What a Good Prevalence Would Be

Most days when I post my daily roundup I refer to “the good place”, which is a daily new case rate of 1 case per 100,000 people, which in D.C. would be seven cases per day, or fifty cases per week. Seems I’m not the only one who wants to get to that point and thinks we can (boldface mine):

If you look at Taiwan or New Zealand, or even Italy, eight, 10, 12 weeks of really serious pain — limiting social activities, limiting groups — you get the number of new cases a day down to one per 100,000. In the United States, that means 3,000 new cases [or] 2,000 new cases a day, down from what we’re doing at 60,000. Then we can be a lot more free and open. The chance of spreading is low. Schools can open. Lots of things happen when you’re about 3,000 cases [a day], as opposed to 60,000 or 40,000 cases a day.

Where I disagree with Ezekiel Emmanuel is this notion of pain. If we had the necessary economic policies, it wouldn’t be that painful. And, for most parts of the country, at this point, we don’t need three months of shutdown. Many places could get there in four to six weeks, two months tops*.

As I keep saying, we are four to six weeks away from returning to normal-ish (though if cases keep climbing, it will be more like six to eight weeks), but we remain four to six weeks away because we refuse to do what needs to be done.

Anger is still the appropriate emotion.

*If we can lower Rt to 0.7 and we assume an incubation period of five days, six weeks could lower the prevalence 17-fold, and two months could lower prevalence more than 70-fold.

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3 Responses to What a Good Prevalence Would Be

  1. dr2chase says:

    See also: https://pedestrianobservations.com/2020/10/15/corona-and-europes-idiocy/

    Consistent mask wearing and a ban on all bannable indoor gatherings, and high-quality air filtering for the rest (recent-ish paper, come winter, that’s cheaper than heating all that outdoor air). Add contact tracing, and a quarantine that works (government rents hotel rooms, runs the quarantine, helps handle missed responsibilities).

    And for the time-wasting jack-holes that insist this infringes on their freedoms, fines, fines, and (socially distanced) jail.

  2. What I find painful is that in Oregon we were there at the end of May, beginning of June but let it slip away.

    In early September the governor lamented that at the then rate of decline it would take until spring to get to the 0.01% prevalence goal she had set for opening schools. Then everything got much worse.

    Prevalence in Oregon since the start of the pandemic:

    http://critter-labs.com/images/Prev.gif

  3. dr2chase says:

    By-the-way, thing I realized yesterday reading a nice El Pais article — expected spread in an indoor group, is quadratic in group size/crowding. Double the size, you double the chance of someone infectious being present, and you double the number of people exposed. Contra this is the theory that the infectious person “must” appear in some group (we are compelled to gather indoors, apparently), thus the spread is linear.

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