I read some of the papers you referred to recently. I thought you were cherry-picking as your part of confirmation bias.
I live in a town with a meat packing plant. Covid went through this plant like wildfire. It was shut down for three weeks. The company put up plexiglass between work stations. They set up a big tent so workers could take their lunch break at a social distance. Workers' temperatures are checked each day--and sent home if too high. Everyone is wearing masks. So can you explain how masks and social distancing are not the reason for no more outbreaks?
The herd mentality may or may not work. There have been a few people infected twice. Some scientists think whatever immunity a previously infected person may have will last only for a few months. We are not into this pandemic enough to have enough facts to claim "herd mentality."
As for the hospital stays, it seems the medical profession is learning how to better handle this disease. They have adapted as more experience was gained. That is how new challenges should be handled. Learn and adapt. The politicians in my system of governance will be better able utilize this mantra to society's advantage.
The flu vaccine is not 100% effective. I know this from experience. We should not expect the Covid vaccine to be 100% effective.
Covid is going to be around for a long time I fear.
If people were not taking unnecessary risks, we could keep schools and universities open.