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Results: Rising Covid immunity

Published 8 months ago • 1 min read

Welcome to Nonrival, the newsletter where readers make predictions about business, tech, and politics.

Thanks for forecasting. Send feedback to newsletter@nonrival.pub.

In this issue

Results: Will there be a week with 40,000 new Covid-19 hospitalizations in the US by end of 2023?

  • Average reader forecast: 38%

  • Your forecast: [100823 GOES HERE]%

Rising Covid immunity

Most readers expect Covid to be milder this winter, as indicated by the fact that most of you don’t think we’ll see 40,000 hospitalizations in a week—as we did last year.

The case for optimism is pretty simple: rising immunity from vaccines and previous infection is enough to incrementally dampen Covid’s toll.

30%: As more and more people will have had COVID and/or a vaccine, severity should be decreasing in general. So I'd expect that even if there are high case numbers, there should not be a proportional rise in hospitalisations

One reader also noted the trend this year toward warmer weather which might curb time spent indoors:

10%: Warmer weather, new variant vaccine, and rising immunity

But what’s the counterargument? People are increasingly unwilling to change their behavior, and policymakers have partly moved on:

70%: people think contagion was all in the past; no one knows if shots protect against the new variants; behavior has not changed.
90%: Against the backdrop of a nation in declining health (metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular compromise), the increasingly-mutated virus will stage a surprising comeback, especially in the red states and rural areas particularly under-prepared to handle it. Unfortunately, whether the morbidity and mortality is publicly recognized as Covid-related is uncertain.

One other worrying thread in your rationales took aim at the thrust of the question: Is CDC data on Covid hospitalizations even a good measure of the prevalence of the disease?

10%: I don't think it's an issue of whether the number will be hit, but the lack of data available.
50%: This is a tough one. I think we'll see a spike, but whether those cases will be formally tested so that they "count" is another thing altogether.

Only 35% of you correctly answered this week's trivia: Vaccination rates differ drastically between Blue and Red states. Of the states that Biden won in 2020, which has the lowest share of residents fully vaccinated? The answer is Georgia.

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