The LATimes has a feature piece up on The Silent Spreaders of the Trump-Virus and it is worth your time to read:
Health experts say it can take a few days from the time a person becomes infected, and could infect others, and the point at which they begin to show signs of illness. It’s called “presymptomatic transmission.” There’s also “asymptomatic transmission,” in which infected people show no serious signs of illness but still can spread the disease.
There’s increasing concern that silent spreaders are playing a large role in the transmission of COVID-19, which is becoming the greatest public health threat of the century. With a possible new surge in coronavirus cases in the fall, being able to find those people becomes more crucial.
Along the same lines, the brainiacs over at Electoral Vote have a new medical contributor who discusses R0, which explains how infectious a disease is:
COVID-19 did not magically become less infectious during that time. As a baseline measure, R0 assumes level of social interaction. If you change the level of interaction (social distancing) you change the R0.
Exponential growth is very scary stuff. Here is some US data for total COVID-19 cases:
- March 1, 2020: 100 cases
- March 10, 2020: 1000 cases
- March 20, 2020: 10,000 cases (actually March 18, but I like round numbers)
- March 30, 2020: 100,000 cases
If we had not stopped the exponential growth, everyone in the US not living in a cave would have been exposed by May 1, 2020. If the 1% mortality estimate that you see from time to time holds, that gives us the dire projection of 2-3 million people dead.
The NYTimes tells us that around a dozen states are experiencing growing infection rates, including states that were in the first wave of states to relax restrictions in late April and early May:
- South Carolina
These states are also having outbreaks, but they never had shelter-in-place orders and have just begun relaxing rules for bidnesses:
- North Dakota
So, please read the Electoral Vote explainer and then the LATimes story, which will take on a different flavor once R0 is in the back of your mind. We’re trying to return to normal too fast (I think all Scissorheads know this) but this confirms some of our worst fears.