Image source: Oct. 27 “WRAL Investigates” piece upset that small businesses like Little Details in Garner are trying to stay in business and, unlike WRAL’s preferred politicians, leave people free to choose whether to wear face masks or not. Used to be that investigative reporting would be reserved for uncovering corruption in the halls of power, political intrigue, criminal networks, etc., rather than trying to bash local businesses for “noncompliance.” WRAL returned to Garner Nov. 15 to report on the wicked people who “are choosing to ignore the rules and show their faces when they go shopping.” That is actual text from a news story lede. WRAL misses the real story, which is the poor gentleman in the final paragraph who said that “I feel guilty and paranoid if I don’t have [a mask] on.” Guilty and paranoid. Media like WRAL are responsible for fomenting such an unnecessary and unhealthy mindset.

This past week about 99.8% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone, and about eight out of nine (88.6%) adult North Carolinians are estimated to have either vaccine-induced or natural immunity. Here is the NC Threat-Free Index for the week ending November 15. All of the statistics generated for the NC Threat-Free Index are based on numbers provided by government sources. This link gives a detailed explanation of how each statistic is derived.

  • As of November 15: 1,466,246 North Carolinians are presumed to be recovered from COVID-19
  • Active cases comprised just 1.5% of NC’s total case count (note: a case of COVID isn’t a permanent infection, and only someone with an active case of the virus can conceivably transmit it to you)
  • Active cases represented just over 0.2% (two-tenths of one percent) of NC’s population (note: active cases are lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus recoveries and deaths)
  • Also, 36 out of every 37 (97.3%) of NC’s total cases were recovered, meaning they are (a) no longer infectious, (b) have acquired persistent, longlasting, and robust natural immunity to Covid-19, and (c) have stronger immunity against Covid-19 and its variants than even those who are fully vaccinated
  • Only 0.17% of people in NC had died with COVID-19 (regardless of the actual cause of death and amid research findings as well as admissions from DHHS and the CDC that a significant proportion of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths were “not related to COVID-19”)
  • All things considered, nearly 99.8% of people in NC posed no threat of passing along COVID-19 to anyone (note: this proportion will fluctuate based on relative growth in lab-confirmed cases vs. recoveries, and it is likely understated because it does not account for vaccinations)

Herd immunity, reinfections, and post-vaccination infections

For the week ending November 15:

  • Now nearly eight out of nine (88.6%) adult North Carolinians are estimated to have some immunity, whether vaccine-induced immunity or natural immunity, the stronger and more durable immunity, to Covid-19 (note: this estimate uses DHHS case numbers, CDC estimates* of actual infections, DHHS estimates of current vaccinations, and the formula outlined here)
  • Furthermore, including vaccinated and naturally immune children (17 and under) into the mix, the total population of North Carolina is at 82.4% immunity
  • As of November 15, there had been 12,507 reinfections for those with prior lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19, and the estimated reinfection rate was just over 0.8% (note: for reasons discussed here, the actual reinfection rate is likely much lower than the estimated rate)
  • As of October 30, per the most recent update from DHHS, there had been 94,305 post-vaccination infections, and the estimated post-vaccination infection rate was over 1.7%  (note: given how strictly DHHS defines a “post-vaccination infection” — someone must be at least two weeks past receiving the second of two injections; anyone with only one injection or within two weeks of receiving the second “counts” as an unvaccinated case of Covid — the actual post-vaccination infection rate could be much higher than the estimated rate)
  • Also as of October 30, 23% of Covid-19 cases in North Carolina were to people considered fully vaccinated
  • As of November 15, only just over one in nine (11.4%) North Carolinians were estimated to have neither vaccine-induced nor natural immunity

* Note: Last week the CDC revised its estimate from only “1 in 4.2 infections were reported” to “1 in 4.0 infections,” a change that has been incorporated in these estimates.