We Still Have a Very Limited Idea of What Is Going on with the Pandemic

Our de facto COVID policy appears to be ‘everyone for themselves, and devil take the hindmost’–sorry, I meant ‘let individuals decide the appropriate safety measures for themselves and their families.’

Unfortunately, the Biden administration is not even doing the bare minimum to allow us to meet that paltry standard. The CDC’s community transmission data, given at-home testing, is a woeful underestimate of the actual number of cases–not that those data are being used. Right now, my guess is people, outside of a very limited areas, are just guessing what the prevalence is–that is, what percentage of people are currently infected. I can’t give you any reasonable estimate of what’s happening in D.C.

As I’ve mentioned too many fucking times, what we need are the release of asymptomatic and symptomatic hospital patient intake percent positive rates. That is, what percentage of people who arrive to hospital who do and do not appear to have COVID test positive for COVID. It’s not a perfect estimate, but it’s close enough to give us a good idea of how many people are positive: is it 1 in 20, 1 in 50, and so on.

Leaving aside the necessary society-wide responses, such as funding to fix ventilation, masking, and paid sick leave, we can’t even protect ourselves by limiting our own activities when the prevalence is high.

So frustrating.

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