Coronavirus good news for a change
The Our World in Data project (website: ourworldindata.org), from the Oxford Martin School of the University of Oxford, contains a wealth of information on COVID-19 (and on many other subjects, too) that anybody, even the lying media, can view through interactive charts. I was curious to know just how far along we are in the progression of the pandemic here in the U.S., and from their tables I extracted the following information for confirmed COVID-19 cases as a percentage of people tested (weekly intervals, three-day rolling average):
March 16, 2020: 6.5%; March 23, 11.2%; March 31, 15.0%.
April 6, 17.2%; April 13, 18.6%; April 20, 18.7%; April 27, 17.1%.
May 5, 15.5%; May 12, 13.9%; May 19, 12.3%; May 26, 11.1%.
June 1, 10.3%; June 8, 9.4%; June 15, 8.7%; June 22, 8.3%; June 29, 8.00%
July 6, 8.00%; July 13, 8.1%.
The current testing rate is about 850,000 people daily (about 0.26 of the U.S. population per day, 1.8% weekly), and the testing rate is still increasing sharply. As of July 17, 44.2 million people have been tested, with 3.63 million positives (8.2%). Those folks who tested negative either never contracted COVID-19 or had it (with or without symptoms) and recovered.
I began my data analysis with mid-March because (1) this was the day that everything abruptly shut down (in the Northeast) because it was suddenly obvious that COVID-19 was a real problem; (2) the data were being collected from all 56 states and territories, not a subset; and (3) this was likely about the time I contracted my own case of COVID-19, meaning (in retrospect) to me that it had "escaped" from the hospitals and nursing homes to the general public.
Now, in the early days of the pandemic — March into May — testing was scarce, limited mainly to victims, first responders, and essential workers in pandemic "hot spot" areas such as New York City, so you would expect the percentage of confirmed cases to be high. But by mid-May, testing in the general population was extensive as the "hot spots" in the northwestern and northeastern regions of the U.S. subsided, and "hot spots" popped up in the southern and southwestern states. So, assuming that testing is now essentially random among the population, the 8% rate appears to me to be a "baseline" nationwide infection rate, at least until any remaining "hot spots" disappear and the pandemic ends. If extensive random testing had been available back in March and April, I would expect the true nationwide infection rate to have been around 8%, because that's what we're now seeing with massive testing and the current "hot spots."
The COVID-19 incubation period — the time between infection and when symptoms appear — if they do appear — ranges from five days to two weeks. The symptomatic period lasts from a few days to two weeks for most non-hospitalized people. Voluntary testing (with results positive) is randomly done any time from infection into the symptomatic period, so on average, a person will have recovered from COVID-19 and will have developed antibodies and/or T-cells inhibiting re-infection within three weeks after testing positive.
One eighth of the country already tested is a very large sample, statistically. Applying the 8% baseline infection rate to the entire population, this means that every week after the beginning of April, another 2.67% of the people in the U.S. had recovered from COVID-19, were immune and non-contagious, and were not a threat to anybody. These numbers are additive. By July 17 (15 weeks), 40% of the country is now immune to the coronavirus, whether or not these people know it, and they cannot infect anybody else (for as long as the period of immunity lasts, likely well into the fall).
We can use the trajectory of the "hot spots" in March and April (which peaked about mid-April) to estimate the future trajectory of the percent of nationwide positive COVD-19 test results — which are now less than 2% in the former hot-spot areas — as the current set of "hot spots," which are currently at peak, subside. I roughly estimate the following: for August, 5.4%; September, 4.0%; October, 2.1%. On the day you go to the polls to vote for either Orange Man or Senator Senex, by my estimate, 62% of the country will be immune to COVID-19, which is close to herd immunity. The pandemic will be long gone everywhere except in the lying media and in the hearts of the mask fascists and those afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Nick Chase is a retired but still very active writer, editor and webmaster and records classical music concerts for radio broadcast. You can read more of his work on the American Thinker website and at contrariansview.org.