South African scientists brace for wave propelled by omicron, 20-30yo getting moderate to severe symptoms

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[–]Caelinus 200 points201 points202 points  (8 children)

Importantly, even a 50% reduction in transmission is huge for reducing the speed of transmission and the strain on the medical infrastructure. Even 30% would be massive, as every person that has it transmitted to them is a potential vector.

If you set up a controlled situation where you could infect people with 100% certainty to eliminate confounding variables, and started with 10 people, and each exposed 10 people:

  • Unvaccinated: 10 -> 100 -> 1000 -> 10000 -> 100000 -> 1000000
  • Vax 50%: 10 -> 50 -> 250 -> 1250 -> 6250 -> 31250

  • 1 - (31250/1,000,000) = ~ .969 or 96.9% fewer infections after 6 exposure waves.

Obviously this would never work out that cleanly in real life there are way too many variables, it is just important to remember that when dealing with exponential growth even small reductions in transmission is really important. That is why people should still use masks and social distance even if they are vaccinated. It compounds heavily.

For example, if masks and social distancing only lowered transmission by 10% each (they probably are higher) with the same vaccine effectiveness:

Percent effectiveness: (100 .50) .9) .9) = 40.5, 100 - 40.5 = 59.5% Effective.

  • 10 -> 40.5 -> 164.025 -> 664.3 -> 2690.42 -> 10896.2

  • Vs Only Vaccinated: 1-(10896/31250) = 65.1% Fewer infections after 6.

  • Vs Unvaccinated: 1-(10896/1000000) = 98.9% Fewer infections after 6.

Small effects compound over time. This is pretty much exactly why compound interest would make you crazy rich if you could leave your money in a bank account for 100+ years.

Couple that with the effects of vaccinations and reduced viral load on how serious the disease is for people who get it, and Vaccines + small behavioral changes will make a horrific mass death event into something that barely effects our hospitals. Be smart people.

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