Good news? We are close to “herd immunity” within weeks?
The record surge in coronavirus cases across the US is likely far worse, with an estimated eight infections unreported for every one infection counted, according to a government report — which would put the true tally closer to 100 million.
Update: The above news article may be incorrectly reporting the CDC report. The 8x factor is for a period of Feb-Sep, and due to expanded testing, the multiplier may be much lower in the most recent periods.
The new estimate means we are adding 800,000 to 1.6 million to the tally every day in the past couple of weeks, and likely continuing for several more weeks.
Population immunity occurs when the virus has fewer targets to infect, making it harder and harder to continue spreading. While some say that “herd immunity” occurs at 60-80%, other papers say that estimate is flawed and it could occur at far lower levels as that original estimate assumed everyone had an equal likelihood of spreading the disease, which is not true.
Update: Australian study estimates 6.2 times more cases than found through testing. They examined 15 countries and concluded that, depending on country, actual rates of infection were from 2.6 to 17.5x higher than reported. According to their model, only about 20% of cases have been caught via testing, in the U.S. (Which if asymptomatic case spread is real, and few are ever caught, then contact tracing seems to be superfluous.)
Either way – a range of 6 to 8x more cases means getting closer to a stage where the virus will have a harder time propagating.