No, Case Rates Do NOT Matter

Hospitalizations matter. Syndromic surveillance matters. Wastewater surveillance matters. Case rates, regardless of the propaganda from CNN, not so much. Just because they are the metric we have been given for two years does not mean they are the best metric available.

How can we be certain of this? Even CNN, attempting to make the case for mass testing, concedes this:

Hospitalizations and deaths have consistently been the most reliable Covid-19 metrics, experts say.

"Those two are bookends that don't really change much relative to the availability of testing," Osterholm said.

Early indicators of transmission have more room for improvement. Case rates are best understood in tandem with test positivity rates. Visits to emergency room departments and virus levels in wastewater can help, too.

As was true at the beginning of the pandemic—or, rather, the Pandemic Panic Narrative—is still true today: mass testing is not the best means of disease surveillance. It is inefficient, wasteful, and as the pandemic has proven, ineffective as part of a mitigation strategy.