What is good news and bad news on the Covid-19 front

Following on my earlier analysis, ideally you want that super-spreaders are a fixed group who do not rotate much.  That makes semi-effective herd immunity easier to reach in a region.  So, in Bayesian terms, for a given super-spreader event, exactly which kind of story should you be rooting for?

Let’s say (hypothetically) that being a super-spreader has to do with your innate propensity to be infectious, as might be determined say by your genetic make-up.  Then it is easier for the super-spreaders to acquire at least partial immunity, without a new group of super-spreaders rising up to take their place.

Alternatively, let’s say that being a super-spreader has to do with being in some relatively well-defined occupations and situations, such as singing in a church choir.  That is a less optimistic prognosis, but still one of the better scenarios, as in principle it is possible to shut down many of those opportunities and thus block out the potential super-spreaders from doing their thing.

You should feel less good when you read of super-spreading events in very general public spaces, such as elevators, movie theaters, and office buildings. Those events, in Bayesian fashion, boost the probability that super-spreading is a generic ability, attached to a wide variety of fairly general situations.  That raises the chance that, even after some super-spreaders acquire partial immunity, other super-spreaders will step in and play similar roles.  Quite possibly all sorts of individuals — and not just those genetically endowed with super-powerful sneezes — are capable of super-spreading in small, enclosed public spaces.

You really do want those super-spreaders to be inelastic in supply.


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