Two things that have puzzled me throughout the entire pandemic are why we never collected the following data:
- Asymptomatic hospital patient percent positive rates. That is, which hospital patients, not admitted with COVID-19 symptoms, test positive. This isn’t perfect: admissions will have biases, such as towards women aged 20-35 (think about it), but it would be a good, if rough proxy, for community prevalence (the University of California hospitals do release these data).
- Census tract level data. In D.C., the city releases neighborhood level data, but many of these ‘neighborhoods’ cover multiple wards and census districts. “Logan Circle/Shaw” includes parts of Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, U Street Corridor, Shaw, and Mount Vernon across seven census tracts and two wards. The neighborhoods include , high density-high income tracts, moderate (for cities) density tracts, and low income-high density tracts, along with very different racial and ethnic compositions. If we see a surge was it wealthy millenials–they do exist!–getting it at their avocado toast brunches, or was it low income populations. There’s no reason to hold these data back for privacy considerations–the Barnaby Woods neighborhood is a single census tract (and has very few people compared to Logan/Shaw), so I don’t see how concerns about privacy don’t apply there, but would apply to Logan Circle/Shaw.
A boy can dream, can’t he?