Looking at the graphs for COVID-19 in Tennessee today got me thinking about how we are measuring this.
I really think we’re as much looking at the whys and hows of testing as we move through this. Like phases based on the availability of tests as well as the overall feeling in the community.
Phase 1 was rationing the tests. High positive ratio since you had a strong suspicion that it would be positive. You have low numbers of tests because lack of tests. Only the sickest got them, so you had substantial undercounting.
Phase 2 was if you had an inkling you may have possibly been in contact with someone who has it, you would get tested. With this, you have an explosion of testing and a corresponding explosion of cases.
And I think we’re now in a different phase. Since people are for better or worse less concerned about this, my guess is that unless you are quite sick with the right symptoms, most people likely wouldn’t get tested anymore. So the positive percentage of tests would start going back up if that were the case. But the other aspect of this is that the test numbers go down. You also have people being less concerned about the virus so even if you caught it, you might not get tested since the news cycle has moved on from the “all virus all the time” coverage.
The papers that come out of this will be fascinating to read.