Maybe, I'll be slammed for this, but I am not quite sure what the point of outrage is here. "Herd immunity," is itself not a strategy and not a policy; it is a scientific description of a certain state in the relationship between humanity and infectious pathogens, in which there is enough acquired immunity (through infection and recovery or through vaccination or some combination thereof) so that the pathogen no longer spreads in exponential fashion. This is the desirable, and some would say inevitable, end point of a pandemic. The question is how do societies get there.
Perhaps this is the point of contetion with the British policy as it was first announced, i.e. there was no point in doing much to mitigate the spread of the virus, because the quicker we get it over with the better. Perhaps, the initial formulation of this by the British government was rather crass and callous--but how much did it actually differ from the plan put forward anywhere else? Sweden's notoriously lax "social distancing" measures relied on the same underlying scientific/medical assumptions, as did the Dutch plan. Even in places that instituted strict lockdowns, it was more or less openly acknowledeged that this had little to do with protecting the old and vulnerable from getting the virus, it was about preventing a generalized collapse of the medical system under the pressures of the pandemic, by "flattening the curve," etc. In other words, prolonging the pandemic. In any event, the UK eventually backed off the "no mitigation" approach and instituted a rather strict lock down, but it has done little to stop the massacre of the old and vulnerable in the care homes. Such has been the fate of such insitutions of social neglect just about everywhere.
Its not clear then what is supposed to oppose the pursuit of "herd immunity," as a matter of policy? Lockdows that immobilize the world until a vaccine is found (if it even ever is). All across the world, governments are realizing that this is itself impractical and possibly worse than the disease in terms of any number of social metrics of misery, death, disability and turmoil. Soon, just about everywhere will be instituting a version of the Swedish model, crossing their fingers that hoping there isn't a second wave worse than the first. But its not clear that there is any alternative. As many experts have expressed, the virus can't be stopped. It has its own logic; its own gravity and it will just keep going until some figure over half of humanity has acquired immunity through whatever means. Lock-downs, social distancing and mitgation only delay the inevitable, while creating all kinds of collateral damage in their wake. As one commentator put it, its not about balancing the economy against lives, its about balancing lives against lives.Preventi
Perhaps, this is where the moral outrage originates? The idea that the human species would ever be put in a position of having to choose who lives and who dies in the face of some terrible, horrific threat emanating from nature that even in our most Promethean moments we will never be able to fully control? As Marxists, its all too easy to try to make this an issue of class morality as in "all bourgeois are bastards!" Yes, it is true that in a communist society, it may be possible to better control nature to the point where such devastating pandemics are lessened in frequency or attenuated in intensity, but it is far from clear that they can ever be completely eliminated. How would the ethical and moral calculus be much different under communism?
Unless, we are willing to contemplate that communiusm would mean the elimination of human mortality, there would still need to be some kind of social triage faced with these natural threats. Essential production would need to continue, as it does today, therefore putting some people at more risk than others. Could communist society just afford to wait out a pandemic until a vaccine is developed? Could communist society do it more quickly? (Although, part of the issue today with Covid-19 is that a vaccine may be rushed and therefore unsafe). In the end, there is a part of this tragedy it seems somewhat disinegenous to blame the bourgeoisie for. They happen to be in charge today, so it is very convienent, but old people will die under communism too and most of them will die sooner than most young people. In general, the older you are, the more susceptible you are to viruses, disease and yes death. This is part of the human condition, unless we want to start to explore the limits of mortality, which would push the boundary towards mysticism.
I am afraid the lesson of this outbreak may be less about the bourgeoisie's moral perfidy (as evident as it is) and more about what a bastard nature can be.