When will the COVID-19 outbreak end?
To see the end, we should be looking at hospitalizations—not positive results from the COVID-19 testing kits.
Information can be gathered in any number of ways.
There is the brute force method—the method currently being employed by government officials, where daily reports are generated on the number of positives from the testing of the general populace.
Oddly, the same information can be gathered using a far more elegant method—hospitalizations.
In fact, hospitalizations are a better indicator as to whether the virus has run its course or is continuing to spread.
Furthermore, monitoring hospitalizations doesn’t require mountains of data or testing.
Given there is a direct correlation between hospitalizations and infections, tracking those individuals who have had to seek medical attention for their infection—monitoring hospitalizations represents an elegant solution.
(Note: The number of hospitalizations is a subset of infections and deaths attributed COVID-19 are a subset of hospitalizations.)
(Note: The U.K. doesn’t even test for Coronavirus unless someone needs to seek medical attention.)
Remember what we are trying to determine with our current mass testing.
We are trying to determine when the virus has begun to wane; when the number of infections stop increasing day to day and begin to decrease.
This is what the call for nationwide testing has been all about.
Ironically, the outcome doesn’t change if someone who is positive for COVID-19 doesn’t get tested.
If someone has a fever, cough and difficulty breathing but doesn’t need medical attention the individual is being advised—to self isolate.
Don’t contaminate others.
The same recommendation would be given regardless of whether one tests positive for COVID-19 or not.
Even New Jersey has told its residents—unless they need medical attention—don’t get tested.
In essence, New Jersey is telling its citizens not to self diagnose; but rather, to allow medical professionals to determine if a COVID-19 test is advisable.
Ultimately, only hospitalizations should matter.
How many cases actually need medical attention?
How many ventilators are required?
How long is the hospital stay—until either the patient gets better or dies?
It is worth remembering the statistical curve flattening model was developed to aid government officials in managing their resources—i.e. reducing the peak influx of cases such that their healthcare systems don’t become overwhelmed.
The theoretical statistical model was never meant to determine how many nationwide cases of COVID-19 have occurred.
Tracking hospitalizations will generate the very same data as testing of the general population for COVID-19—better, it doesn’t put additional strain on the healthcare system.