on reducing COVID cases at all costs?

    • How many lives were lost as a result of harsh lockdowns?

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In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, thousands of Amish families took a different approach to COVID-19. Their outcomes are a story you probably won’t hear anywhere in mainstream media.

By May 2020, the Amish were through COVID and had obtained herd immunity according to those studying the communities. To get there, they did not implement lockdowns, vaccine campaigns, mask wearing, or social distancing. They instead stuck to what they valued most, community, contribution, family, health and tradition. Values that were pushed to the back seat in most areas of the world who put reducing COVID cases above everything else.

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Initially the Amish in Lancaster adopted a very brief shutdown at the start of COVID. Like many others, they were trying to find out what was going on and how severe the disease was. But once things were more clear, they took an approach that somewhat resembles what The Great Barrington Declaration sets forth – some focused protection for the vulnerable, but let people live their lives.

As COVID continued on, the ‘outside’ world began adding restrictions. Governments were telling their citizens to lockdown, stop working, wear masks, social distance etc. The Amish didn’t feel this was in alignment with what they believe in.

Calvin Lapp, an Amish Mennonite living in Lancaster, PA, told Sharyl Attkisson during an interview about the approach their community took with COVID.

“To shut down and say that we can’t go to church, we can’t get together with family, we can’t see our old people in the hospital, we got to quit working…. It’s going completely against everything that we believe in and you’re changing our culture completely in asking us to act like they wanted us to act the last year. We’re not going to do it.”

Calvin Lapp, an Amish Mennonite

During a Christian holiday when the community went back to church, everyone began getting coronavirus and inevitably developed immunity.

“When they take communion they dump their wine into a cup and they take turns drinking out of that cup. So you go the whole way down the line and everybody drinks out of that cup. So if one person has coronavirus the rest of church is going to get coronavirus. The first time we went back to church, everyone got coronavirus.”

Calvin Lapp, an Amish Mennonite

Instead of avoiding cases at all costs, they decided to let the virus takes its course. Even as their population got COVID and some severe cases emerged, some chose to go to hospitals while others didn’t. Their approach was guided by a desire to stay close to those they care about instead of being isolated.

What is clear is, there is no evidence that there was any more death amongst the Amish than in any place that shut down their economies, wore masks, and were vaccinated. The Amish took an approach they thought of, felt good about, and that aligned with the community – an approach grounded in self reliance and self responsibility. This as opposed to taking orders from government.

The good news for the Amish in this community is that natural immunity has been shown to be very robust time and time again. With the latest data indicating it is the best protection against re-infection and severe disease.

“There’s three things the Amish don’t like: that’s government – they won’t get involved in government. They don’t like the public education system – they won’t send their children to education. And they also don’t like the health system – they rip us off. Those are three things that we feel like we’re fighting against all the time. But those three things are part of what COVID is.”

Calvin Lapp, an Amish Mennonite

To dive more deeply into this story, the nuances of it, and how these cases were studied more closely to verify what happened, I encourage you to check out the brief report below by independent journalist Sharyl Attkisson.

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