My new pal @cmyeaton and I wrote something in the @washingtonpost about antibody surveys. What should we make of the results emerging from California, NYC, and Miami?
The Cliff's notes version of our piece. 1/5
First, the unfortunate reality is that we are a long ways from herd immunity. Even in the hardest hit populations, like New York City, 20% prevalence is not 60-70%. If we lift lockdowns without proper precautions, we should expect a resurgence. 2/5
Second, these studies confirm what we expected. Infection fatality ratio is lower than the crude case fatality ratio. 5% observed CFR in the US is an over-estimate because it excludes mild cases. Including asymptomatic infections (IFR) drops severity even lower. 3/5
Is the IFR 0.5-1%? Or is it 0.1-0.2% as the Santa Clara and LA studies suggest. Ignoring the fact that 0.1% IFR implies that all 8 million people in NYC have already been infected (which we doubt), we argue that a low number doesn't mean that shutdowns were an over-reaction. 4/5
The virus spreads easily because there is no prior immunity in the population. We have seen this disease overwhelm healthcare systems. Results of antibody studies do not change our course of action. We can only lift lockdowns if we are prepared to test, trace and isolate. 5/5
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