COVID-19 Studies Bring Some Good News

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COVID-19 studies done in CA, MA and NY are starting to confirm what’s long been suspected, that there are vastly more asymptomatic or mild cases of the virus than the official confirmed case counts.

This sounds like bad news, but if the studies hold up and results can be replicated it’s actually very good.  Mostly.

Key Take Aways: 

  • Getting the virus does not mean a death sentence or hospitalization for most people. Many will get it and not even realize it.
  • We are looking at a much lower and more manageable death rate than initially feared.
  • Protection for vulnerable populations should be reinforced as the more asymptomatic carriers there are, the more difficult it will be to contain the spread.
  • These studies are not final and still need peer review.  They do offer a good snapshot where eventually more informed and better public policy decisions can be made moving forward.

The Studies:

The University of Southern California partnered with Los Angeles County on a COVID-19 antibody study that concluded 2.8%-5.6% of LA County’s adult population had virus antibodies present, translating to 221,000-422,000 past infected people which far exceeds the confirmed case count at the time of testing of of 8,000.

The study’s lead investigator, USC Professor Neeraj Mood stated, “We haven’t known the true extent of COVID-19 infections in our community because we have only tested people with symptoms, and the availability of tests has been limited.  The estimates also suggest that we might have to recalibrate disease prediction models and rethink public health strategies.”

Study summary can be found here.

Also in California, Stanford University researchers came to similar conclusions with their antibody testing study in Santa Clara County.  Those scientists estimate that between 48,000 to 81,000 people had been infected with the virus in the county by early-April, which is 50-85 times larger than the number of publicly confirmed cases and that they conclude lands the fatality rate at 0.12 to 0.2 percent.

Study summary can be found here.

In Boston something very interesting happened when 297 residents of the Pine Street Inn homeless shelter  were tested for COVID-19 and found 146 were positive and not a single one had symptoms.

“It was like a double knockout punch. The number of positives was shocking, but the fact that 100 percent of the positives had no symptoms was equally shocking,” said Dr. Jim O’Connell, president of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

And finally, in New York, where according to Governor Cuomo, “We have undertaken the largest, most comprehensive study of New York state to find out what is the infection rate,” massive antibody testing points to 13.9% of the state population having been infected with COVID-19 and having either recovered or were fully asymptomatic.

Cuomo said if the 13.9% statewide infection rate holds true, that would suggest a total amount of infections of around 2.7 million statewide, with a 0.5% death rate.

Pretty interesting stuff.  None of this is to take away from the 217,000 worldwide COVID-19 deaths or say they aren’t tragic.  It’s a serious and deadly virus that warrants proper attention, but so do the calamitous effects of shutting down our economy and keeping healthy people shut up in their homes.

Have we made a catastrophic mistake here that will cause more suffering and death in the long run and take years to overcome?   Or did we dodge The big One by preventing the initially predicted  mass casualties and death?

Only time and more studies like this will tell.


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12 Responses to COVID-19 Studies Bring Some Good News

  1. Bruce Cooper says:

    Thank you for linking all the info, sincerely appreciated. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done, Tricia!

    It’s absolutely maddening to me that I live in a state heavily invested in extending this quarantine and surrounded by people who simply don’t understand the implications of shutting down the entire economy. Two months ago they were complaining about not having enough ventilators. Now with a 60% decline in revenue, they are laying off doctors and eventually we may not have a hospital at all. Our city and county government is now in serious financial trouble. It turns out government is funded by taxpayers. When you shut down the economy you have no taxpayers to fund government with. Who knew?! This is all happening in an area with 38 cases, ALL of whom have fully recovered and required no medical care at all. I live in the boonies. A densely populated city is going to be impacted differently, but our response is so totally one size fits all and foolish.

    Thanks for listening to me. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tricia says:

      Thanks IB and it is completely maddening to me as well! My governor said just yesterday that some business won’t open for months. Months! What planet do these people live on? Hospitals in my area are doing lay offs too, in fact we’ve shipped ventilators out of the state because we don’t need them.

      What bothers me most is this fear based narrative that’s been set in stone and unnecessarily scaring the crap out of people. Go against it and watch out for the blowback. It’s very handy for government leaders too because it has citizens more than happy to give up civil liberties and call the police on neighbors they feel aren’t “behaving”properly. It’s truly like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

      We’ve done our part and flattened the curve, now it’s time to open things up before there’s no going back.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Now that is some good news. Now if most states could stop the stay at home orders and let us go back to work, we could make some progress.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Tricia says:

      Agreed Michael. Even if the studies don’t pan out we have no choice but to open things up. I have no problem in keeping the practical things going at the same time, like social distancing measures, good hygiene practices and requiring masks indoors. It’s sheer insanity what we’re doing now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dennis says:

    Good info Tricia but I think it’s for the people who need stats. This whole situation is gotten out of hand. Local politicians, police and every person in charge of something is exercising their limited authority to the max.
    There will be repercussions believe me!! One of these days someone will get a bloody nose for pushing too far. The ballot box is another way to get retribution at least in most states. Some not so much and you know who your are!
    I stood in line for 20 mins at Home Depot this morning and when I finally got in the lights were off! Must have been a virus attacking the electrical grid! I spent $35.00 and when I left there was no line. Go figure.
    Hang tough and stay safe!
    Make sure and change my email address Tricia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      I know Dennis, I’m trying to provide good news nuggets where I can because I know people who are literally scared to death of leaving the house and I’m hoping stuff like this helps.

      And you’re so right, things have gotten quickly out of hand but I guess I can’t say I”m too surprised given what we know about government authority and force. I really do hope there are repercussions.

      What a bizarre experience you had at HD! Not sure I have the power to change other people’s emails. I’ll try it and let you know.


  5. It’s amazing that facts and truth make such more sense than a falling sky!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mister Took says:

    Yet those same pundits who are now acknowledging such a high percentage of the populace have or have-had the virus recently DAMNED the same conclusions last week by Doctors Erickson and Massihi when they went public with their findings. Youtube even banned the Doctors’ video. Ref:
    Sadly the disease has been politicized to the detriment of we, the public.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Actually the pundits are not taking these studies seriously either which I was I posted about them. You don’t see much about it in the news and when you do it’s in a negative light.

      What YouTube did by banning those doctors was unconscionable. Can’t say I”m at all surprised unfortunately.


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