Sunday, April 5, 2020

We Interrupt This Blog for an Important Message

Twice a day, I provide a service to my friends on my private Facebook page, updating them with the latest Covid-19 numbers and my interpretation of them. As a public service, I’m sharing today’s post with you on my blog. This is obviously off-the-cuff so please forgive the typos. It’s just a quickie summary to keep people informed. Bottom line: Please take Covid-19 seriously. Stay home. Wear a mask if you go out. Stay safe.

**                **                 ** 

Good morning. Lots of important info so I encourage you to read this update fully.

April 5, 2020: We now have 1.2 million Covid-19 cases worldwide. I'm now rounding the numbers since they're so large. It's actually 1,202,777 people infected but we're going to round it down. Only three weeks ago, those 2,777 cases would have mattered statistically; not now. Of course, they still matter on a human level: they're someone's aunt, uncle, sister, brother, best friend, co-worker, mother, father, son, daughter, grandparent. But for the rest of us, they're data rounded to the nearest decimal. So let's go with 1.2 million.

Except 1.2 million is not an accurate number. It turns out the NSA has revealed the Chinese, once again, were lying to the world. They lied about the start of the pandemic and they're lying about their numbers. Don't necessarily blame the Chinese government this time: Local Chinese officials have lied to the Chinese government about the number of infections and deaths fearing they would be blamed for them. The truth is always the first casualty in war. So that 80,000 China case figure could be 800,000. The death toll is likely many times higher than what has been stated. China claims the virus is under control and diminishing. Fact: They don't even know their own numbers, and wouldn't reveal them if they did. Let's extrapolate: We expect 80% of any population to be infected (including many asymptomatic who thus do not appear to be infected). China's population in 2019 was 1.435 billion. That means 1.148 billion Chinese infected with Covid-19. Probably more due to poor sanitary conditions (remember, this began in Wuhan, China’s unsanitary “wet markets” where Chinese buy bats and other live animals to eat), no initial testing or tracking of those testing positive, and a government that not only downplayed the virus and arrested Dr. Li Wenliang, the doctor who brought it to light (he died from the virus). But let's go with 1.148 billion Chinese infected anyway. Assume an average 3.5% morbidity rate (it varies by many factors that differ by a country's demographic make-up -- Italy, with a high proportion of elderly will have a much higher morbidity rate, but we'll use an average for this example). That comes to an ultimate death toll in China of 40.1 million by the end of the pandemic. An enormous number, but still only a fraction of China's 1.435 billion population.

Worldwide infections (I'm not using the word cases anymore as it confuses people) are 1.2 million and rising. The US has topped 311,635. Spain and Italy are about 125,000 each. Total US deaths today at 8.454. Only Spain (11,947) and Italy (15,362)  have more Covid-19 deaths.

The only country with exceptionally high recovery numbers is China and the NSA says China has made up their numbers so we won't be counting them. So, 1.2 million infections and only 169 thousand people have recovered. Not good.

The US has nearly 300k of the nearly 900k active cases. That's 1/3 of the entire world's active cases. Stop and let that sink in. The next highest nation has 88k.

The US and France have the highest number of critical (near-death) cases - almost 7,000 - nearly double the next highest nations.

That  US "Deaths per 1 million" number I told you to watch when it was 1, and, 2, and 3, and 4 and climbing? Today it's 26. This is an epidemic out of control. Mitigation efforts have not been applied in a timely manner and emergency production of essential supplies has not occurred. I extrapolate that number will be 260 by next week.

We have two new and very important columns in the chart : "Total tests" and "Tests per million". The US has done a whopping 1.6 million tests -- but in a population of 320 million, that's nothing.  (4,933 people out of a million). That's half of one percent. 99.5% of America remains untested! Stop. Let that sink in.

If 99.5% of America remains untested how many Americans have the virus? We don't know. No clue. We have to guestimate. Epidemiologists suggest 80% have or will have the virus. That's 4 out of 5 Americans. Some are asymptomatic and don't realize they have it. Those are carriers. Some have a mild case like the flu. Some are suffering. Some have been hospitalized. Some have died. And a few have recovered.

Eighty percent of 320 million is 256 million infected Americans. Wear a mask. Better yet, stay home. The official 311,635 figure is misleading. Try 256 million instead. Then act accordingly.

One of the most important factors -- and unanswered questions -- is How much of the increase in reported cases is due to exponential spread of the disease versus how much is due to pre-existing cases only now being reported due to increased testing? Despite the rising numbers, we still do not know the true rate of infection.

Of course, we could try to extrapolate from the death figures, but since the disease has a two-week incubation period, any calculation derived will be a lagging indicator-- and a two week lag renders it practically useless.

No comments:

Post a Comment