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The Results Are In: How Effective Was New York City’s Coronavirus Lockdown?

Spoiler: We accomplished nothing.

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ASTORIA, NYC- I was sitting at a picnic table in the back patio of my local Astoria dive bar, sipping on a beer and responding to some comments on my Blackberry, when I struck up a conversation with the couple who were sitting next to me. The dude was around 40 and could have made good use of a toupée. The girl was around half his age, pleasantly chubby, and laughed a lot. My take was that they were co-workers having a beer on their lunch break.

We talked about the usual: how much the lockdown sucked and how we’re happy that things are opening up again. Then I mentioned something about how NYC now has herd immunity against Sars-Cov-2.

“Hold on,” the dude exclaimed. “We don’t have herd immunity.”

“Then why do we hardly have any cases anymore?”

“Because we’re all wearing these!” he stated proudly as he pulled the cloth bandana that was tied around his neck up over his mouth.

I had try hard to keep myself from laughing. The guy really though that his loosely woven cotton / polyester bandana was checking the flow of a 0.06 to 0.14 micron virus. Not even a properly worn N95 mask can really do that.

I did not see the point in mentioning the fact that we were also wearing face coverings in March, April, and May, when Sars-Cov-2 was raging out of control through the city. What? Did masks magically start working in June?

The fact of matter is that there is no indication that the draconian intervention methods that NY state and the city of New York began imposing in March had any impact once so ever on the spread of Sars-Cov-2. Let’s look at the data.

When the lockdown was first wrought upon us in NYC this was one of the graphics that were used to justify it. It shows what the infection curve would look like both with and without intervention methods. One shows a drastic rise and subsequent rapid fall that would supposedly overpower the healthcare system. The other shows a gradual hump that spreads cases out over a vastly longer period of time. We were told that if we followed unconstitutional orders, sheltered in place, wore masks, and didn’t gather in groups that we would get the second curve and more people would live. We followed orders and this is what we got:

NYC coronavirus graph

Note: I use death data rather than infections because we weren’t testing properly at the beginning of the pandemic and accurate data isn’t available.

What does that look like to you? Well, it looks very much like the doomsday curve of the first scenario above. There is absolutely nothing flat about that curve. In fact, if you ask me it looks exactly like the natural curve of a virus spreading through a society without prevention methods at all, such as, say, in Sweden:

Or, better for our comparison, Stockholm:

What we are looking for here is not a comparison of the number of cases / deaths or even the case / death rate per capita, but whether or not intervention methods had an impact on the curve. We use Stockholm as our control group, as they did not lockdown and have a comparable level of development as NYC and their data is trustworthy. Many people will argue that you can’t compare the two due to the population density difference, but for what we’re comparing I feel that’s irrelevant (and Sars-Cov-2 actually hit the least dense parts of NYC the hardest).

Remember, the idea behind flattening the curve was … well, to flatten the curve. But if we compare the curves of NYC, which destroyed itself with a lockdown, and Stockholm, which didn’t, we see something very interesting: they are virtually exactly the same. The peak in NYC went from the third week of March until the middle of May, while Stockholm’s went from the third week of March until the beginning of June. What’s really remarkable is if we flesh this out a little wider we find that the rise and fall of the Covid-19 curve is extremely consistent throughout the entire world regardless of intervention method:

“After around a two-week exponential growth of cases (and, subsequently, deaths) some kind of break kicks in, and growth starts slowing down. The curve quickly becomes ‘sub-exponential.’ This may seem like a technical distinction, but its implications are profound.

From a Bloomberg report:

But, as our next chart shows, there’s little correlation between the severity of a nation’s restrictions and whether it managed to curb excess fatalities — a measure that looks at the overall number of deaths compared with normal trends.

Nothing that us humans have done has had any impact on the Sars-Cov-2 curve. The intervention methods that destroyed hundreds of thousands of livelihoods and suspended the civil liberties of millions in NYC did not come with an observable decrease in the number of deaths. Likewise, the protests and riots and subsequent phases of reopening did not come with a noticeable spike in cases, hospitalizations, or deaths. Certainly, if such drastic intervention methods did anything they would have had some kind of footprint in the data, right? Nope.

Nobel Laureate Michael Levitt of Stanford has an explanation:

Imagine I had a confirmed case of COVID. Unbeknownst to me, a declared case, I’ve also infected my friends, my kids, people near me. And this means on the first day, I can infect people, but then the next day, I can’t find people so easily to infect. In some ways, what’s happening is that visible cases are having a hard time finding people to infect, because the invisible cases have already infected them. Since then, there’s been a lot of extra findings about maybe we have some natural immunity to the virus as well.

Basically, the virus seems to burn itself out quick. This is something that’s represented almost without variation in places that have had significant spread.

Now, there are some people who may counter me by saying that even though there was clearly no flattening of the curve that maybe the curve didn’t go as high as it otherwise would have without intervention. My reply is the same as it was when I was talking to the couple in the bar: then why aren’t people getting it now. If people were spared exposure to Covid who are susceptible to it then why didn’t we have a rise in cases when the lockdown was called off? Or when tens of thousands of people packed into the streets tightly together to protest? NYC doesn’t exist in a bubble — there were people coming in and out of the city from all over the country without restriction up to June 25th (and even still after, as the quarantine order is all bark and no bite), as Sars-Cov-2 began peaking in Florida, Texas, and California. We have also been egregiously violating just about every social distancing protocol possible over the past two months — come to my neighborhood at night if you don’t believe me.

It seems overtly probable that the virus spread through the population in March and April and we now collectively have herd immunity. No matter what happens — protests, street parties, people going back to work — the cases keep going down. NYC often goes days on end without a single Covid death. But don’t take my word for it.

From News Medical Life Sciences:

A new study by researchers at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Brookhaven National Laboratory and published on the preprint server medRxiv* in July 2020 discusses the effect of a factor called persistent contact heterogeneity on the final epidemic size of COVID-19. The researchers say that using estimates based on this measure reduces the herd immunity threshold (HIT) and suggests that the worst-affected areas, such as New York City (NYC), are almost at this threshold, meaning that they will not be sources of spread to other areas if a second wave of the current pandemic occurs.

From the NY Times:

At a clinic in Corona, a working-class neighborhood in Queens, more than 68 percent of people tested positive for antibodies to the new coronavirus. At another clinic in Jackson Heights, Queens, that number was 56 percent…

New York State conducted a more comprehensive survey on antibody rates, which involved testing some 28,419 people across the state. That survey suggested that roughly 21.6 percent of New York City residents had antibodies. But it also revealed a much higher rate in some neighborhoods. While the state has released little data from Queens, its numbers showed that in Flatbush, Brooklyn, for example, about 45 percent of those tested had antibodies.

From Off Guardian:

The research, conducted by a team of scientists at the University Hospital in Zurich, is titled: “Systemic and mucosal antibody secretion specific to SARS-CoV-2 during mild versus severe COVID-19”, and found that Sars-Cov-2-specific antibodies only appear in the most severe cases, or about 1 out of 5.

However, if the authors are indeed correct in their estimation, this might mean SARS-COV-2’s infection rate (IFR) would need to be revised downward yet again. If 80% of those infected really do not produce antibodies then there is a live possibility the virus is present in many more people than usually supposed. Which would in turn potentially reduce the IFR, possibly considerably.

From Cell:

Importantly, we detected SARS-CoV-2-reactive CD4+ T cells in ∼40%–60% of unexposed individuals, suggesting cross-reactive T cell recognition between circulating “common cold” coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2.

From MedRxiv:

Herd immunity thresholds are then calculated as 1-(1⁄R_0 )^(1⁄((1+〖CV〗^2 ) )) or 1-(1⁄R_0 )^(1⁄((1+〖2CV〗^2 ) )), depending on whether variation is on susceptibility or exposure. Our inferences result in herd immunity thresholds around 10-20%, considerably lower than the minimum coverage needed to interrupt transmission by random vaccination, which for R_0 higher than 2.5 is estimated above 60%. We emphasize that the classical formula, 1-1⁄R_0 , remains applicable to describe herd immunity thresholds for random vaccination, but not for immunity induced by infection which is naturally selective. These findings have profound consequences for the governance of the current pandemic given that some populations may be close to achieving herd immunity despite being under more or less strict social distancing measures.

However, local government officials are refusing to believe that the decline in Covid cases in NYC are due to natural causes. Preferring instead to pat themselves on the back:

But Mayor Bill de Blasio and Dr. Jay Varma attributed the city’s good numbers to everything but herd immunity — including social distancing, good hygiene and an increase in testing and tracing.

“I think that herd immunity is a very unlikely explanation for this because we know the vast major of New Yorkers actually weren’t infected, so we’re not nearly at a level where we would expect that immunity would play a major role in decreasing transmission,” Varma, the city’s senior adviser for public health, said at the mayor’s daily press briefing.

Conclusion

We’ve been duped. The virus did as viruses have done all through time: it tore through society until it burned itself out. It will follow this same pattern everywhere in the world, without exception, regardless of intervention method. We accomplished nothing and left our city and country in ruins.

Filed under: Epidemics, New York City, USA

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3623 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support VBJ’s writing on this blog:

VBJ is currently in: Astoria, New York

20 comments… add one

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  • Jeffrey August 8, 2020, 10:25 am

    Wade,

    What does that look like to you? Well, it looks very much like the doomsday curve of the first scenario above. There is absolutely nothing flat about that curve.

    Absolutely. You really busted them with those first two charts.

    I was chuckling as I scrolled down. Ha ha. Beautiful.

    The 2020 High Fade.

    Hey, hold it, where did it go? It was right here.

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    • Vagabond Journey August 8, 2020, 4:29 pm

      Thank you!

      It’s absolutely insane, man. People still go around talking about how we “flattened that curve.” We didn’t flatten shit. But I am very thankful about our local government’s ineptness as the virus was allowed to spread fast and now we’re just about done with it. They still talk about the second wave, but, from my understanding, this probably won’t happen as so many have already been infected. They can’t give it up … but then we have to look at the very powerful people behind the scenes who stand to not make a lot of money if the pandemic burns itself out and everybody knows it.

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      • Bob L August 9, 2020, 3:22 pm

        I am going to have to disagree with your interpretation of the graph of deaths, but maybe not the conclusion. If you changed the scale of that graph to have the peak at about a third of max scale, it would look very much like flattening the curve mainly because there is nothing to compare it with. I suspect if the govt had not mandated anything, but had encouraged people to take precautions, the graph would not have looked much different because the people who were most vulnerable would have avoided people and maybe we would have protected people in nursing homes a little better. BUT if people did not take any precautions the peak of the graph might have been even earlier and higher. The total deaths might not have been any different, just the timing. But maybe not.

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        • VBJ August 9, 2020, 10:34 pm

          Hello Bob,

          Right on:

          “I suspect if the govt had not mandated anything, but had encouraged people to take precautions, the graph would not have looked much different because the people who were most vulnerable would have avoided people and maybe we would have protected people in nursing homes a little better. BUT if people did not take any precautions the peak of the graph might have been even earlier and higher. The total deaths might not have been any different, just the timing.”

          Yes, there is another way of looking at this. I was looking for the impact of intervention methods decreasing the height of the curve and increasing the duration of the exponential growth phase. But maybe it actually made things worse? There is a good amount of evidence for this. We know that the virus mostly spreads in the home (contact, viral load, etc) and something crazy like 55% of NYC’s hospitalizations in the later phase of the peak were those who had properly sheltered in place. Basically, instead of allowing non-vunerable people to go out and do their thing we made them stay at home with grandma. We also know that a lack of sunlight, exercise, social interaction suppresses the immune system.

          But the biggest thing that could disrupt my position was the fact that over 40% of NYC’s Covid deaths came from nursing homes. Apparently, masses of known Covid+ people were being taken out of hospitals and put in nursing homes, where of course it spread to the people must vulnerable. If only our governments didn’t invest massive amounts of resources into locking everybody down, allowed young healthy people to quickly spread it and become viral shields, and then put those resources into truly protecting the vulnerable how different could the curve have looked?

          Who knows? But there had to of been a better way.

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          • Bob L August 10, 2020, 1:37 pm

            “There had to be a better way”

            Would have been difficult to come up with a worse one.

            82% of NH dead were from long-term care settings. That includes staff etc.

            A friend of mine died at one. He had a brain tumor and was going to die fairly soon, but had he not gone in for what was supposed to be temporary, he would have had more time to say goodbye, probably months or even a year.

            In NH, 87% of the dead were above 70 YO (62.5% 80+, 24.1% 70-79)

            We had 1 death under 40, and, if I remember right it was someone in a long term facility.

            TO complete the picture we had 1.7% 40 to 49, 2.4% 50-59 and 9.1% 60-69)

            For a long time we have been running at about 21 in the hospital at any one time.

            I know youngish people (40’s) and young people (high school age) that had it and it kicked their butts, but they recovered without much drama. One family was still going to work, not knowing they had it, as it was too early in the pandemic. One guy worked at a place that sells and works on trucks and cars and the whole place got it (nearly 100 people). All were OK. Granted, they did not get tested, but they had every symptom there was, so “almost” definitely was Covid.

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            • VBJ August 11, 2020, 9:12 pm

              “Would have been difficult to come up with a worse one.”

              Very true. They kept the strong and healthy quarantined — a weird twist on this word — and hung the vulnerable out to dry. With all the resources they put into making sure we stay in our homes one would think that they could have created adequate situations for the vulnerable members of society they said they were trying to protect. They had it all backwards and people probably died because of it.

              It’s still difficult for me to fathom what they’ve done. They took China’s model and did it 1/100th as effectively. Since when does China inform what we do? If this pandemic doesn’t end up being a major global turning point it’s going to seem kind of anticlimatic …

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  • Michael August 8, 2020, 11:47 am

    I guess it’s the best thing and the worst thing about humans. Everyone has an opinion on everything. I appreciate your articles on explaining what yours is. I wonder what your wife’s is these days? Is she still teaching in a classroom? What does that look like in your area? My wife is a teacher in Northern California. I live the struggle every day of what that means for her, for me, for our family, for her students, for the families of the students and for society as a whole. If she feels inclined someday i’d really like to hear what she’s been doing and feeling during all this.

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    • Vagabond Journey August 8, 2020, 4:39 pm

      Hello Michael,

      I believe she reads the comments so maybe she will jump in with her take.

      She went back to teaching in June, and it seems pretty much business as usual. She’s on the other side of the “cultural war” as me but she still maintains her intellectual bearings. I’d say that she is in agreement that the lockdown was unnecessary, seriously impacts a small number of the population, and that the city did a horrendous job of keeping at risk individuals safe (over 40% of Covid deaths were in institutional care settings).

      I will let her know about this and maybe she will jump in.

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  • Clyde Nelsen August 8, 2020, 4:22 pm

    Amen Brother!!!!

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    • Vagabond Journey August 8, 2020, 4:39 pm

      Thanks, man.

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  • Lawrence Hamilton August 9, 2020, 7:20 am

    I would genuinely be interested in reading about your wife during these times. My wife is also suddenly on other side of the culture war. My wife is amazing at not following news or being on social media, apart from weird Indonesian animal Instagram accounts. It has created some strife in our relationship, but we manage and have had very open and ‘deep’ conversations. It’s a process.

    Lots of Jerry Garcia and whale watching has got me through

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    • VBJ August 9, 2020, 6:55 pm

      Yes, I know how that is. This has really brought up fissures in relationships that there are often little reason to talk about. For so long politics of any sort were so far away from us. If something was going on in a country that we didn’t like, we just left. The foreigner has no place in political discourse. (Your case is different as you live there.) But when we’re talking about the country you’re from things are very different.

      She seems to be in a difficult ideological place, as it’s pretty clear that the left is not on the right side of this. It’s hard to defend people going around smashing up / extorting local businesses or beating people in the streets for no other reason than they have a different opinion. It’s especially difficult to vote for politicians who are clearly using the unrest and the suffering that it’s causing as a political tool. NYC is being destroyed by its elected officials. You can watch it happen right in front of you. (In a strange way it’s kind of fascinating).

      Also, how could any rational person vote for Joe Biden? The guy can’t even talk anymore.

      My wife would also prefer to keep her head in the mud … but of course I have to be a dick and yank it out every evening and give her the low down. It often doesn’t make her very happy.

      But I just want someone to talk to. The people at the bar I hang out at tend to all agree with me. It’s nice to have someone around who disagrees and can express themselves intelligently and makes you consider other viewpoints. It’s valuable for me, but she doesn’t like it at all.

      Side note: The Grateful Dead is another one of those previously buried fissures in our relationship.

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      • Lawrence Hamilton August 9, 2020, 8:54 pm

        I always knew you were a massive Deadhead! LOL. Weir everywhere. I am working a Jerry Garcia story, about his Bluegrass past. Talked to some managers from the Dead and Vince Herman from Leftover Salmon…pretty cool stuff.

        I completely agree with you about the current state of the left. Joe Biden is a joke, I mean how can you vote for that? I just can’t get over the complete and total lack of accountability over all this. Luckily, we have been living the good life. We bought a flat near the beach and haven’t really been locked down at all, but what is going on in Melbourne is fucking criminal. I said the other day that if I was the opposition leader I would bang the point home that come the end of the this new lockdown if there is not a DRAMATIC improvement (surprise: there won’t be) then it’s time for an election or at least some heads have to roll. The amount of hatred I got back, was staggering. I am negative, conspiracy theorist (why does every disagreement make you a conspiracy theorist?)…fundamentally all I am saying is that I want the government to be held accountable…but now that is a negative quality. It’s completely bonkers.

        My wife and I have recently been united by tragedy. A good friend of ours is dying and we can’t see his wife and 4 month old son. That have got him locked up in a hospital and he is dying alone. That is evil, but if we don’t support the lockdown 100 percent then we are selfish. It is just crazy. I know this sounds like a crazy conservative, but the law abiding people are being made to suffer while those who don’t give a flip can do what they want. I even think she is starting to feel a bit unsure about it all.

        What a mess. Are you feeling optimistic about this going back to ‘normal’ I am not at all. Hopefully I will be able to drive around Australia in the interim.

        Are you feeling optimistic at all this is going to back to ‘normal’.

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        • VBJ August 9, 2020, 10:49 pm

          It’s almost as if the Democrats are trying to lose. They know the levers that make people vote Republican and they pulled all of them. They are hardly even campaigning! My take is that there is a coup in place: let Trump win, contest the results, and take over the gov and impose some fucked up technocratic regime. That’s a real conspiracy theory. I guess if people are going to call us conspiracy theorists for disagreeing with the dominant media position then we may as well come up with good ones haha.

          Melbourne has lost its mind. How can they not realize that they can’t hide from it, and the more they force people to stay in their homes the longer the carnage is going to last. I guess I have to say that I’m happy that NYC’s officials were so inept: we got through the mess and now we’re done. Melbourne hasn’t even come close to starting to upward rise of their peak yet. They are going to be feeling the pain for a long time yet. What’s even more crazy is that there isn’t even good evidence that lockdowns are effective. Every place that’s now in the clear are those that were once an “epicenter.” It’s a necessary part of the process … But they probably think a vaccine is going to save them (even though we’ve been trying to come up with a vaccine for this for 15 years and even the current trials are going poorly). It’s funny how liberals and conservatives pulled a switch-a-roo on that issue.

          Sorry to hear about your friend. That is a tragedy. It’s like we’ve all gone mad. We’ve become so obsessed with a virus that we’ve forgotten about everything else that we value as a society.

          I believe it will go back to normal. People and institutions forget fast. There is only so long in the States that they can keep forcing people to follow precautions when nobody around them is getting the virus. In NYC we’re down to under 300 positive tests per day and we’re testing nearly 30,000 daily. But the hand that feeds wants to be paid. They will come up with a vaccine, some people will take it, and they will call it a great victory.

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  • Wade's Wife August 13, 2020, 7:05 pm

    Honestly I feel okay about being back at work teaching in a school now. To be clear, I was furloughed from the end of March through June 15 – when NYC was clearly peaking. I work at a small Montessori school in Manhattan. The classes were already capped at 10 kids (later upped to 13 following NYC guidelines). The same kids and I were together all day with one other teacher. I work in an early childhood environment (3-6 year olds) so I knew social distancing in the classroom wasn’t realistic. Going back in the middle of June I was a little nervous. NYC was just starting to re-open and no one was sure what to expect but it seemed reasonable to expect more cases as more people ventured out of their homes. I was mostly nervous about riding the subway again (but also oddly missed the terribleness of it?) But I am also extremely passionate about children’s development, and know that this is a critical year in their young lives and know that staying at home online schooling while parents are trying to work from home is not going meet the developmental needs of children unless the parents make extreme heroic efforts. I also felt supported by a compassionate, responsive community of parents and admin team at the school and am not personally high-risk or live with anyone who is. Now that I have been back a couple months I am feeling a lot better. NYC has been reopening and the cases haven’t been spiking. If I worked at a school in a city that hadn’t had a real outbreak of COVID I might be more nervous. I don’t necessarily agree with all of Wade’s conclusions, but there must be something positive about having had such a percentage of the population having already had COVID that will deter a second spike of deaths.

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    • VBJ August 14, 2020, 10:21 am

      “If I worked at a school in a city that hadn’t had a real outbreak of COVID I might be more nervous. I don’t necessarily agree with all of Wade’s conclusions, but there must be something positive about having had such a percentage of the population having already had COVID that will deter a second spike of deaths.”

      Exactly. We re-opened and nothing happened … who would have thought?

      “But I am also extremely passionate about children’s development, and know that this is a critical year in their young lives and know that staying at home online schooling while parents are trying to work from home is not going meet the developmental needs of children unless the parents make extreme heroic efforts.”

      Right on. Imagine if a huge chuck of your world view was constructed during a time of hysteria where everyone is putting masks over their faces, staying six feet apart, and imprisoning themselves indoors. This was child abuse, plain and simple.

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  • Jack August 15, 2020, 9:02 pm

    I’m f’ing tired of this Covid thing. I didn’t sign up for it and I sure as hell don’t want any part of it. There have been a lot of f’ups on both sides of the issue and they are just for prolonging this thing. And by they I mean both sides of the issue.

    Back when I was a kid, the media would manipulate people to one side or the other….nowadays THEY(whoever that is) manipulate people into one of two sides because THEY feed on that contention. I refuse to be part of any of it anymore.

    And I don’t need no f’ing politician to tell me when to wear my mask or what kind of mask to wear. I was wearing a mask back in late February/early March when the both sides told me not to.

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    • VBJ August 17, 2020, 4:26 pm

      Right on. “They” are cashing in on our division. Like tossing in some food to a pit of hungry hyenas, they throw out issues Of race and politics and health and watch us tear each other to shreds over it. The time has come for all of us to be sick of it.

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  • Gregory Woods August 25, 2020, 10:36 pm

    I was just thinking today about some numbers. I haven’t done any modeling of numbers since late March. I just really haven’t cared, but I got to thinking today…….we have about 180,000 deaths and about 6 million positive cases. That’s keeping a 3% death rate. That really hasn’t changed since the end of March really. I would have thought that as the testing rate increased and more people were actually tested that the deaths vs positive case count rate would actually go down because we should be catching a lot more asymptomatic and mild cases which would actually lower the death rates.

    I guess there could be some possible explanations for this.
    1) The numbers are just made up.
    2) This thing is more deadly than people think(it takes up to 3 months for people to die from it so there is a delay in the numbers which could explain it)
    3) Or something else.

    If the real death rate(counting the untested) is just 0.1%, then the current testing would have to be grossly undercounting the number of real cases….if that is the case then 56% of the US population has already had this thing and we are fast approaching herd immunity on this. At some point in the next month or so then the numbers are going to have to start falling again because if we are getting 50,000 cases and testing is capturing 1 in 30 cases then we are getting 1.5 million real cases in a day and in 1 month we will be over 70% infection rate. That said, the numbers are falling….it will be interesting to see if they continue to fall.

    Of course….I believe the death rate is closer to 0.7% +/- 0.2%. And if that’s the case then we are sitting at 25 million real cases and still have a long way to go……and it certainly doesn’t sound like this thing is as infectious as it is made out to be to only be at the case count we are at this stage in the pandemic. I don’t think the measures they have taken have been that successful.

    Or maybe the death rate is really 3% and this thing is relatively hard to catch.

    Or the numbers could be all made up. I give up. I am not going to delve back into the numbers….even though I wonder if it would be possible to estimate the true extent of Covid based on evidences such as how many people do you know personally that have died or have caught the illness.

    Lots of questions.

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    • VBJ August 26, 2020, 1:06 pm

      Yes, that is very, very strange. It seems to me as if all this widespread testing isn’t really coming up with that many positives. NYC is apparently doing over 33,000 tests per day and only coming up with a couple hundred positives. Was the 3.4% CFR in March a real CFR or was it an estimate? Who knows??? Whatever is the case, it really doesn’t make sense as we’re testing like mad and the death frequency is grinding down to a crawl nationwide… it’s actually grinding down to a crawl all over the world. In most cases, viruses like Covid will become less and less lethal the more they spread, which makes the lack of a declining CFR even more mysterious. But maybe your suggestion is right, maybe the data — or at least portions of it — really are all made up.

      But it does really seems as if the virus itself is getting weaker or herd immunity has been achieved in many parts of the country / world. There were some estimates that say that in this case herd immunity can be achieved with a much lower infection rate than previously thought … and then there’s the studies that show that significant portions of the population may have natural resistance to it. Or the fact that the antibody tests only pick up the most severe cases. Who knows? But what we do know is that it seems to be going away almost everywhere, which is going to make things really interesting once the vaccine is ready.

      But we live in a country where babies are vaccinated against Hep B, so a lack of a virus isn’t a good enough reason to not vaccinate people for it. Things are going to get ugly.

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