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About the collective interest in licking metro bars to pay off our national immunity debt

The notion of ‘immune debt’ originated in France and has been repeated ad nauseam internationally, despite the absence of any serious scientific basis. It annoys a large number of scientists around the world.
On 6 January 2024, I published a reasoning by absurdity in the Journal International de Médecine (which in its time had a section called ‘Pitres et travaux’ where Georges Perec had published his famous canular Experimental Demonstration of the tomatotopic organization in the Soprano (Cantatrix sopranica L.)). Here is the English translation, with an attempt to translate some of the puns…
Happy reading – consider this the unofficial French apology for the immune debt theory, you’ll never get the official one.

Available on ResearchGate (and currently being moderated on HAL).

Outreau, Saturday 6 January 2024. To explain the upsurge in viral and bacterial infections, some scientists advocate the concept of « immune debt ». However, in the light of reality, others are calling for the utmost reserve when it comes to this unproven theory. This is the case in particular of Dr Michaël Rochoy, a general practitioner, who has submitted a mock article to JIM, in tribute to the ‘Pitres et travaux’ section, to illustrate by absurdity the limits of this concept of debt…

The french version is available on: – Journal International de Médecine

By Michaël Rochoy1

1General Practitioner and Independent Seeker of Science, Ankh-Morpork, France


According to some French scientists in 2020, children were not contaminated by COVID-19 [1–3], and did not contaminate teachers or parents [4]. At the time, the Haut Conseil de la Santé Publique also praised the excellent sense of responsibility shown by SARS-CoV-2, which was transmitted in the « adults -> children » direction, with little or no transmission in the other [5]. Based on international publications [6,7], a quarter of French GPs insisted on the role of children in the dynamics of viral transmission; their dissenting opinion was quickly brushed aside as it is well known that these doctors never see children or families [4,8]. Furthermore, it has been decided that the name SARS-CoV-2 should no longer be uttered, because well, that’s enough for a while, then it monopolises attention – oh look, here’s a Mycoplasma among 36 of these Viruses-With-No-Name, that must be the one causing so many problems [9].

On 13 October 2020, in an impassioned appeal to « trust learned societies » and « limit controversies linked to messages without in-depth scientific argument », some paediatricians urged children not to wear masks [4]. It took 17 days for them to give a diametrically opposed opinion, welcoming the political decision taken the day before to impose masks from the age of 6, « an important measure to take to protect teachers and children » [10,11]. In 2021, the same scientists decided to opt for a Schrödingeresque double standard: in February, they declared that « the wearing of masks was justified a posteriori » [12], and in June, that « putting children through such a trick (the mask) makes no sense » because children can be contaminated but not transmit the virus (again thanks to MagicTM). They concluded that « in the end, the virus will kill very few children at school and, even if it were circulating, it wouldn’t be dreadful » [13–15].

It is in this context of consistency with the foam supplement concerning preventive measures that these authors have finally proposed – without any in-depth scientific argumentation – the hypothesis of « immune debt » due to « reduced immune training » and « greater susceptibility to infections » [16].

According to this theory, the confinement from March to May 2020 and the wearing of masks by children between October 2020 and October 2021 would have indebted the population to certain pathogens, and we would have to pay back the following years [17]. So the masks, initially declared useless, masked their antics and turned out to be powerful instruments for sanitising the environment, with consequences lasting several years! At a congress in May 2023, which devoted an entire session to the immune debt, it was also estimated that « it is now possible that the post-pandemic immune debt will have killed (sic) more children than Covid itself” [18]. The undeniable quality of this storytelling and the aforementioned undeniable scientific rigour lead us to staunchly support this immune debt theory. It is absolutely clear that a pandemic with a new virus infecting billions of human beings every year cannot be responsible for anything: the real culprits are the measures taken to reduce infections.

So let’s take it for granted that if we want to be less sick thanks to our immunity, it’s important to be more sick. The question now is how to think about public health in 2024 with this new « immune debt » theory.  

Our aim here is to list five strategic measures for reducing health risks that we believe must be deployed at national and international level.


We planned to carry out a meta-analytical epidemiological cross-sectional etiological cost-effectiveness literature review, but as that didn’t make sense either, we decided to do a Delphine round instead. The principle is similar to that of the Delphi round, but only with people named Delphine, since it has previously been shown that their opinions were frankly of rather high quality [19]. Through these rounds, the mindset aimed to maximise macronist disruptivity, a real springboard to be able to shake up certainties, in a win-win and synergetic entrepreneurial spirit [20]. To achieve this, the humidodigital technique was used in an approximate way, in accordance with the vague recommendations of the French Pifometry Society, widely followed by the current government [21].

We also contacted our banker to find out the current debt rate and the key rates for the coming year. After a long discussion with a passionate and convincing professional, we did not get an answer, but were able to open an igloo savings plan (equivalent to the home savings plan, but with better interest rates and a slightly more limited range of home ownership options).

A notary was also consulted, and advised us to « use our fruct » – particularly oranges – to boost our immune system.

This work was funded by the funeral home Bigdodo and Beurkbeurk® spray. He received approval from the Mormal Forest’s Ethical Ticks Committee.


The authors have listed 100 key measures to boost immunity and help pay off the debt. After 3 rounds of nocturnal rounds, a few enlightened people came up with 5 key proposals, aimed at giving us a brighter future.

The first measure is to lick one or two metro bars a month to boost your immune system.

To ensure that the debt is gradually repaid in equal monthly instalments, and so as not to overburden the hospital (town medicine is of little importance), there will be an organised licking based on the first letter of the surname. People whose surnames begin with the letters A to E will have to perform their task between the 1st and 5th of the month, and so on up to the letter Z. On the last 2 to 5 days of the month (27, 28, 29, 30 and 31), we will recontaminate the bars that have been over-cleaned on the previous 25 days, using 250 ml of Beurkbeurk® spray per bar. 

In order to create jobs, this practice will be reversed in odd-numbered months (except for particle names), and a green (quasi-toll-free) number will of course be set up to respond to any citizen wishing to know their exact licking schedule.

For people who live a long way from a metro bar and do not have the financial resources to order one for their own use, we propose licking bus, tram, train or trolley bars…. Figure 1 shows a comparative analysis to help users find their way around. 

Failing access to public transport, our group recommends licking door handles in motorway service stations, supermarkets and health centres, or spending 20 minutes in a French nursery school classroom. As such, teachers will be exempt from this barredemetro-mediated stimulation of their immune system, and each of them will be able to receive a Léchion d’Honneur (to be ordered from the Monnaie de Paris website, at the recipient’s expense).

Figure 1. Heat map of handrails on 5 types of public transport, and proposed new logo for France Transport

The second measure is to reduce the wearing of masks in public places. It is important to ensure that no political figure wears a mask during public ceremonies, to avoid inciting crowds to this practice: prevention ideas must not contaminate people, only microbes have that monopoly. Recommendations to wear masks can be maintained on principle, but without ever ensuring or worrying about their follow-up. The efforts currently being made in this area are highly appreciated by the authors, as is the lack of investment in improving air quality: put together, all these ‘nothings’ will make it possible to get out of debt with viruses, bacteria and other pathogens more quickly.

The third measure is to put an end to the unsustainable debt acquired over the last few decades in terms of sexually transmitted infections, which could be seen, for example, at the end of 2023 in Finland with the increase in cases of syphilis (linked to the flapping of a butterfly’s wings during confinement in France in 2020). Other pathogens are also concerned. It seems clear that if we do have a debt on our hands, it’s the clap: we’re going to honour the debt of gonorrhoea.

The fourth measure is to reduce the quality of drinking water in France, and to stop all assessment. We breathe what we breathe and we drink what we drink: that’s how our ancestors lived, and they were no worse off for it, since they invented fire, the wheel and writing, whereas today’s young generation spends all their time in front of video games or dancing to their TrukTok.  

Generally speaking, the authors recommend that we actively combat the hygiene lobbies. It is vital to put an end to these warnings about contaminated products, on the pretext that they cause collective food infections. This stigmatisation of Salmonella, norovirus or Clostridium is no longer tenable in 2024: after all, these viruses and bacteria have the right to reproduce. We all need to train our immune systems, otherwise we risk creating a « 3i generation » (with Immune Incompetent Intestines)… Generally speaking, advertising campaigns for hygiene products should be better controlled to avoid encouraging their consumption. A strong health insurance campaign should be run: « soap is a no-no ». Hand washing should be restricted, particularly in public toilets and schools. With a little ambition, by 2030 we could have the first soap-free generation: some public places are ahead of the game and have shown that this is a realistic and easily achievable measure.

The fifth measure is to incorporate more parasites into our immunity, so that we can pay off our debt more quickly and reduce the interest burden. To do this, we propose that mutual insurance companies remove the reimbursement for dental treatment to maximise the development of bacteria in the mouth, and reinject the savings made by organising organised trips to malaria zones. We also propose that every household should take in a pet parasite: a scabies, a louse, a taenia, it’s a light-hearted way of doing our bit to pay off a debt that we all have to bear. Finally, we think it’s essential to increase the circulation and free trade of our immune resources: repaying the debt will be that much smoother. While the fist or elbow greeting was a hygienic measure against conviviality, the reintroduction of the kiss is only the first step in accelerating the repayment of the debt. It would be useful to promote the French kiss as the only way to greet each other; there is no doubt that this ‘Gallic’ practice will find widespread support, at least initially.


We propose 5 measures aimed at maximising infections today, in order to benefit from an immunity that will enable us to limit infections tomorrow.

There are few studies in the literature to validate our proposals, which means that we are in the process of creating a new disciplinary field, and that we are therefore on the right track. On the contrary, the scientific literature indulges in an incredible number of articles aimed at limiting infections, for trivial reasons of morbidity and mortality [22,23]. These articles ignore two things: firstly, the importance of repaying one’s debts; and secondly, the fact that death is just another debt (except that it is only payable once). 

There are so many strengths in our work that it seems pointless to go into them in detail, since they are so obvious. Note that this time, no scooters have been mistreated [24] and that no expenditure was incurred for the publication [25]. Its main limitation is perhaps that it was written in 2 hours; however, great theories are not measured in time spent, but in the ability to hammer them home, with an air of conviction, appealing to common sense. In fact, it was better before, as Delphine explained to us during one of our rounds [26].

Like all great advances, the immune debt theory has been criticised on the grounds that it suggests a weakening of immunity at an individual level, for both the adaptive and innate systems [27,28], or that it systematically excludes the possible role of the Virus-Whose-Name-Shall-Not-Be-Named, which regularly infects (almost) the entire population, with acute and chronic consequences [29,30]. France has already made a name for itself internationally with hydroxychloroquine [31]: It would be a shame not to surpass the success in the year of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, with a new theory encouraging the lifting of barriers and the exposure of children.

Other critics say that the immune debt theory does not stand up to a 5-minute reality check. For example, according to data from the PARI paediatricians’ network, the number of cases of bronchiolitis in 2020-2021 was no less (but more spread out) and we are therefore repaying in 2022 and 2023 a debt that we did not contract: what is the Minister of the Economy doing? The Streptococcus A debt can also be considered an absurdity for a bacterium found in the pharynx of around 15% of children over the age of 5 [32] ; the resurgence in cases of invasive Streptococcus infections (also seen in countries such as Sweden which have not applied containment measures) may be explained by the increase in viral infections, particularly by the Indicible Mysterious Virus®, which alters the mucosal barrier of the pharynx and facilitates the translocation of bacteria carried in this area [33]. 

Our explanation for all these criticisms is that reality is wrong in choosing not to apply the immune debt theory. We owe it to ourselves to collectively adopt this exciting concept: a theory that suits political decisions is preferable to a gloomy and unimaginative reality, of which we must be wary. It is by reinventing ourselves that we can best justify past decisions; if necessary, we can add new extension packs to the inadequate immune debt, such as « immune co-debt » or « indirect immune debt » [34].


Avoiding infection today means risking illness tomorrow. On the contrary, to be ill today is to avoid being ill tomorrow – particularly if you die first. So, to achieve the objective of being less ill, it is important to be more ill. In very concrete terms, « win the immunity needs the virus to win against the virus ».

In this article, we are proposing a new model for society, free of deleterious hygienic considerations. Our 5 measures are easy to put in place, and will result in substantial savings for society, particularly on pension schemes. 

Furthermore, based on the elementary principle that « he who pays his debts gets richer », the repayment of our immune debt will enable us to increase GDP and invest massively, for example in new metro bars and Beurkbeurk® sprays. 

Finally, collectively adopting this theory of the immune debt will also allow us to validate a posteriori certain scientific-political choices from 2020 to 2024, to avoid investing in the fight against COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, to avoid launching a plan to improve air quality, and to stop talking about masks in healthcare environments or on public transport, to feed the narrative about the end of the pandemic, which the WHO has never declared, while of course continuing to express our annual indignation at the incomprehensible increase in the expected number of deaths (mysteriously correlated with waves of the Virus-Hush-Hush-You-Know-Not-To-Be-Noticed [35]) or the « untenable » increase in the number of work stoppages.


The author would like to thank those who fight disinformation on a daily basis, by whatever means, and hopes that the next Minister of Health will finally do her part.

Thanks also to Beurkbeurk® sprays: could we get a new Le Creuset casserole, as the previous one has become a bit sticky over time?


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(Image en avant : Photo de Towfiqu barbhuiya sur Unsplash)

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