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George Washington, cows and an Egyptian mummy: The true story of herd immunity and how it might protect from coronavirus

Experts say we must gain herd immunity to beat coronavirus, but how do they know? And why do they insist we need a vaccine to get it?

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —

Experts say we need to gain herd immunity to beat coronavirus, but how do they know? And why do they insist we need a vaccine to get it?

The answer is a true story that involves a woman milking a cow, an Egyptian mummy, and General George Washington.

He worried about one thing even more than the British: the smallpox disease they brought with them.

Smallpox killed way more of Washington's men than the war itself, and solving herd immunity was key to the U.S. victory over Britain, according to many researchers and historians.

Take a couple of fun minutes to learn this fascinating true story in the short true cartoon above.

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Brandon Rittiman.

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