We all know we are already in the midst of Covid's "second wave". But the real question remains the same as it was 10 months ago - where are people catching the virus? There's no doubt contact tracing, especially in the U.S., has been a monumental failure. The good news is that it means increased privacy for citizens. The bad news is that it will likely be used as a scapegoat to forego those privacies in the future - and that it'll result in broad lockdowns.
This was the question explored in a new WSJ article that sought to try and find out where the record amount of new cases are coming from across the globe. In Germany, for instance, authorities say they don't know where 75% of people who test positive from the virus have gotten in. In Austria, that number is 77%. In Spain, the country was only able to identify 7% of cases. In France and Italy, that number is around 20%.
Here in the U.S., we only don't have much more in the way of detail. In New York, for example, a senior adviser for public health estimates 10% of cases came from travel, 5% came from gatherings and 5% came from "institutional settings".
The rest? We'll, there really isn't any visibility into where they came from.
Jay Varma, senior adviser for public health for NYC's Mayor's Office, said: “The vast majority of the remainder—somewhere probably around 50% or more—we don’t have a way to directly attribute their source of infection. And that’s a concern.”