Dr. Amesh Adalja - infectious disease doctor from John Hopkins - on Corona (COVID-19).
I was driven to this post by running out of toilet paper and being unable to find any at supermarkets near my house so walked in the rain to the next suburb over to only have to push past people filling whole trolleys with packets of 9 double length rolls as shelf stackers restocked…
Have an opinion on the severity of this virus after listening to an expert. Like this guy. He is a scientist who specializes in viruses like this and advises the US government on outbreaks like this.
I think everyone who wants to venture strong opinions on this virus - including having strong opinions on whether to stockpile things - should either be an expert or watch someone who is, like this guy. But if you cannot do that much, here are some takeaways:
The death rate for Corona (COVID-19) way way less than 1%.
Over 80% of cases are mild…many people won’t even realize their 2-day long sniffle was corona-19.
Its R0 value (how contagious it is = how many people an infected person will typically infect) is relatively low at 2.0 to 2.4. Measles, for example, has an R0 = 15.
Politicians shouldn’t comment on things they have no idea about. Eg: when Bernie Sanders criticized a pharmaceutical company some time ago, so they stopped working on a vaccine for a related virus due to all the bad publicity…so we don’t have all the vaccines we might have had.
Wild animals are a key way these viruses spread. All corona viruses originate in bats but then end up in some other animals and only then in people. Eg: MERS which was a worse form of corona was transmitted by camels. MERS had a 35% death rate but was far far more difficult to spread human-to-human but EASY to spread camel-human.
There is a “severity bias” with COVID-19. This means you only hear about the very small number of severe cases because they end up in hospital being tested. Most people who get it – you included – would probably never know you had it.
In 2009 the H1N1 virus looks like it was worse. In the US alone well over 200,000 infections and 12,000 deaths. This new one looks to be “mild to moderate” – it won’t “go away”. Viruses are just a part of life. This coronavirus may end up “endemic”: we may just have to live with it for years.
The Australian government is overreacting. We cannot contain it. We just have to be resilient and help the rare people who get really sick. Politicians tend not to get punished for over reacting on these things. But they should. China overreacted majorly, according to this expert, because the virus could never be contained and now it sets a bad example for other countries and when it breaks through the containment people will think that containment never works. It does…but not for this virus.
Masks are not needed for the general public.
This virus is especially not severe for children.
Wash your hands.
Modern healthcare systems really reduce fatality rates. Eg: ebola was thought to have a 90% death rate….but simply giving people IV fluids in a hospital reduced that number to 20%.
The main effect on the economy is due to misinformed shutdowns by the government.
3/3/2020 02:13:37 am
Thanks for your realistic evaluation of the situation, Brett.
3/3/2020 04:11:13 am
Love this Brett! Thank you ( your time poor friend!) 🙏
3/6/2020 08:11:48 am
How is 1 in 5 being hospitalised on ife support nothing to worry about?
3/6/2020 06:52:32 pm
Hyperbole like *that* is indeed something to worry about. Why people like to spread false statistics, I don’t know. But it’s certainly a problem.
4/21/2020 10:12:58 pm
John: how’s that statistic working for you now?
11/6/2020 12:27:35 pm
this didn't age well
Indeed. I’m not sure anyone predicted the hyperbole and subsequent over reaction of many to what was supposed to be worse than Spanish Flu...but turned out to be mild in 99% of cases for 99% of people. In contradiction of the advice of the relevant experts - like Amesh Adalja - governments placed their population under house arrest exacerbating the problem beyond all expectations. This may be a prelude to something far worse, is my fear.
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