More COVID-19 good news


A close look at the infection rate based on the increased number of tests in the past two months suggests that by election day the entire country will be close to herd immunity, and that quite possibly 40% of the population is already immune.

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.

…One eighth of the country [44.2 million] 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.

And yes, there is uncertainty here, but the analysis appears reasonable, based on the number so far tested and the numbers found to test positive. It also matches what a reasonable person should expect from this respiratory disease.

Of course, because it suggests we have a lot to be optimistic about the Wuhan virus, this analysis must be dismissed immediately, out of hand. It just can’t be right. We are all gonna die from COVID-19 and that’s it.

15 comments

  • Andrew_W

    The “analysis” is far from reasonable, the testing was not random, rather those most likely to be tested were those with symptoms and those most likely to have infected or been infected by those showing symptoms ie. the people known to have been in contact with those confirmed infected.
    Rather than “reasonable” the word that springs to mind to describe the “analysis” is “insane”.

  • R7 Rocket

    Will Andrew_W denounce the lying health officials who list motorcycle crash deaths as COVID19 deaths?

  • Andrew_W

    Based on this recent Florida antibody trial in Florida they’re detecting about 10% of cases (16,000 cases/million people, 160,000 infected/million)
    Extrapolating that to the US would give 39 million people having been infected, about 12% of the US population, that would give an IFR of 0.37%. A fair bit of uncertainty, but nothing like making the ridiculous assumption that antigen testing is sort of random.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-19/florida-virus-out-of-control-lockdown-needed-ex-hhs-chief

  • R7 Rocket

    Andrew_W continues to be unresponsive.

    Andrew_W, will you denounce these lying health officials (that you robotically keep linking to) for listing motorcycle crash deaths as COVID19 deaths?

  • commodude

    The COVID totals are skewed towards positive by economic incentives, so the numbers coming from hospitals are guaranteed to be inflated.

    If a patient succumbs due to COVID, the Federal Government pays the full bill. No messy arguing with insurance companies, no gatekeepers, just submit the claim for payment. That guarantees motorcycle deaths, for example, being linked to COVID as opposed to rapid deceleration caused by impact.

    The other nasty little statistic noise is the 100% positive reporting rate in certain areas in Florida.

  • Chris

    Does anyone have a reasonably recent (July anything to late June) country wide set of results on anti-body testing?
    Strangely, The CDC is not requiring testing results to be reported from states.

    One area that they have SOME testing is seroprevalence from commercial labs in 5 states/NYC. (Western Washington, Missouri, Utah, Connecticut, South Florida, NYC). These are from all blood samples taken from patients for other testing. A different test of blood donors is underway in select cities (very late to start this in my book). Blood donors would be otherwise heathy specimens who would not have active CCC (Common Chinese Coronavirus) symptoms. Second link.

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/commercial-lab-surveys.html

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/blood-bank-serosurvey.html

    This 6 state/area survey seems to be the only data I can find on the site.

    I have tried to find any recent comprehensive results for ant-body testing nationwide. The CDC site is difficult to find anything other than the results above. It is very hyperlinked and each page takes 2/3 of its space to tell you about the different types of testing and how you need to protect yourself. Then there are more links to more pages with 2/3s of the pages telling you the same thing.

    It seems to me this is a very important data set – perhaps the most important. I don’t think we know much without it. Where’s this data?

  • Phill O

    When looking at the positives per day, I really doubt that the labs could produce 1/10 of the numbers!

    OH NO, we are all going to die!

  • Gary

    I was tested because it was required for a medical procedure, but I suspect that many were tested for active virus based on symptoms. The assumption that the remaining 7/8 of the population would have the same rate of positives as those tested is rather suspect. So, the complaint above that testing was not random seems to be a valid point.

  • pzatchok

    I would trust half of those numbers.

    Only because i do not trust the tests numbers.

  • MDN

    The truth is that Covid is an active virus that will be with us unless or until we develop an effective vaccine or herd immunity. PERIOD. As noted it is the subject of much debate how fast either can or will happen, but is only news because 2020 is an election year and this is the only issue the left has found that they can effectively club DJT with. That is a sad commentary on us as a society, but it is what it is.

    I take hope in promising news like this post, but agree that testing is skewed massively toward those likely to be infected. That said however, they are also reporting extremely high numbers of asymptomatic cases, so presumably there is quite a large population of carriers actively spreading the virus too. Add to this the fact that lockdowns have proven to be of little use to prevent the spread (I loved Cuomo’s bemusement when he reported in early May or so that 70% of new cases in April were reported in folks totally locked down), and it is fairly certain the spread will continue no matter what we do.

    So, imho, what the data is now showing is that we flattened the curve and have reached a reasonably stable steady state of infection/hospitalization/deaths that will continue until aforementioned vaccine or herd immunity is achieved. Hot spots will cycle around of course, but the grand totals will likely remain largely where they are on a national basis. And, if our salvation is to come through herd immunity I suspect the scenario in this post is a bit too optimistic, and we’re looking more at mid next year or so. But that is just my intuition talking. On the other hand there have been some indications that several virus trials are proceeding quite well, so that avenue is a wild card that may still play out sooner. It is impossible to predict with any certitude though.

    WRT the election cycle my opinion is that DJT needs to simply frame this situation as a Force Majeure event that the administration has handled as good as, if not better than, most. The public at large know this is an exceptional event, and they know that the President cannot stop a virus despite the Left’s childish attempt to argue that he can. But where he is responsible, he delivered. He did halt travel earlier than anyone, even though it was unpopular. We never did run low on ventilators or ICU beds because of his actions (not Cuomo’s, who only whined) and we never suffered a catastrophy like Spain or Italy (except in NY/NJ nursing homes which DJT had nothing to do with). The testing infrastructure was a disaster to start (inherited from all previous administrations), but now exceeds the entire world by a mile (we matched Europe in overall tests completed around June 1st at 18M, and since have performed an additional 30M to 17M for them).

    Overall the U.S. has fared better than continental Europe and roughly matches France at this point. Not Germany, but then we are more laid back like the French so not at all bad in the grand scheme. And that is including our Disaster Zone of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts in our numbers (all dominated by Democratic governance). Viewed independently these states together are ~2X worse in deaths per million (at 1,575) then the worst country in the world (Belgium at 858). And the U.S. minus this region would stand at just 290. So DJT and the conservative governors have plenty of positives to run on, it is simply a matter of getting the word out. And I suspect they are biding their time in that regard as it really doesn’t matter until 6 weeks out in a presidential election cycle, and the only poll that counts is on November 3rd, not in mid July.

  • John

    Why does there have to be herd immunity just because a lot of the flock has gotten it? No herd immunity from the common cold. Who says there will be a vaccine? Will it sorta work like the flu vaccine.

    At least if orange man bad looses the election, COVID will be gone like a store being looted by a violent mob.

  • Rick

    In VA recently, they announced that 75% of new cases were Latinos.
    NC yesterday announced that they were sending 900,000 mask to Cooperative Extension agencies, due to large numbers of cases in the migrant farm worker community.
    It sounds like workers weren’t tested before bringing them in from Central America.

  • LocalFluff

    @John
    Herd immunity is the same thing as a vaccine, but naturally. Vaccine means injecting parts (proteins) of the virus into the blood hoping that the immune system will develop antibodies. If herd immunity, trained on real viruses, doesn’t work then vaccination also cannot work.

    The reason there is no vaccine against common cold (and 10% to 30% of all common cold are believed to be caused by virus from the corona family of virus!) is because they mutate. The immune system takes care of one variation of the virus, which relieves any new variation from that competition.

    Virus cannot be defeated. And if they were, we probably all die pretty quickly, because virus play an important part in our bodies. Some are even efficient components in our immune system against foreign bacteria! We are not created to live for ever. Only genetic DNA-sequences can live for ever, and a gene doesn’t care much whether it survives inside the specific human conglomeration of genes that create this temporary phenotype that is “a human”, or in a pea plant where the same gene also exists.

    A virus doesn’t do anything at all. It is the infected cell that actively brings the virus inside and to its nucleus and there destroys the virus so that its RNA or DNA is released so that thousands of copies of that virus can be manufactured. The Disney version of evil virus invading us and the immune system defending us, has nothing at all to do with the biological reality. Virus further the proliferation of the selfish genes (see Richard Dawkins). Half of all human DNA has been found in different virus! The gene has no interest in human beings other than as temporary vehicles. The genes kill us because they benefit from recombining with each other and from getting rid of old phenotypes so that they do not compete for resources with the new ones, now better adapted to the environment, where the same genes exist anyway.

  • Cotour

    1100 deaths for the second day! (In all of America)

    https://news.trust.org/item/20200723031027-ka4xd

    In New York I think at its peak the virus had about 900 a day before things calmed down and are now at around zero. That is one state, and they are talking here about the entire country with 320 million people.

    This virus is cycling through the country as it cycled through NYC and NYS which was essentially the epicenter of the viruses spread. Came from Europe and or via Wuhan direct.

    Is it just me?

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    That ‘1,100’ figure, is deaths reported on that day.
    It does not represent actual deaths occurring in any 24 hour period.

    This how they all endlessly lie.

    (Victor Davis Hanson and Mark Levin hammered on this, on both their respective Tuesday podcasts.)

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