Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Five Minute Roundup

 Ding dong.

You can still buy a high-grade reusable mask (don't forget the vent plugs).

Don't try to re-use your N95 type masks more than a couple times, or you might as well be wearing a cloth mask.

Better masks would be good but people covering up their !@$!% noses would help.

The reason new strains look like they're springing up out of nowhere (they're not) is because sequencing surveillance is so terrible, especially places with the worst outbreaks (AHEM, the US, the UK, South Africa, and Brazil...)

Dreaming of spring. (Though it's not even really cold in the South!)


  1. Yes to all. I have a question though: If 10% of the population of WI has actually tested positive for coronavirus, and our positivity rate has averaged 25% through the fall and winter, how bad can spring infections get? I estimate that testing has caught perhaps 20% of actual infections so 50-plus percent of the state's population has already been infected. Don't get me wrong, I'm still being cautious. I just don't see another huge spike like November where we had 7,000 positives in one day.

  2. I think in the absence of widespread vaccination (>75%) by July, WI will have another summer-sized spike but not another winter-sized spike. It's not quite enough people to actually stop transmission and even everyone who is "so careful" has a nonzero risk if they ever leave the house, see other people (even outdoors!).

    It's currently thought that testing right now catches up to 1 in 3 so the real number is probably between 30% and 50% which is... still not enough. (It's a moving multiplier though; much larger last March, much smaller in December.)

  3. Thank you! The college students have all been home since Thanksgiving and are mostly back in-person now. With 26 campuses across the state, that is a large movement of people. Many school districts have some in-person component as well this Spring Semester. I am waiting and watching for the "back to school" spike in the next few weeks.

    1. My employer has racked up 3.5% of the student body testing positive in the last 20 days. Count on about 1% a week at least, of the in-person college students.

    2. (Also, I would say that all positivity rates really measure are a) how close you are to testing capacity; and b) how many people are both strongly symptomatic and able to access testing and c) how worried the people in (b) are.)

  4. Indeed. WI is currently testing roughly 7,000 per day, and can test over 50,000 per day. I think only strongly symptomatic people are getting tested, in most places it's not that convenient to get tested, and people aren't worried or don't really want to know. It seems as if there are only downsides to knowing. Recipe for disaster!


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