Coronavirus

If COVID-19 Killed 1.4% of People With Symptoms in Wuhan, the Overall Fatality Rate Is Likely to Be Much Lower Than People Feared

The big unknown is how many people are infected but aren't counted in the official numbers because their symptoms are mild or nonexistent.

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A new study of COVID-19 cases in Wuhan, China, estimates that the death rate among people who were infected and developed symptoms was 1.4 percent. That is far lower than the crude case fatality rate (CFR) produced by dividing total deaths into total confirmed cases (4.5 percent) and far lower than the global CFR initially calculated by the World Health Organization (3.4 percent). The study, reported yesterday in Nature Medicine, suggests that the overall CFR—including people who are infected but do not develop symptoms—will prove to be much lower in the United States than many people feared.

During congressional testimony last week, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, estimated that the overall CFR in the United States would be about 1 percent. The worst-case scenario sketched by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) imagines 214 million infections and 1.7 million deaths, which translates into a CFR of about 0.8 percent, similar to the crude CFR in South Korea, which has a much more robust testing program than the U.S. has managed. But all of these estimates exclude people infected by the coronavirus who have no symptoms or symptoms so mild that they never register in the official numbers.

John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist and biostatistician at Stanford University, notes that the CFR among passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess cruise ship—"the one situation where an entire, closed population was tested"—was 1 percent, but "but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death rate from Covid-19 is much higher." Given the age structure of the general U.S. population, he says, "the death rate among people infected with Covid-19 would be 0.125%." But since that estimate is based on a small sample of just 700 people, Ioannidis suggests that "the real death rate could stretch from five times lower (0.025%) to five times higher (0.625%)." Taking into account delayed deaths, he says, "reasonable estimates for the case fatality ratio in the general U.S. population vary from 0.05% to 1%."

That's a very wide range, highlighting the weak empirical basis for aggressive, economically ruinous COVID-19 control measures. If the CFR is as low as 0.05 percent, which is half the estimated CFR for the seasonal flu, the number of deaths in the CDC's worst-case scenario would be 107,000, meaning the projection is off by a factor of 16. If a third of the population is ultimately infected, rather than the 65 percent assumed in the CDC's worst-case scenario, the number of deaths plummets from 1.7 million to about 55,000. It is impossible to assess the cost-effectiveness of mass interventions such as statewide or nationwide "shelter in place" orders in the face of such uncertainty.

The Nature Medicine study confirms that COVID-19 death rates vary widely by age. The estimated fatality rate in symptomatic cases was 2.6 percent among patients 60 or older, compared to 0.5 percent for patients in their 30s, 40s, or 50s, and 0.3 percent among patients younger than 30. To put it another way, patients in the oldest age group were about five times as likely to die as those in the middle age group and more than eight times as likely to die as those in the youngest age group.

The researchers caution that the symptomatic CFR for Wuhan cannot necessarily be extrapolated to other parts of China, let alone other countries. "Given that Wuhan is no longer the only (albeit the first) location with sustained local spread, it would be important to assess and take into account the experience from elsewhere, both domestically in mainland China and overseas," they say. "These secondary epicenters, having learned from the early phase of the Wuhan epidemic, might have had a systematically different epidemiology and response that could impact the parameters estimated here."

The study's main symptomatic CFR calculation assumes that half of the people infected by the COVID-19 virus develop symptoms. If that's true, the number of infections is at least twice as high as the number of known cases, and that's assuming everyone with symptoms gets counted, which is certainly not the case, since people with mild symptoms may never seek medical attention or testing. But that factor alone means that the overall CFR is dramatically lower than it appears to be based on reported cases and deaths.

"One largely unknown factor at present is the number of asymptomatic, undiagnosed infections," the researchers note. "Estimates of both the observed and unobserved infections are essential for informing the development and evaluation of public health strategies, which need to be traded off against economic, social and personal freedom costs. For example, drastic social distancing and mobility restrictions, such as school closures and travel advisories/bans, should only be considered if an accurate estimation of case fatality risk warrants these interventions, which seriously disrupt social and economic stability."

NEXT: What Economic Analyses of Past Pandemics Can Tell Us About the COVID-19 Aftermath

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  1. Well this addresses what I was thinking of today. I assumed we’d reach a point in the US where we’d see the death rate of confirmed cases under 1%, but it still hasn’t happened yet. At this point, it’s possible the more mild cases will never become confirmed cases so we may not reach that point.

    It is interesting that they’re using the assumption that 50% of cases are asymptomatic. Is that typical among similar infectious diseases?

    1. That 50% asymptomatic has been verified by the only two settings where 100% of the universe was tested – Diamond Princess and the town of Vo in Italy – with followup medical care to see whether symptoms did develop over time. Have no idea if its typical but it seems to be true

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    2. Presumably, a decent test for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies could help clear that up.

      1. Bingo. When considering prior available results it is essential to consider that any positive meant an active infection, because it was genetic material that needed to be compared to the known sequence of this particular corona virus. There was no good way to identify those who may have previously been positive, but were no longer experiencing an active infection.

        But it is reasonable to assume that number was a non zero.

      2. Yes. By that time, we won’t need China data and won’t get that info anyway. Singapore, South Korea, Europe are better data sources for that. I assume the US won’t really antibody test in large numbers

      3. https://coronachecktest.com/

        These are supposed to start shipping next week. Pretty limited supply initially, and only to medical professionals, but they are seeking Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA to sell consumer direct. I thought somewhere they said they were hoping to be able to do 200,000 per day eventually.

        1. At that rate, they’ll have enough for 330 million people in … 1650 days!

      4. here is where things get interesting. Plenty of companies have been producing said tests, since mid at least mid February…. in the US and shipping around the world, S. Korea originally were using OUR test kits, like this:
        https://www.biomedomics.com/products/infectious-disease/covid-19-rt/

        We are still not allowed in the US to officially use the above kit. I hate conspiracies but why are we not allowed to use that sort of kit while the rest of the world has used it over a month now, by the hundreds of thousands, and millions if you include competitors? It is as if they are afraid just how low the actual fatality rate is, if suddenly we know 30% of the population has already had it, with only a few hundred fatalities… all of these draconian measures appear more criminal than they already are. That is worst case, but either way government is definitely stifling self testing, or private company testing that may not filter back through government.

        1. That info is going to come out sooner or later. I hope that politicians are ready to be tossed en masse.

        2. @arm – did you read further down for that link you posted? Between
          “Negative results do not rule out SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly in those who have been in contact with the virus. Follow-up testing with a molecular diagnostic should be considered to rule out infection in these individuals” and “Positive results may be due to past or present infection with non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strains, such as coronavirus HKU1, NL63, OC43, or 229E” this test seems like a waste of money.

          Of the 397 blood samples taken from clinically confirmed SARS-CoV-2-infected patients (meaning they were not just tested for the virus, but they actually came down the symptoms of COVID-19), that test missed 45 cases. Considering that the explosion of cases around late Feb in South Korea could pretty much be attributed to 1 super-spreader, an 88.66% accuracy rate doesn’t cut it for me.

          Also, South Korea was using swab tests, not blood samples so they weren’t using that specific kit. From what I’ve read, it seems that S. Korea developed its tests domestically.
          https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-testing-specialrep/special-report-how-korea-trounced-u-s-in-race-to-test-people-for-coronavirus-idUSKBN2153BW

          1. If your body hasn’t yet produced antibodies, then the results of such a test will be negative until you’ve had the virus long enough to do so.

    3. According to this article detailing the very low infection rate aboard Diamond Princess, half the people who contracted the virus showed no symptoms at all, including the elderly who were infected.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/16/diamond-princess-mysteries/

    4. Depends on whether you’re discussing infection with the virus sars-cov-2, or the disease covid-19. A lot of people can be infected with a virus without developing any clinical symptoms of an illness, and it’s practically impossible to know exactly how many are infected. If they never come down with any illness it also doesn’t matter, since for all practical purposes they might as well never have been infected in the first place. It doesn’t affect the outcome of the illness since they never had it despite having had an asymptomatic viral infection. The only important aspect is that they isolate like everyone else since they can spread it.

      When discussing outcomes we discuss outcome of sick people, not some theoretical number of how many we guessed might have carried a virus. The same applies to other illnesses. Asymptomatic is not counted in outcomes.

      The outcome for covid (clinically diagnosed illness, not the virus) in China currently is 3255 have died of 74995 total outcomes. (6013 remain active and don’t have an outcome yet.) This is a 4.3% mortality rate for covid (again the illness, not the virus).

      1. The only VALID comparison between COVID-19 and swine flu is to compare HOW FAST each one spread – how fast did the death toll mount? (How many died after the same number of days? Simple graphs at the source)

        COVID-19 DEATH RATE WORSE THAN SWINE FLU

        “The challenge with COVID-19 is we are all eligible to get sick and spread the disease all at the same time.”

        ELIGIBLE, because none are immune, unlike seasonal flu

        Last week, Trump said this at a news conference in the Oval Office: “If you go back and look at the swine flu and what happened with the swine flu, you’ll see how many people died and how actually nothing was done for such a long period of time, as people were dying all over the place.

        Dying BECAUSE nothing was done! And this 25 times worse (keep reading)

        Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention track the increase of H1N1 swine flu in 2009 from the day of the first death – April 28th, 2009 — compared with the rise of COVID-19 since the first U.S. coronavirus death was reported in Washington on Feb. 29.

        … the CDC had confirmed 4,226 COVID-19 cases in 16 days since the first death.

        At the same stage in 2009, the CDC had tallied 3,352 H1N1 cases.

        But, contrary to Trump’s claims, the death rate for COVID-19 has far outpaced H1N1 over the same span.

        The CDC had confirmed 75 COVID-19 deaths through Monday. By contrast, 16 days after the first swine flu death, there were only three H1N1 deaths reported to the CDC.

        COVID-19 is 25 times more deadly than swine flu

        The CDC estimates about 12,000 Americans ended up dying from swine flu between April 2009 and April 2010.

        12,000 x 25 = 300,000

        **”… (swine flu) didn’t go away. Many people don’t realize it’s now part of the seasonal flu and covered by the annual flu vaccine. … COVID-19 is completely new, is hitting on top of the seasonal flu, has no vaccine and clearly warrants the stronger response because nobody is immune. “The challenge with COVID-19 is we are all eligible to get sick and spread the disease all at the same time

        ****”Less than two years ago, the seasonal flu was especially deadly. It killed an estimated 61,000 Americans, but it didn’t overwhelm health care workers and hospitals, as COVID-19 did in Italy and threatens to in the U.S. Those people (with seasonal flu) were spread out from November to April or May. Our healthcare system is designed to handle that kind of load. Not so with COVID-19.”

        The only VALID comparison between COVID-19 an

      2. The reason why there are so many deaths in Italy is twofold: One, 23% of the population is over 65. This is a very high number compared to almost anywhere else in the world. Secondly, the younger and older tend to mix closely in Italy; so non or mildly ill younger people pass it on to the elderly in larger numbers. In reterospect, a less harmful response form an economic standpoint would have been to isolate those over 65, and let everyone else go about their business and get sick.

        1. Two things about COVID-19: It spreads very easily, more easily than most viruses. The second is that, like other viruses, it will mutate. Most mutations cause self-harm and cause the virus to weaken or die. One in many millions may make it more deadly. The more copies out there, the greater chance of this occurring.
          One other thing usually only spoken about behind closed doors: this virus is an ideal ‘starter’ for something truly evil on the bio-weapons front, due to its ease of transmission.

      3. Thank you for posting this. You stated my thinking clearly and exactly, and saved for me the time required to post the same thoughts.

  2. JFree’s panic hardest hit.

    So 1.4% of those with Symptoms… only 14% of people will show symptoms…

    PANIC!!!

    1. The 14% number in the other study is an estimate of the number of known cases relative to the total number, some of those unknown cases would have been symptomatic. This study looked at assumptions that 50%, 75%, and 95% of people infected would be symptomatic with the 1.4% number of deaths in symptomatic cases being associated with 50%. The number would be lower if the probability of symptoms was higher.

      Not to say this isn’t overblown as I think it likely is.

    2. I would love for all this to be true and for this to be overblown and not that serious. But it is hard to square this with the images of filled hospitals in Italy. Does this happen during a regular flu season?

      1. The average age of the fatalities in Italy is somewhere in the late 70s. And while it seems Italy had plenty of beds, exactly what those occupants received does not appear to be all that exceptional.

        1. You didn’t answer my question. Do 4,000 people die in Italy in a couple of weeks during a regular flu season?

          1. Based on the paper “Investigating the impact of influenza on excess mortality in all ages in Italy during recent seasons (2013/14–2016/17 seasons)”, if I am reading this correctly, in the peak weekly rate of deaths in Italy due to influenza in the 2016/2017 winter season was somewhere between 25-30 deaths/100,000, looks to be close to 28 or so. Italy has a population of just over 60 million. Assuming 27 deaths/100,000 for that peak week, you get 16,200 deaths.

            1. Sorry, I think I misread the report, I think it gives the overall excess mortality due to influenza, so I have to subtract the baseline. That would be more like an extra 7 deaths/100,000 per week at that peak. That still translates to over 4000 excess deaths that week.

            2. Ok, thanks, that was the info I was looking for. Makes sense. Some people have made the argument that a lot of these people would have died anyway from other causes, but because they were positive, the cause of death is attributed to COVID-19. But….
              If this is just a normal year in Italy, then, why are all the doctors there freaking out and why is there a shortage of bed, equipment, and medical personnel? Why don’t we hear about this every year?

              1. See my comment above, I needed to subtract the baseline rate. Even looking at it over the whole flu-season in the paper, the number of deaths in the 2016-2017 season was estimated at 43366. The paper assumes that the season runs from Week 42 of one year to Week 17 of the next, so a total of 28 weeks. This gives an average of 1549 excess deaths per week, but in truth it is not homogeneous over that time. This was also a pretty bad year with a strain that is more deadly to the elderly.

                Part of the reason for the shortages can be attributed to the fact that it is flu season now, so you are talking about adding COVID-19 on top of influenza and that the outbreaks are concentrated in Northern Italy, while the above figures are for Italy as a whole.

                1. Bloodaxe…This was an amazingly great point = Part of the reason for the shortages can be attributed to the fact that it is flu season now, so you are talking about adding COVID-19 on top of influenza…

              2. Socialized or near socialized medicine with strict regulatory agencies means there aren’t nearly enough beds, ventilators etc. to deal with 2 flus. The healthcare industry in most countries is operating at near capacity, and they have scrubbed out all market mechanisms to deal with increased demand quickly.

                That is the issue, and honestly, it is fucking scary, because that lesson is not going to be learned. If we ever get something worse, we a screwed. I’ve said for years that the FDA is the most unintentionally evil institution in these United states.

          2. It seems your answer is already on this site:
            https://reason.com/2020/03/17/italian-daily-death-rate-up-20-because-of-coronavirus-lombardy-up-about-80/ where Eugene Volokh acknowledges the magnitude of the epidemic.
            When he writes about the decline in China’s death rates- keep in mind they instituted their drastic lockdown of Wuhan (which is still in place) when there were only about 600 confirmed cases and 17 deaths.

      2. Because of flu vaccines and some general immunity, influenza does not spread quite as rapidly. It is not that surprising that Italy is being hit relatively hard, it has the oldest population in Europe. This also leads to it having relatively high death rates during each flu season.

        1. Just live your life,be respectful and everything will be just fine

      3. Clearly Lombardy is having a particularly hard time of it. I’m not sure if we’ll ever completely know why. It must have gotten a hold early, even earlier than they realized, and embedded itself within a vulnerable population. As has been discussed, Italy in general, and I guess this region in particular, has a very high average age. Combined with some other risk factors (northern Italy cities can have poor air quality, Italians, especially senior citizens, probably smoke at higher than average rates) and a culture of socializing and physical contact, and you probably get part of the picture. Plus, Italy has never been had a reputation of being the most ambitious or functional country in Europe, and their government-run healthcare system probably follows suit. Throw in a big dose of plain old bad luck, and you get a very ugly, but localized, situation. The US has had known infections as long as Italy, so if it was just a matter of time until the first case to system meltdown, we should be seeing it. But we aren’t.

        1. Well, you could start by factoring in the large numbers of workers freely flowing from China to work on the belt of roads things. Italy has bought into being another province in China big time.

          1. The other aspect of Italy that is not being mentioned is the huge number of recent immigrants. Immigrants who come from places with non first world hygiene. They were probably young enough and healthy enough to not get severely ill, while also propagating and spreading the disease to those not so young or healthy.

            1. I should add that those immigrants also tend to live in very crowded conditions, at least they did a few years ago, the last time I was in northern Italy (Tuscany mainly, but also Veneto.)

        2. It’s hard to draw an analogy between Italy and the US based on the date of reported cases. New York is probably about 3 weeks behind Italy, since the their outbreak was likely seeded by someone coming from Europe.
          (see node USA/NY2-PV08100/2020 at https://nextstrain.org/ncov?f_division=New%20York&fbclid=IwAR3UreH6NMoS8IjQqWOJpYdTX_Ygc5bW4gcBBf2gWe_QTDwxIL0oLMuwSgY)
          But you only need the bad luck of having 1 super-spreader (e.g. patient #31 in S. Korea or the first confirmed case in Codogno, IT who led an active social life while he was asymptomatic for weeks in addition to spreading the virus when he went to the hospital while everyone thought he just had the flu) to set off a transmission chain that results in a outbreak that overwhelms the health care system.

          1. Dr. Sonjay Gupta, among others, says were following the same growth curve as Italy, but 10 days behind.

            Italy had 793 deaths yesterday IF we stay on the same curve, we will have 4,000 deaths in a single day, before month-end

      4. I’m not saying this virus isn’t isn’t a problem or causing any problems in Italy’s medical system.

        But when this is all over, I sincerely doubt you’ll see 4% of Italy’s population dead like some people are passing around as “scientific” estimates if the virus isn’t contained. (So far its 4,000 out of 60.5 million)

        The issue isn’t that there isn’t a serious crisis of some sort. There is and I think people should all be practicing commonsense and avoid getting sick. But I think the magnitude is being inflated, then being used to justify public measures that at best aren’t needed and are at worst counter-productive. What’s most annoying is people who intentionally inflate numbers (you see it all the time) and then complain “don’t say things are being exaggerated! this is a lie!”

        We already know how the pathology of the virus works. We know why people die when they die, none of that’s a mystery. So this is why there are high-risk groups. Its very similar to high-risk groups for the flu, and for the same reason — because of co-morbidity — although the exact way the virus works and causes of death might be different. This is why people compare to the flu. (But “don’t say its like the flu!”)

        When all the numbers come in, I think the largest difference between covid-19 and the flu will be that with covid-19 we don’t have a vaccine or herd immunity yet. This also accounts for its faster spread. If you look at the Q&A on the WHO’s website, they’ll note that that technically because the flu has a shorter incubation and shorter serial interval, it can spread faster, and that the R0 of covid-19 is based on time and context. And then, of course, hospitals aren’t prepared for treatments, since severe covid-19 cases require different sorts of treatments than severe flu cases.

        1. (But “don’t say its like the flu!”)
          In my county, we have a drive-through testing station.
          But you have to have a doctor refer you, if the doctor thinks your symptoms are severe enough to warrant it. Self-reported symptoms of fever, myalgia, short-of-breath, etc.
          Of the 357, whose symptoms were bad enough 6.72% had the Wuhan virus, which means 93.28% were just your basic flu.

        2. Italy had 793 deaths yesterday. It’s a major fallacy to assume the death rate is linear. It’s on a curve, a steep upward curve, nearly vertical. As is ours.

      5. Not all at once, because the infection rate is so much lower. This is new, and no human has any immunity to it (except Batman?) But over time, barring therapeutics, the final outcome ‘might’ be the same. It just won’t seem as bad, because it doesn’t happen all at once. But if you spread it out, the ancillary deaths from an overwhelmed health system will be much higher.

        “If the level of the epidemic does overwhelm the health system and extreme measures have only modest effectiveness, then flattening the curve may make things worse: Instead of being overwhelmed during a short, acute phase, the health system will remain overwhelmed for a more protracted period.”

        https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

        1. That may be the craziest conclusion on this topic.
          Flattening means at a level well below the growth curve.
          Statnews assumes the flattening will occur ONLY after the health system is overwhelmed.

  3. Hysterics in order for governments to seize more power.

    2018-2018 Influenza infected 45 million Americans, killed 79,000, and 44.2 million recovered.

    No attempts by Commifornia to implement a half-ass Martial Law.

    1. The death rate for COVID-19 is much higher than seasonal flu.
      And because there is no COVID-19 vaccine, less than 1% of Americans are immune to it.

      Compare with swine flu, which is far more relevant.

      COVID-19 DEATH RATE WORSE THAN SWINE FLU

      “The challenge with COVID-19 is we are all eligible to get sick and spread the disease all at the same time.”

      ELIGIBLE, because none are immune, unlike seasonal flu

      Last week, Trump said this at a news conference in the Oval Office: “If you go back and look at the swine flu and what happened with the swine flu, you’ll see how many people died and how actually nothing was done for such a long period of time, as people were dying all over the place.

      Dying BECAUSE nothing was done! And this is25 times worse (keep reading)

      Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention track the increase of H1N1 swine flu in 2009 from the day of the first death – April 28th, 2009 — compared with the rise of COVID-19 since the first U.S. coronavirus death was reported in Washington on Feb. 29.

      … the CDC had confirmed 4,226 COVID-19 cases in 16 days since the first death.

      At the same stage in 2009, the CDC had tallied 3,352 H1N1 cases.

      But, contrary to Trump’s claims, the death rate for COVID-19 has far outpaced H1N1 over the same span.

      The CDC had confirmed 75 COVID-19 deaths through Monday. By contrast, 16 days after the first swine flu death, there were only three H1N1 deaths reported to the CDC.

      COVID-19 is 25 times more deadly than swine flu

      The CDC estimates about 12,000 Americans ended up dying from swine flu between April 2009 and April 2010.

      12,000 x 25 = 300,000

      **”… (swine flu) didn’t go away. Many people don’t realize it’s now part of the seasonal flu and covered by the annual flu vaccine. … COVID-19 is completely new, is hitting on top of the seasonal flu, has no vaccine and clearly warrants the stronger response because nobody is immune. “The challenge with COVID-19 is we are all eligible to get sick and spread the disease all at the same time

      ****”Less than two years ago, the seasonal flu was especially deadly. It killed an estimated 61,000 Americans, but it didn’t overwhelm health care workers and hospitals, as COVID-19 did in Italy and threatens to in the U.S. Those people (with seasonal flu) were spread out from November to April or May. Our healthcare system is designed to handle that kind of load. Not so with COVID-19.”

      There are very clear charts at the source

  4. Its official…the Feds started buying muni bonds today. Let the pensioner bailouts begin. Congratulations gov’t unions, well played. Younger generations -checkmate.

      1. That makes no sense. By federal law they can simply confiscate all the securities and cash they want, via asset forfeiture, from unreconstructed states that dared to legalize hemp. Q.E.D.

  5. So they can quit shutting down the county and we can all get back to business?

    1. Haha. Surely you jest. Not when there is so much power to be gained!

    2. They are still working on roads and plenty of businesses are doing brisk business.

      I’m using up all gift cards from Christmas just in case the companies go bankrupt though.

    3. “From Italy, we’re seeing another concerning trend, that the mortality in males seems to be twice in every age group of females.”

      Send women to work. Men stay home.

      1. Clearly a bioweapon engineered by feminists.

        1. Shit, they already live longer. Though you never hear them complaining about that inequality.

      2. Incidence and particular manner of smoking. More men smoke, and of those who do smoke men tend to inhale more deeply.

        Similar problem in Wuhan, except it was everyone with inflamed lungs due to the horrible air quality.

        I think the single biggest predictor of who lives and who dies will prove to be functional lung capacity at onset of illness.

        1. A couple of things to add to this. Lombardy has poor air quality too. Also the smoking rates in Chinese men are likely higher than women compared to Italy, at least based on my own anecdotal experience of living in China. I rarely saw Chinese women smoking, but most of the men did. While my sister and good friend, who both spent time in Italy noted that plenty of Italian women smoked. Men are also more likely than women to have the co-morbidities associated with death. The greater difference seen in Italy between men and women versus China is likely due to the significantly higher age of the population and the presence of those co-morbidities.

  6. It’s misleading to focus only on the percentage who die, as a much larger percentage of cases are serious enough to require hospitalization. The point of social distancing is to spread out the cases over time so that the demand for ventilators, ICU slots, and hospital beds doesn’t overwhelm the supply. If that happens, the death rate spikes up sharply.

    1. Delaying the inevitable.

    2. “The point of social distancing is to spread out the cases over time so that the demand for ventilators, ICU slots, and hospital beds doesn’t overwhelm the supply”

      Literally everyone understands this. Everyone. Repeating it does not mean that the economic devastation being wrought shouldn’t be considered.

        1. You saw right through me, huh?

      1. Literally? Maybe you should look up the meaning of that word. I’ll wait.

        Back? OK, now that we’re clear that “literally” means “not figuratively, not hyperbolically, but in actual fact, exactly as stated,” I can tell you that I’m running into plenty of people who do not seem to understand this, who seem to think Covid-19 is just another run-of-the-mill flu and there’s no need to do anything special to deal with it.

        1. OK, so do something. Not DO SOMETHING. Like wreck the economy.

    3. Without knowing how many people have it without knowing it, you’ll never have enough data to know if you need to spread out the cases in the first place.

  7. In Three-Body Problem, a multi-volume Chinese sci-fi extravaganza, when someone needs killing but is too well-guarded, a virus is designed to mildly affect others but kill the individual with the targeted rejection spectrum. If kids who cut classes over warmunism mostly want Bernie-Tse-Tung for Dictator, what better way to communize These States than to kill off those old enough to have seen communism in action? Enter The Manchurian Candidate virus.

    1. A Bernie bro conspiracy for world domination? You may be onto something there.

  8. Okay – it may be more deadly than seasonal flu and it spreads more rapidly. We’re destroying the economy for a relatively small percentage of the population. Stress on the health care system (hospitals) is a real concern. China – where it started, has only 3,500 deaths so far (if we believe what they’re reporting). Seems to me we should be more optimistic we can slow this down considerably.

    1. Unfortunately we can’t really trust Chinese numbers.

      1. Unless they jibe with what we want to hear

        1. No, not even then, because obviously they would be just be telling us what we want to hear.

  9. Two sentences of the report look squirrelly to me:
    We estimate that only 1.8% (0.9–3.3%) of symptomatic cases that occurred between 10 December 2019 and 3 January 2020 were ascertained.

    I don’t see where they are basing that assumption. Maybe someone other than the usual morons here can point to the basis for that. Yes I know that no one was testing then because there was no test then because no one really knew what this was. But it seems a massive leap to, what seems to me, assume that the symptomatic weren’t even going to the doctor for something that got misdiagnosed but were instead spreading it around as if they had no symptoms? If that were the case, then locking down Hubei would have had no effect whatsoever in containing the disease within China. One entire MONTH? There’s obviously a lot more inter-province travel in China than international airplane travel.

    Further, this entire period is well before the first recorded fatality. Obviously assumptions made (in this case that there were already a lot of infected out there) before the first fatality dramatically changes calculated fatality rates. But that doesn’t mean you can turn it into, effectively, a completely different disease from the one seen from first fatality to ‘last’ fatality.

    1. I agree that it’s a strong assumption. Perhaps I’m a usual moron, but I can take a stab (these are just my guesses).

      Regarding people not going to the doctor: that isn’t necessarily true. There could have been lots of people going to the doctor, getting diagnosed with a generic “pneumonia” and that’s it. Anecdotally (through Chinese friends whose parents are in Wuhan), there was quite a bit of “classify this death as a generic pneumonia and cremate the body” going on. To what extent? I don’t know. But it’s certainly possible.

      You have an interesting point about locking down Hubei. Besides asserting that Chinese cases are even more undercounted outside Hubei (again, possible imo, but who knows?), I don’t know what to say to that.

      1. I agree with both your points. People with symptoms in Dec were likely misdiagnosed (and possibly death attributed to that misdiagnosis). But China has long tradition of sick (symptomatic) people wearing masks in public/crowded places. It’s why all of China had masks on day 1 Covid19 was deemed/thought to be novel/epidemic. Supplied from their medicine cabinet not online. Effect is that all symptomatic transmit less in China – and obviously misdiagnosed who died are still a fatality even if unknown.

        And yeah – no question that non-hospitalized post-lockdown deaths in Wuhan were buried without autopsy. Hubei deaths could be undercounted by a significant amount – though unlikely to be compounding by this point.

    2. >>usual morons

      i know you’re scared but lashing out at me won’t help

  10. If COVID-19 Killed 1.4% of People With Symptoms in Wuhan, the Overall Fatality Rate Is Likely to Be Much Lower Than People The Apocalyptic Media Feared

    FTFY.

  11. Second sentence is:
    Indeed, as of 29 February 2020, the crude case fatality risk in areas outside Hubei was 0.85%, which is ~23–41% lower than our sCFR estimates of 1.2–1.4% for Wuhan

    Yeah I agree with the xHubei. And no doubt there was ‘learning’ going on re clinical stuff and treatment. But there is no info afaics anywhere here re the number of days the hospital system in Wuhan was just overwhelmed and broken. Making those triage decisions at the hospital door drives fatality rates far more than what happens inside. As was clear in Wuhan – and is now clear in Lombardy and prob Madrid now. Again if there is anyone other the usual morons, I’d like to know if I’m missing something or is that just being assumed away.

    Because the EFFECT of clinicians/epidemiologists modeling that a disease isn’t fatal if treated in a clinical setting is not to create eternal clinician czars over society. The effect is to say ‘this isn’t very fatal so let’s ease up already’. And whoosh – you have actual fatality rates of Wuhan, Lombardy, etc.

    1. You can just imagine that at first you had patients showing up with undiagnosed pneumonia vs non infectious pneumonitis and little clue other than empirical methods.

      The flattening the curve concept is at this point the only way to fight it. It can only be done for a limited time. Time is what is needed more than anything.

  12. Near as I can tell, the problem we’re REALLY trying to solve is the queuing issue related to the high rate of cases that are recoverable from but still require care. Even if the true CFR means there’s a tragic but not mythic number of deaths, there’s still going to be a deluge that the health care system would be incapable of dealing with. And would, quite certainly, result in the deaths of many health care workers.

    Even with all that, I’m still having a hard time justifying 20% unemployment, massive additional Government debt accumulation, and the destruction of trillions in wealth.

    1. If the potential infections are reduced by, say, 75%, then there will be 75% fewer deaths than otherwise.

  13. Passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess cruise ship—”the one situation where an entire, closed population was tested”—was 1 percent, but “but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death rate from Covid-19 is much higher”.

    No mention that the average elderly person is NOT on a cruise ship. More bad logic in a piece correcting bad logic – thanks.

    1. No mention that the average elderly person is NOT on a cruise ship. More bad logic in a piece correcting bad logic – thanks.

      Speaking of logic, if 60% of the passengers are elderly, on a single ship, you think that means 60% of all elderly are on a cruise ship.

  14. All we know for sure is that the numbers being used are NOT accurate or transparent. The governments are lying, the press is lying about the government lying, and all we can be sure of is that we do not know what we do not know.
    There is a virus, and some people will get sick, more will not get sick. Of the sick, some will die, more will recover. Like ALL illness, the older and weaker will suffer more and die in larger numbers.
    So why are we allowing the politicians to void the constitution?
    Grab you torches and pitchforks (after sanitizing them), and storm the castle (in groups of ten or less)!!

    1. I do not think most of them are lying, but I do think most of them do not remotely understand what they are being told.

      The one thing that is getting through though is that this disease can kill older and sickly people, and for the most part they know that means them, so they are losing their shit.

      1. They’re not lying, but telling carefully selected narratives based on faulty, worst case scenario data while either dramatically downplaying other narratives based on more realistic data, or completely eliminating them from story.

        Oh wait. They’re lying. Nevermind.

        1. Such distrust of government officials!!! I’m shocked.

          You must have mistaken this place for a libertarian website.

          Mostly I don’t think they are smart enough to lie. But they are stupid enough to stick with what they know – grabbing power when able.

          1. The government lies for a living.

            I do not think Wu et. al. are lying in the report. It is well written and includes all of the limitations and estimates they are making. One more piece of data.

            Very informative link to the report from these epidemiologists. At the end of the day yes there is panic but what we are doing is all we can. My feeling is life will not be the same. People are learning, not just the medicos and scientists. We can rely on each other and find solutions on our own.

            1. What we’re doing in firing the last shot in to the head of the strongest economy in the history of humanity.

              1. What a pandemic is doing is all of that and not just in the US. The virus has no thought, no purpose, no goals. It is not even a living thing.

                The economy itself will recover. It is you and I and the rest of us. It is not the government. Doing nothing is not an option.

                1. So not doing nothing means doing everything that both smart and dumb people can think of regardless of the cost?

                  1. Smart and dumb has nothing to do with it.

                    Obviously there are costs on many levels. We are all living with those now. It is a dynamic situation in which we must work together and adapt. Next week will be different than the last.

                    People are just amazing. We have all been there and seen efforts the past few weeks.

              2. This will be compared historically with the Holomodor as one of the biggest man made tragedies of all time. If these assholes don’t stop now billions will suffer.

  15. “The study’s main symptomatic CFR calculation assumes that half of the people infected by the COVID-19 virus develop symptoms. “

    So if I’m reading this correctly, if the Chinese results are representative of the epidemiology at large, if you have a sample population of 1,000 people who’ve tested positive for the virus, half those will develop symptoms. Of that half, 1.4 percent will die, giving us an overall fatality rate of 0.7 percent among that sample population.

    But, if you were somehow able to factor in a number of positives who are never tested (that all-important denominator), that would drive the overall death rate far below even that.

    Am I missing something?

    1. Yes because the error bars and other unknowns are huge.

      It is just a report and attempt to make sense of the data.

      Death rates are multifactorial. There is no way to control for those. You do not need statistics to tell you that the medical system has limited capacity. People still have heart attacks, appendicitis, trauma. They still have babies to deliver. Buying time will help those systems who work for you 24/7 to ramp up and prepare defenses.

  16. This is just flat-out factually wrong. China had 80,000 cases and 3200 deaths. That is an undeniable 4% mortality rate. Italy was 47,000 cases (so far) and 3200 deaths, for an 8% mortality rate.

    Please let’s stop with this bullshit. The numbers don’t lie, and the more people like this try to sugarcoat the truth, the more they are creating an environment in which people are going to do the WRONG thing because they are not going to take it seriously.

    1. Wow you’re dumb. You think that every single person who has the disease has been counted?

      1. Listen. Feel free to believe what you want to believe, and act as you want to act. But stay the f— away from me and anyone I know so you don’t spread the virus here.

        1. You didn’t answer my question. You can believe whatever you want, but if you have a brain in your head you should understand why your figures are way off.

          1. PROVE IT

            1. Fuck off and die, Hihn.

            2. That’s easy. When a new test comes up positive, that increases the number of infections. But did the test did that guy the disease, or did he already have it before the test?

              So which number was right, the # of cases before the test, or the # of cases after?

              1. *give that guy the disease. WTF edit button pls

              2. FAIL. And a diversion
                NOW PROVE THAT THE TEST INFECTS PEOPLE WITH THE VIRUS

                1. Wow did you miss the whole point of that exercise, which was to show that clearly there are people who are sick yet being uncounted.

                  I am not surprised.

    2. By that logic the mortality rate for the seasonal flu is 10%.

        1. My guess is because very few take the flu test, so the vast majority of cases, including many that die of it, are never counted as officially having the flu.

      1. By what math?

  17. Wouldn’t this be a GREAT time for a libertarian magazine to note how the government and the AMA have been colluding to keep the supply of health care artificially low? I mean, seeing as how the entire goal here is to not overwhelm the system…..

    Does anybody know a place like that?

    1. The Onion.

  18. I have a retired neighbor who leaves at 7am everyday and hits Wegmans and comes back with bags and bags of groceries. I asked her why and she said he is scared. I told her to stop watching NBC and get off Facebook. Seriously all these wokes and retirees are scaring themselves to death and causing this insane holding. Shut down FB right now! Let the natural immunity reaction of the human body work…lock up old and at risk in self quarantine. Repurpose warehouses for those who have it and need to have medical care. Rest with symptoms..stay the hell home. And let’s get back to work!

  19. If you figure the regular seasonal flu like they are COVID, deaths divided by confirmed cases, it comes out to 10% yet no one ever freaks out about that.

  20. Trump AGAIN exposed as lying … about the FDA this time… by the FDA Commissioner! It never ends.

    FDA Head Dials Back Trump’s Timetable (short video)
    “FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn talks about the timelines for a pair of new treatments being considered to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. After Trump claimed the use of a drug to fight malaria — hydroxychloroquine — would be available “almost immediately” Hahn said a LARGE clinical trial was needed first,” with Trump at his shoulder!

    How many times have we seen Trump make a PHONY covid-19 claim … only to be immediately corrected, “to his face” (he’s at their shoulder)

    How many times have we seen the President make a PHONY COVID-19 claim … only to be immediately corrected, “to his face” (he’s at their shoulder) by experts?

    Cont’d

    1. Part 2

      Today’s COVID press conference, yet another disaster. Trump was attacking and insulting reporters, as he always does when he’s been caught in falsehoods … (most notably, his DISGUSTING lie that the Charlottesville rioting and mass assaults was launched by the “alt-LEFT charging and swinging clubs” – thus trying to absolve his neo-nazi and white nationalist supporters, later PROVEN the attackers.)

      Just hours ago, the whole thing exploded. It was NOT safe in China. It can kill in doses as small as two grams. China cut back their own clinical trial, almost immediately.

      Cont’d

      1. Part 3

        VIRUS DRUG TOUTED BY TRUMP, MUSK CAN KILL IN JUST TWO GRAMS

        (Bloomberg) — The drug touted by the U.S. President Donald Trump as a possible line of treatment against the coronavirus comes with severe warnings in China and can kill in dosages as little as two grams.

        China, where the deadly pathogen first emerged in December, recommended the decades-old malaria drug chloroquine to treat infected patients in guidelines issued in February after seeing encouraging results in clinical trials. But within days, it cautioned doctors and health officials about the drug’s lethal side effects and rolled back its usage.

        This came after local media reported that a Wuhan Institute of Virology study found that the drug can kill an adult just dosed at twice the daily amount recommended for treatment, which is one gram.

        1. I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening. Could you repeat that?

          1. You’d likely refuse to hear it again.

        2. You’re conflating chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. The first has long been known to have side effects which is why they made the hydroxy one.

        3. Fuck off, Hihn!

        4. Yes, CQ is potentially fatally toxic at just a little over the recommended dosage, which varies depending on what it is being prescribed to treat. For example, the initial-day adult treatment for malaria is 1.5g (starting with 1g, then another 500mg 6-8 hours later) followed by 500g/day for a few more days. When CQ is provided only in healthcare settings, it’s toxicity isn’t especially alarming. When provided as several once-daily pills to out-patients after the initial dose, providers should be very clear about explaining the danger. This shouldn’t be alarming either – many prescription medications are provided to patients in aggregate amounts (30-day to 90-day supplies) which could be fatal or permanently, severely damaging. Even OTC acetaminophen causes an estimated 150-500 US deaths per year.

          HCQ is nearly as effective as CQ, but less toxic, so there’s greater margin between the recommended and toxic dosages, making it quite a bit safer.

          Here’s an interesting related study on HCQ and CQ: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41421-020-0156-0

          1. Correction: …followed by 500mg/day…
            (sigh)

        5. Hydroxchloroquine is being proposed and is much safer than the chloroquine phosphate used by the Chinese. I’ve been taking the former at 0.3 gm/day for that last few years to manage rheumatoid arthritis. Its hazards are well characterized and the article you quote from is an immoral attack piece. Immoral because it attacks a promising medical treatment in order to score a few political points. A French research group ran a randomized open label clinical trial with a control group using a couple dozen patients. It found that it worked well (statistically significant results) – and fantastically better with azithromycin. An open label study is NOT considered anecdotal. But it is not as rigorous as randomized double blind testing with large cohorts. Given that the Chinese, South Korean, Italian, and French groups now report good results, it should be considered in most cases. Stop repeating politically motivated attacks like this please.

        6. A lot of medications kill if you take two whole grams.

          As for everything else you’ve said, here’s your debunking: https://spectator.org/the-game-changer-president-trump-was-right/

      2. Fuck off, Hihn!

    2. Fuck off, Hihn!

  21. Good article, and I mostly agree with it.

    Big factor not discussed is the CFR relative to the response measures, both medical and social, that have been used in various locations.

    CFRs vary wildly due to demographics and vectors but also due to the steps taken to combat the outbreak. An analysis of similar populations with varying responses would give us a better idea.

    This is why it pays to watch the Dutch and New Zealand figures where low-key social measures are being taken with a focus on protecting the at-risk groups. NZ has a major advantage as closing its borders is almost airtight. The Dutch can’t do that. But in the long term the Dutch herd immunity strategy might prove more effective since in NZ the whole country is self-isolated but eventually the borders have to reopen.

    1. I didn’t know what social adjustment strategy those two are doing. Thanks.

  22. “[T]he overall CFR—including people who are infected but do not develop symptoms—will prove to be much lower in the United States than many politicians and media hacks hoped because they planned to cash in on it.” FTFY.

    1. The media is already cashing in on it. A larger than usual subset of the population has little else to do than “shelter in place” at home and tune in for their 24/7 dose of fearmongering.

      I’m not saying the situation isn’t serious, but I _am_ saying it garners huge ratings, and the scarier it can be made to seem, the higher the ratings, and the higher the ratings, the greater the profit from new and renegotiated ad contracts.

      This is nothing new. CNN spent literally weeks almost exclusively covering one missing airliner. MSNBC and HLN broadcast nearly every second of the George Zimmerman trial. Fox news endlessly beat the Benghazi drum. All of those were real issues, just like COVID-19, and all of them were hyped, just like COVID-19.

      1. Actually, that shows they are broadcasting what people want to see.
        That’s how commercial television works.

        1. Indeed. However, all of the major news networks have promoted themselves as valuing journalistic integrity as well as delivering verified facts and balanced analysis and opinion. They’re all human, so we can expect mistakes, some drift from their expressed ideals, and the occasional bad egg.

          The news networks I had previously identified haven’t lived up to the ideals they claim to practice and represent – not even close. Fox News is nowhere close to “Fair and Balanced”; CNN’s “Facts First” self-promotion has become a farce (they’ve been screaming “Banana!” since late in Trump’s first year as President – if you don’t recognize that, it’s from their promotional ad campaign); and MSNBC wouldn’t recognize objective truth if it were to sidle up to Rachel Maddow and smack her upside the head with a shovel. Ratings are clearly the underlying _reason_, but as is often the case, that reason is not an _excuse_.

  23. “For example, drastic social distancing and mobility restrictions, such as school closures and travel advisories/bans, should only be considered if an accurate estimation of case fatality risk warrants these interventions, which seriously disrupt social and economic stability.”

    And have staggering health costs!!! Here’s some food for thought:
    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/economic-downturn-excess-cancer-deaths-atun/

    260,000 excess global cancer deaths from the 2008 GFC. Now put that on steroids and consider extra deaths from all causes caused by financial hardship and excess stress. The 5-8 year total death rate is likely to be much, much higher with the current response , than it would have been with a ‘let it run its course, allow herd immunity to develop and quarantine the high-risk as best we can’ response. The 2 different responses will affect different populations, but I’m pretty sure the current response is not something anyone would choose if they knew with certainty the bigger picture, years out.

  24. On cruise ships and in countries (like Korea) that test enough people, the death rate is around 0.8%. That’s bad compared to the flu, but not even remotely close to worth putting millions out of work with shelter in place orders.

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  27. COVID-19 DEATH RATE WORSE THAN SWINE FLU

    “The challenge with COVID-19 is we are all eligible to get sick and spread the disease all at the same time.”

    ELIGIBLE, because none are immune, unlike seasonal flu

    Last week, Trump said this at a news conference in the Oval Office: “If you go back and look at the swine flu and what happened with the swine flu, you’ll see how many people died and how actually nothing was done for such a long period of time, as people were dying all over the place.

    Dying BECAUSE nothing was done! And this 25 times worse (keep reading)

    Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention track the increase of H1N1 swine flu in 2009 from the day of the first death – April 28th, 2009 — compared with the rise of COVID-19 since the first U.S. coronavirus death was reported in Washington on Feb. 29.

    … the CDC had confirmed 4,226 COVID-19 cases in 16 days since the first death.

    At the same stage in 2009, the CDC had tallied 3,352 H1N1 cases.

    But, contrary to Trump’s claims, the death rate for COVID-19 has far outpaced H1N1 over the same span.

    The CDC had confirmed 75 COVID-19 deaths through Monday. By contrast, 16 days after the first swine flu death, there were only three H1N1 deaths reported to the CDC.

    COVID-19 is 25 times more deadly than swine flu

    The CDC estimates about 12,000 Americans ended up dying from swine flu between April 2009 and April 2010.

    12,000 x 25 = 300,000

    **”… (swine flu) didn’t go away. Many people don’t realize it’s now part of the seasonal flu and covered by the annual flu vaccine. … COVID-19 is completely new, is hitting on top of the seasonal flu, has no vaccine and clearly warrants the stronger response because nobody is immune. “The challenge with COVID-19 is we are all eligible to get sick and spread the disease all at the same time

    ****”Less than two years ago, the seasonal flu was especially deadly. It killed an estimated 61,000 Americans, but it didn’t overwhelm health care workers and hospitals, as COVID-19 did in Italy and threatens to in the U.S. Those people (with seasonal flu) were spread out from November to April or May. Our healthcare system is designed to handle that kind of load. Not so with COVID-19.”

    1. Fuck off, Hihn!

      1. You cannot shout down the truth. Or save Trump’s ass. Sorry.

        Don Lemon says Trump is gaslighting you … and rolls the tape.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYUP95sw1IM

        Lemon is usually too snarky for me, but this is DEVASTATING … MANY video clips … crushing Trump’s lies with Trump’s own words..

        **Trump now says he always knew it was a pandemic. Did YOU get suckered?
        ***In February Trump said it’s a Democrat hoax (AND a pandemic??!) Did YOU swallow that?

        Trumpsters SCREAM in rage, FAKE NEWS. HE NEVER SAID THAT. See it at 2:23 in the video. Plus over a dozen clips of him saying the virus no problem … AT THE SAME TIME HE KNEW IT IS A PANDEMIC?? Did YOU get suckered?.

        The damage from Trump’s delay, if you haven’t seen it explained:
        On average, each infected person infects two more. So the longer we don’t avoid crowds, stores, workplaces, the more the virus expands exponentially, where each one infection becomes 3 … each 3 becomes 9 … each 9 becomes 27, etc. And one can be a carrier, UNKNOWN (no symptoms) for up to 14 days.

        This from a different source. Dr. Sonjay Gupta says we’re escalating at the same rate as Italy, but 10 days behind.

        ***Yesterday, Italy had 793 deaths, in a country 1/5 our population. And we’ve been on the same curve.

        Italy is way ahead of China on total deaths … caused by delays and indecision (a lot fewer than our foul ups)
        Per the Deep State and vast Media Conspiracy, of course.

        Ready for the screeching? 🙂

  28. The glee with which executives (mostly Democrat Party ones) have been acting in the face of shutdowns, quarantines and other emergency actions make me think this is about the naked exercise of power, and nothing else.

    “Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”

  29. Right on point Jacob, but this is not going to make the six o’clock news. Mass media can’t be bothered with reason.

    1. THANK YOU.
      So many here have no concern for suffering and death,
      Their sole purpose is to save Trump’s ass … as if whining in an online forum could do that. Too late anyhow.

      1. Fuck off and die, Hihn.

  30. “The big unknown is how many people are infected but aren’t counted in the official numbers because their symptoms are mild or nonexistent.”

    A very good reason to trash teh eeconomy.

  31. “The big unknown is how many people are infected but aren’t counted in the official numbers because their symptoms are mild or nonexistent.”

    The Big Known is that dictatorships are full of shit.

    Why would anyone believe any of the numbers from Emperor Xi?

    I have my doubts that he snapped his fingers and everyone stopped getting sick. Let’s not all go Walter Duranty here.

  32. of course moron Reason writers embrace Chinese propaganda

  33. “Our current best assumption, as of the 17 March, is the CFR in 70-80-year-olds is approximately 1%. In the total population, our assumption is it is approximately 0.14%.” – Oxford University. Oops!

    https://www.cebm.net/global-covid-19-case-fatality-rates/

  34. One thing nobody in the “Fuck everybody, let them die!” crowd isn’t considering in their math… The lost productivity of said dead people, and the massive costs of treating all the extra sick people!

    Take a 50 year old. They probably have 20 working years left in them, maybe 1000 work weeks. For every 2 weeks of shutdown, keeping them alive will cover 500 workers sitting at idle, without even factoring in their medical costs if they were to get sick.

    A 60 year old still has maybe 10 years left in them.

    The death rate for even 20-30 year olds has been .2% in a lot of the data, so for every one of them that doesn’t die they can cover countless months and months of tons of workers being at a standstill.

    The lifelong productivity lost, seems to me, from all the deaths can easily cover the temporary nature of this shit IMO, given the death rates. That’s without factoring in medical costs saved, or the mere pain/anguish of it all.

    1. I do not understand.

      Are you reducing the value of human life to productivity units? Or are you arguing against that.

    2. The main purpose of the lower curve strategy is simply to avoid the overt triage decisions that occur when hospitals get full. Anecdotally, an Israeli doctor in Lombardy is reporting that over-60’s are no longer allowed in ICU – which may also then include hospital itself if that is also full. I doubt Lombardy will get to the point this wave where they have to lower that age to 50 – but it could.

      And that is a pure age cutoff – not an underlying conditions cutoff where they cut them off over a week ago. The US is not remotely prepared to even think about this – and that timeframe may be no more than a couple weeks away in some places.

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  37. Fox reported on something today about the Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin treatment for those affected. That has come up here.

    I found the report. It is a small trial from some French clinicians. Worth more investigation.

    https://www.mediterranee-infection.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Hydroxychloroquine_final_DOI_IJAA.pdf

    Reporting from the North Coast

    New shutdowns announced today.

    So we ventured out a run to Costco and the grocery.

    Things are very different. Some people with gloves and masks.

    We needed dog food, some other staples, more wine. Got everything and folks here are calm and courteous. The roads and local night life places, on a night like this would be crowded with couples, families out and about are near deserted.

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  42. Reason has got to be the worst outlet to comment on any of this. Poorly educated journalists with a hard ideological perspective.

    1. Says the one with an ideological perspective.
      It’s a libertarian site, no secret, so why come and whine?

  43. Sure the death rate may be 1.4% or less but if it’s 3 times more infectious than a seasonal flu, the total dead is higher.

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