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Study: Only 10% chance of catching COVID from infected person within household

Holy moley! A new study of more than 7,000 households in Boston with at least one infected person has found that there is only 10% chance that another member of the household will become infected also.

US researchers analysed data from more than 7,000 homes in Boston and found more than 25,000 people lived there between March 4 and May 17, 2020. In this time frame 7,262 people caught Covid but they only passed it on to a further 1,809 people they lived with, a transmission rate of 10.1 per cent.

The paper also found the likelihood of passing the virus on to someone you live with was lower for bigger hosueholds. For example, someone in a home with three to five people — one of whom was infected — was 20 per cent less at risk than a two-person house.

The study also found that infection was closely correlated with other illnesses. If you had other health issues, such asthma, cancer, were overweight, or had liver disease your chances of getting infected rose significantly.

This report is consistent with other research, that has found infection rates in households ranged from 16.6 to 19.5 percent. All tell us that even if you spend a lot of time with someone infected, if you are healthy your risk of catching COVID is relatively low. And if you are healthy your chances are dying are almost nil.

So I ask: When you are out hiking by yourself in the great outdoors, why the heck are you wearing a mask? And why do you stupidly put one on when you might pass someone else five feet away for about two seconds? Are you that fearful of life?

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Alton

    NYC contact tracing data shows that almost 70% of infected individuals where invaded by viroids from their homies. Were oh where are the millions of grocery store workers infected and buried? Just using the biological threat for certain Political Gains ???

  • Jeff Wright

    There is a book called Great Medical Disasters that should be required reading.

    I leave you with a quote from Treasure Island character Billy Bones:

    “Doctors is all swabs”

  • Chris

    To those wearing a mask outside or in a car alone — We are not living in a sci-fi movie!

  • Micha Elyi

    So I ask: When you are out hiking by yourself in the great outdoors, why the heck are you wearing a mask?

    To mess with your head, Mr. Zimmerman.

    Now can we get back to “Love thy neighbor as thy self”?

  • Tmitsss

    Has anyone ever caught COVID-19 on a sunny beach?

  • wayne

    Alton / Jeff / Chris–
    Good stuff!

  • Anne

    Since my sister was diagnosed with a glioblastoma, I have started to give the car mask people a break. After radiotherapy and now on continuous chemo, her oncologist wants her to wear a mask in public. In order to wear it correctly–that is, put it on with clean hands that haven’t touched anything else, wear it continuously without touching it, etc., she puts it on at home before she gets in the car.

    Since I see relatively few people wearing a mask inside cars, I assume they have a valid reason. I work in oncology/hematology–there are a lot of people with compromised immune systems out there.

  • Rahma Med

    I still have concerns about this data in terms of how they are collecting/reporting it. According to the original article, the COVID positive determination was ascertained via PCR test.

    People living with others ARE going to get infected; whether that infection was DETECTABLE through the PCR test is a separate issue.

    This was also a retrospective study reviewing medical records. So think about it this way. You are a parent. You get COVID and are symptomatic. You and your spouse quarantine, your kids quarantine, and your spouse shows symptoms that are not serious (eg headache); and no-one else requires medical intervention for the remainder of the quarantine period. That would be recorded in the records they analyzed as a “zero” transmisison. No; your spouse got infected; your kids were infected and probably never got a viral load high enough that (a) generated symptoms; or (b) necessitated anything but their innate immune systems to kick the infection (eg would not test positive in an antibody test, which focuses on b-cells from the adaptive system not T cells from the innate system). On the flip side, you are a suburban Karen, and you test your kids and spouse incessantly and at least 2 of the 3 tests positive, but are asymptomatic. That would be read by the medical records as 75% transmission, but it isn’t life threatening.

    We know the stuff spreads like crazy in long term care facilities. But the risk of catching COVID with casual encounters in society with people who lack symptoms? Slim to none.

  • Gabriel

    @Tmitsss: “Has anyone ever caught COVID-19 on a sunny beach?”

    Sunny beaches are where you catch Vitamin D.

  • janyuary

    One of the owners of a store I frequent, who shuns mask on his own face and welcomes folks like me, told me about a woman who came in the other day full maw-cover and asked him, “Where’s your mask?”

    His reply: “Where’s your dignity?”

    Micha: “Now can we get back to ‘Love thy neighbor as thy self’?”

    How does one love oneself? I do it by staying fit, eating smart, and reading a lot.
    I do it by living with courage and taking responsibility for my own fear, health, and information gathering.

    Those who love themselves by eating lazily and moving slowly, getting fat and pre-diabetic in the process and weakening their immune systems greatly, and who get their “facts” by being spoon-fed information via lazy media consumption habits, will LOVE me … how? By getting sick easily just because I live with courage? I might bring a virus their way?

    I am for LIVE AND LET LIVE. If folks are afraid of this virus, they can wear a mask and stay six feet away from everyone or order pick-up or delivery. But too many folks want to “love me as they love themselves” by forcing or shaming me into behavior that goes against my reason and my will.

    I refuse to respect others’ “right” to letting their ill-informed and ill-thought fear wreak havoc on our society. This is economic and societal homicide and all who support it are accessories.

  • deadrody

    Some 8 or 9 months ago I read that 10% of cases are responsible for all transmissions. Simple math says, therefore, 90% of those infected will not infect anyone.

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