As many states are approaching the end of the "Stay at Home" quarantine orders, and the "curve" is being flattened across the United States, more and more numbers are revealing what the COVID-19 virus actually looks like across the globe.

New research says that more than 75% of people will feel no symptoms after contracting the COVID-19 virus. This research backs up what the World Health Organization previously stated, that 80% of those infected would feel mild symptoms, or be asymptomatic (they said 15% would feel symptoms, and only 5% would be severe). Another study backs up this data, this one published by the British Medical Journal, and centered around the outbreak in Italy.

So what does this all mean?

The new data suggests that the number of those who have been exposed to the virus and have becoming infected, is far greater than the number of "confirmed cases" in each state. As of this writing, the current number of "confirmed cases" in Louisiana is 22,532. If the math from all of this research held true in Louisiana, that would put the realistic infection number at 112,660 people. That's also only since March 9th, 2020.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that Louisiana's Mardi Gras celebrations acted as an accelerator for COVID-19 in our state. COVID-19's was originally thought to be around 3 people per infection, but new math is suggesting that's dropping closer to 2, and will continue to drop with more data. So in order for the spread to be significant during mid-February Mardi Gras celebrations, the virus would have to have been widespread by January at the latest.

If the virus was spreading in Louisiana in January and February, the number of "confirmed cases" we have needs to be increased for our equations. We can easily multiply what we have for one month of tracking by 3 to represent the previous months. If we do that, our "confirmed case" number would be closer to 67,596 cases. If we use the same math from the studies listed above, we would now be closer to 337,980 cases.

That's not even including all of the people who were denied testing over the first few weeks of the outbreak, when tests were rare. There's not solid way to qualify that number, but we know that the number of cases would be significantly higher if those tests would have been made available. Which means our asymptomatic numbers would be higher as well.

Louisiana's population is around 4.65 million people. If our numbers of infections are reaching into the hundreds of thousands, we're likely closer to a "herd immunity" situation than previously thought. That would mean the end of this ordeal is closer than we may realize.

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