How do we find out the real number of Covid 19 cases and how many people have recovered?

In college at Florida State, I had a great part-time job. I was that delightful person who called your home between 6 and 10 in the evening to do a short survey, 45 minutes to an hour and a half, about fun topics such as how many refrigerators you had in your home and if you owned a trailer. (I always wanted to ask if they had a pink flamingo in their yard, but It would have skewed the survey.)  I worked for the policy science program and most of the survey research was done for the governor’s office for the State of Florida and used to determine policy and budgeting. After getting my Master's degree and  I came back to Florida to work on my Doctorate in Communication with an Emphasis in Body Language and end up getting promoted to my former boss's job and I was the manager of the Policy Science Program, helping design the surveys, hiring and managing the staff and keeping track of all the research and creating reports for the governor’s office. 

Oh, by the way, I was 22. I had taken several semesters of graduate-level statistics and a survey research course in grad school where I designed and conducted a survey research study, and I had been trained briefly by my boss, but that’s it. Later, as National Spokesperson for Wrigley’s gum, Benadryl, Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion, The Natural Dentist and Latisse eye drops and other products. I designed and conducted and or consulted on the design of national surveys. I also designed a three-year survey research study on handshake and greeting rituals and a five-year study of first impressions. 

Here is why this is important to know. 

If you are asking, "What are the real numbers for COVID 19 in your state or in the US? I think we could very easily design and implement a brief survey research design to call every house and or a sample large enough to study in our state and gather data on who has or has had each symptom of COVID 19, how long they were ill and their recovery, who has passed in a household and who may have developed antibodies?

It’s not hard to do and not that expensive. If we couldn't poll everyone and wanted to do a representative sample for research, for example, a staff of 12 surveyors working from 6:00 till 10 each did surveys, up to 7 pages long for an entire state in two to three weeks. National Surveys I worked on hired US companies to do the phone research for less than 1,000 dollars questions an again did the pilot tests and surveys in a few weeks.

We could also design a simple survey and have it online and we could work in conjunction with or compare research that could be done by every insurance and health care provider could have it online and do the same phone survey with their customers/patients. Surveys could be on websites, they could be emailed, and there could be follow up emails and make phone calls to check in on health and recovery. We could figure out the privacy rules. Dang, Kaiser already has a number for the nurse to call if you have symptoms that the nurse could ask for permission to use the patient's demographic details, keep their privacy and collect the data on symptoms and then check back about the seriousness of illness and recovery. It wouldn't be difficult to compare that data with numbers coming from hospitals dealing with the seriously ill. 

If I could design and conduct survey research at 22 and “This is Carol with Cardholder Services” can call us on an automated service with such persistence to get us to use a high-interest credit card I think we can get have the know-how and gusto up to make this work. 

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language and Human Behavior Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at