EDIT 3/16/20 - corrected seasonal flu mortality rates, revised source HT to zbaird
EDIT 6/16/20: I put this here in the eddy because it's not really related to boating. My hope is that this will be a place for frank, civil, and sincere discussion. It may be tough but let's try to keep politics out of it - we are where we are and this is about helping folks understand what's going on. If you've got claims to make that are new, please provide sources for your info. And please keep conspiracy theories out of this unless you've got a reputable source to back it up.
'Thought I'd share some stuff I've written about the Coronavirus and posted in other venues. I was posting this on FB a week or so ago when it seemed like there were still a lot of folks brushing off the pandemic as "seasonal flu" or something made up by the media.
I don't really tune into the cable TV/mainstream network news for my scientific information but bet they've got the panic machine turned up to 11 with the pandemic. Instead, most of my info on the virus comse from more scientific sources, mainly the news sections of Nature
. These are where academics and researchers summarize journal articles and write about stuff from a scientific point of view. They're funded by the journals of the same names, so they're not trying to boost viewership by using sensationalist clickbait like you'll see on regular news sites (unless you find article titles like, "Interdomain spacing and spatial configuration drive the potency of IgG-[L]-scFv T cell bispecific antibodies" titillating). So just in case you're not convinced yet, the science nerds that work with viruses and epidemiology are saying that we're dealing with something much, much more serious than our regular seasonal influenza.
Here's what I've been learning:
First, I really hope that the Coronavirus will not be as bad as current projections. There are some articles in the scientific literature saying that the percentage of people who die from Coronavirus (mortality rate) may be much lower than the 2% rate estimates from China. This is because a lot of mild cases haven't been reported and aren't included in the mortality rate calculations.
But it's also misleading to minimize the outbreak as some folks are doing by saying the seasonal flu kills many more each year than the Coronavirus has killed (so far), and so the Coronavirus is overblown and will not be a problem. This is because far fewer people have been infected, to date, than get the flu every year. The number of infections now known is just the tip of the iceberg because the epidemic is just beginning to spread in the US.
Now let's run some numbers to put things into perspective: To say that 98% of people who get the Coronavirus infection live is also to say that 2% of infected people die. Thus, out of 100,000 infections, that 2% mortality rate translates to 2,000 deaths. This is compared to a seasonal flu mortality rate of only 15-20 deaths per 100,000 people infected according to the CDC.
If the 2% mortality rate is correct, the Corona virus is 100 times more deadly than our garden variety seasonal influenza.
Hopefully the Coronavirus mortality rate has been overstated and is much less than the 2% rate being reported. But even if it's only 1%, instead of the current 2% estimate, that means that it would kill 1,000 people out of 100,000 infections. This would mean it's 50 times more deadly than the seasonal flu - still pretty serious.
So based on this, when, not if, the virus sweeps through the country a couple of people you know will probably die of it, especially among the elderly or those with immune system problems or other health issues. In addition to the toll in suffering and loss of loved ones, this kind of death rate, and also the reluctance of people to go to work if they're well, or need to stay home if they're sick, could have significant impacts to our economy (as we're seeing) and our quality of life over the next year or two.
I've discussed this stuff with a couple of family members who work in molecular biology daily and they agree.
Maybe I'm overreacting, but I'm taking it seriously.
CDC Flu Mortality Rate source: Influenza/Pneumonia Mortality by State
Here's a good starter article on the virus from the Smithsonian Magazine, a reputable science news source: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...-19-180974313/
Here's an article saying that the mortality rate may be overestimated (let's hope they're correct!): https://www.physiciansweekly.com/dat...us-infections/
Here's an article on the BS consipracy theories going around that the virus is man-made or came from a bioweapons lab: https://www.factcheck.org/2020/02/ba...bioengineered/