Very Important Data

We keep hearing about how we will know more once we get the first serology data to find out just how many people have been exposed, infected and thus (presumably but not certainly) immune to further COVID19 infection. We now have a preprint just released of a study from Santa Clara, California of over 3,300 people. The news is not great, though there are certainly many different ways of defining ‘good’ or ‘bad’ news in this case. The study found that 1.5% of people in the study were seropositive; adjusted for demographic weighting the number was 2.81%.

Looking to the future it would be great to learn that the contagion was far more prevalent in the population than we thought. That would mean that the lethality of disease was relatively lower. Much more importantly it would place us much closer to achieving significant population wide exposure (and likely immunity) which would at least slow if not stop the spread of the disease in future outbreaks.

This is an early, pre-peer review version of the study. The tests are new. But if this number is close to accurate it suggests that even in a relative hotspot the population is all but untouched by the disease and thus remains almost entirely vulnerable.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Edblog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: