How does the new coronavirus compare with the flu?

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Apr 2, 2020
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SARS-CoV-2 that results in COVID-19 has killed over 52,000 people to date and it's only infected 0.01% of the world population. Because humans don't have an immunity to it, this virus will infect at least 90% of us. Extrapolating from the current numbers results in a total death count of 468 million people worldwide. Another way of calculating the fatality count is to take the current global mortality rate of 5%, resulting in 390 million deaths worldwide. There is no way that SARS-CoV-2 can be considered on par with the common flu. The article makes a major mistake in comparing a train wreck that is currently in motion to a bumper car wreck that has already happened in the past. This flaw in reasoning will be fatal to us all if it causes us to take half-hearted steps while we lie to ourselves that this is just a bad common flu.

My question is, is there an incubation period for COVID-19? My impression is that it’s contagious for 14 days prior to one showing symptoms — Is this true, and is a true for all cases? That would make it very hard to stop an pandemic. From what I read SARS was contaned because it wasn’t contagious until one showed symptoms of it. So they were able to quarantine the one with SARS immediately and eventually track down everyone who had it. If you can’t tell who have corona virus and you can’t test of everyone, it seems very difficult to stop it.

Secondly, how contagious is it? Hundreds of people on the cruiseship acquiring it, or 50 people in the Washington nursing home getting it in a few days seems quite telling.
Yes, there is an incubation period for COVID-19. It's on average 5.1 days from initial infection to presentation of symptoms. During this incubation period, studies have shown that the person is infectious to others. We are all going to need to wear masks in case we are infectious to others, otherwise, this virus will successfully infect most of humanity. Humans have no immunity to SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. Nearly all of us will get it unless we get vaccinated with a vaccine that doesn't yet exist. (Note: The 12-18 month quote for a vaccine is not based on good science reporting. This timeline is entirely hope and dreams at this point.)
 
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Apr 3, 2020
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How does the new coronavirus compare with the seasonal flu, and which should you most worry about?

How does the new coronavirus compare with the flu? : Read more
Control of both diseases suffer from the same problem: lack of adequate testing. CDC influenza data on cases vs deaths are based on estimates and clinician reports from those seeking treatment...not all cases are tested for influenza viruses for confirmation. Covid-19 cases are supposedly reported as confirmed only if tested. For influenza, however, instead of 39 million estimated cases, there are about 42 thousand confirmed tests (per the CDC web site), and 24 thousand deaths. From these data one, one might either think that the flu fatality rate is fraction of 1% or over 50%. Both are likely wrong. Changing the denominator in the case fatality rate equation obviously changes the perception of the relative threat of both influenza and Covid-19. Both are serious diseases, but the comparisons flying about the internet are pretty useless for policy making or personal decision making. The same precautions taken for Covid-19 should also limit influenza mortality, but it's currently impossible to evaluate from the flu data as reported.
 
Mar 19, 2020
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I think you all should stop talking to each other, vomiting out dumb crap you read from other idiots and pick up a virology book and think logically. Then come back and discuss ideas and actual facts. Almost none of you have any idea about even the structure of a standard virus, yet are talking like you're experts but in reality don't know a virion from a damn capsid.

No offense to anyone in particular but the crap I read to the intelligent comments are outweighed 1000 to 1. Try actually studying.
You just said you know nothing about virology

Truthfully I only believe 2 things are most likely true about this Corona Virus.
1) Created by the Chinese government as a means to control their own people and now the rest of the world!
2) Just another form of the Flu virus that, now that it has a name, everyone can worry about and think terrible things about. Hey, if we hadn't given it a name no one would give a second thought to catching a flu.
The effect wouldn't change though, and the virus would still be identified, and is a member of the coronavirus group. Vaccine development if it was considered a flu would reveal the nature of the virus as not influenza
 
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dan

Feb 3, 2020
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You just said you know nothing about virology
Ok now

Here's my long take on it: (short version, it's being hyped). Good to see warranted skepticism here.
First I can't resist the conspiracy question: why is this the first coronavirus to be listed as a pandemic by WHO? I wouldn't trust that outfit at all. Named Robert Mugabe as Goodwill Ambassador
Observe reasonable precautions for all communicable diseases. Respect the victims.

Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities”

worldmeters https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ on 3-21-2020:
CV cases 304,030*; deaths 12,965; recovered 94,669’ U.S. 348; California 27.


I’ve probably had the flu a dozen times in my 70+ years. All bad, but most memorable was the 1968 Hong Kong flu https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_flu_pandemic which killed 1 million people world-wide in 6 months. In the U.S. approximately 33,800 people died of the Hong Kong flu. https://www.sinobiological.com/research/virus/1968-influenza-pandemic-hong-kong-flu That toll is almost 100 times COVID-19’s current losses and more than all the deaths in the world caused by COVID-19. Nearly on par was the 1973 London flu which killed at least 1073 Americans, including 57 Californians the first week of 1973. https://www.nytimes.com/1973/01/13/archives/flu-now-exceeds-epidemic-level-but-disease-control-office-is.html
Flu and virus epidemics that earn a name, usually based on origin, are simply an exceptionally virulent strain of viruses among a greater number of viruses that collectively, routinely kill more people than the named virus. Hence, the 2017-18 “ordinary” flu season killed 60,000 plus Americans with no single virus strain winning the prize of a name.

That national toll is many times the losses inflicted by COVID-19. The California toll was double the current COVID19 toll in just one week. Both those outbreaks hit hard and fast. You barely heard of it and you were down. The 2017-18 flu season cut down over 60,000 Americans. I wasn’t around but, “… something like …50,000 influenzapneumonia deaths in the United States occurred during the epidemic of the winter of 1928-1929.” (American Journal of Public Health, February 1930). The Granddaddy of all was the 1918 Spanish Flu: “When it was all over, the Spanish flu killed and estimated 675,000 Americans, among a staggering 20 to 50 million people worldwide.” https://www.history.com/news/spanish-flu-pandemic-response-cities

COVID 19 is showing the usual retreat in locations it was first established, China and South Korea:
“South Korea has emerged as a sign of hope and a model to emulate. The country of 50 million appears to have greatly slowed its epidemic; it reported only 74 new cases today, down from 909 at its peak on 29 February. And it has done so without locking down entire cities or taking some of the other authoritarian measures that China employed.” https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/coronavirus-cases-have-dropped-sharply-south-korea-whats-secret-its-success

Instead of enthusiastically hyping the COVID 19 body count, why are we not informed of these past outbreaks that were far worse? Where is the historical context? Where are the health care professionals and scientists who must know these truths? Where are the responsible journalists to inform the public of these vivid contrasts that don’t square with the hysterical story we’re being told? Where is the responsible leadership to put things in perspective and offer calm? Where are the skeptics, the inquirers, the challengers?

A people that can be so easily mislead and panicked by absurdities is concerning. “...once you get used to accepting what you are told without questioning it, no matter how absurd, you lose the ability to understand what is good or bad.”
If people are willing to shut everything down and shelter in place, what else might they do at their master’s bidding? The elderly, irrespective of their individual health, have already been stigmatized as vulnerable, or, along with Asians, possible vectors. Hence these "types" are to be avoided or shunned. Who will be next, and to what may they be subjected?

The land of the free and the home of the brave? More like the land of the panicked and afraid.

I don’t have to wonder what life must be like in an insane asylum anymore. All I have to do is go outside.

*There is likely a much larger, but unknown number of unreported, mildly ill, asymptomatic carriers. IF 80% of a population is not sick enough to report or be counted, that would quadruple the number of CV cases to approximately 1,200,000 taking the mortality rate down to about 0.1%. All the information I’ve shared is readily available on the internet.
I think that means we're in a lifeboat with no paddles.
 
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Apr 4, 2020
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We are comparing the mortality, not comparing viruses. When you read the CDC site in the estimation of the Flu, it depends on data modeling, which is always wrong. They only look at 13 geographical locations and even admit that determining mortality is a tricky task.
 

Jim_Robinson

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Apr 12, 2020
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Symptom wise I would compare Covid-19 to the common flu as follows :

Covid-19 symptoms :

- have much longer duration (~15 days in mild cases to ~30 days for mediocre cases and several months in severe cases which end up in ICU)
- come in long winded waves in contrast to flu symptoms, you can feel perfectly fine in the morning with Covid-19 and in the evening all the symptoms are back and prevent you from sleeping, in general the symptoms are much more pronounced at night (needs to be researched in my opinion)
- are much more hideos, you can literally have kidney, bladder, testicle - inflammations and freak out about it at one night and in the next morning everything is back to "normal" more or less
- the breathing problems (in severe cases called pneumonia, even though it is rather a hypoxia) are not comparable to a typical flu pneumonia, you can inhale, but your volume is simply to tiny to give you a significant amount of oxygen plus even if your volume is sufficient, you won't get enough oxygen most likely due to hypoxia, feels like drowning

Regarding the pharmacology aspects there are so many rumors (please consider studies in the upcoming months about this) circulating about SARS-COV2, which theoretically make it much more severe than the influenza virus family :

- its spike proteins are modelling those of HIV-1, namely gp120, which allegedly can let them bind on T-cells (if ACE2 is saturated) and lead to immune reactions, which most doctors are unprepared for
- antibodies can lead to ADE (antibody dependent enhancement) of new subsequent reinfections, which means, that if you had it once, the second time will likely be more severe, since the antibodies rather help the virus to corrupt the organism, than guarding it
 
Apr 15, 2020
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SARS-CoV-2 that results in COVID-19 has killed over 52,000 people to date and it's only infected 0.01% of the world population. Because humans don't have an immunity to it, this virus will infect at least 90% of us. Extrapolating from the current numbers results in a total death count of 468 million people worldwide. Another way of calculating the fatality count is to take the current global mortality rate of 5%, resulting in 390 million deaths worldwide. There is no way that SARS-CoV-2 can be considered on par with the common flu. The article makes a major mistake in comparing a train wreck that is currently in motion to a bumper car wreck that has already happened in the past. This flaw in reasoning will be fatal to us all if it causes us to take half-hearted steps while we lie to ourselves that this is just a bad common fl
This is a poor use of estimation and false information.

Using your illogical progression of steps, you will of course come up with a doomsday scenario. It's wrong and dangerous to use simplistic math like this to estimate the spread of, or deaths caused by, any virus, no matter how new or unknown it is. Things like location, country, government, technology, and economic advancement can wildly affect a virus's impact. Also, by using an arbitrary 90% total infection number, you are falsely inflating your results.

Additionally, this still doesn't account for the asymptomatic people that will be infected but show no signs of sickness. There is a massive group of people that get this virus but show no symptoms at all, or they show mild symptoms that don't require medical attention.

Sweden, for example, has only quarantined those that are high risk (elderly, immune compromised, etc.) and they have left everyone else to do as they please without lockdown or heavy restriction. They report the same infection rates as every other country.

This is a virus. It is new, it is very serious. It is highly infectious. But it is not worth the panic, fear and doomsaying that we are getting from the news and our governments. Sanity and logic will get us through this, not fear and forced lockdowns.

John's Hopkins has an excellent dashboard showing current numbers worldwide. Please visit it and other places, and do better research. The more we research before we post, the more informed and less fearful we can be, individually and as a society.
 
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Mar 4, 2020
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We would have to compare it to the flu.......for us regular people. That's the way it appears to us. There is a lot of contradictory information about this virus for us hicks.

On one hand, it seems very contagious and spreads very quickly. But a portion never know they had it. Others are mild to severe. And for a large select portion, death. Sounds like flu. Flu is contradictory in the same manner.

Are coronavirus deaths, going to be determined and classified with the same parameters as a flu death, thru out this country? If not, why? It should be super imposed on the flu strain death graph.

Can we trust the data submitted? Can this data be influenced with a funding/promotion agenda or a state or federal political agenda?

How soon will the state do this again? For a bad flu strain.......next? Why not safe distance countries? Heath monitor and control foreign travel, not civil travel. Do the testing and tracking at the border.
 
Apr 11, 2020
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The new corona virus causing COVID 19 has led to more than 454,000 ilnesses and more than
20550 deaths worldwide. If we comparison in the US alone the Flu (also called influenza) according to CDC24 (as of 25th march 2020) has caused an estimated 38 million illnesses, 390,000 hospitalizations and more than 23,000 deaths this season.
The death rate of COVID-19 and Flu is 0.1% . The Ro of Flu Virus is 1.327 whereas Ro of corona virus is 2.226 . we should must remember that the Ro is not an intrinsic feature of the virus. It can be lowered through containment, mitigation and ultimately “herd immunity”, as the people who have recovered become less susceptible to corona virus or serious illnesses.
If yo know more then visit Coronavirus vs flu symptoms
 
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Apr 17, 2020
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I really want to be a part of the scared, doomsday, world is coming to an end crowd. But I'm having trouble understanding the numbers and which numbers I'm suppose to be afraid of. Hopefully someone can help me.

Numbers that scare me:

4 to 5 percent fatality rate.
14 to 17 percent hospitalization rate.

The fatality rate depends on whether you include New York and New Jersey in your overall US model. It's true you can't just arbitrarily remove data points, but when New York has 223,000 confirmed cases, the next highest state New Jersey has 75,000 confirmed cases, the next Massachusetts at 32,000, the next at Michigan 29,000 - you start to see that New York especially is not at all indicative of the rest of the country. New Jersey is out there a bit too, although not to the extent that New York is. I'm not saying the numbers in New York and New Jersey don't matter, those areas certainly deserve attention, but when trying to model the country as a whole I'm not sure if those numbers can be taken at face value.

I know everyone says you can't compare this to the flu. But what do you compare it to? If you're not comparing it to anything, then the numbers are largely meaningless. The flu has a fatality rate of 0.1%. So the 4 or 5 percent fatality rate definitely deserves some fear.

The hospitalization rate - I'll admit I don't have anything to compare this to - I assume hospitalization in this context means ICU (probably not 100% but a fair share). This just seems high. Now, some of this depends on how the data is interpreted. Is hospitalization in this context referred to as a function of confirmed cases or a function of active cases? Does this mean that this number of people WERE and ARE in the hospital due to this virus, or does it mean that this number of people ARE in the hospital due to this virus? So basically this means that if I get the virus, I have a 5% chance of dying and a 17% chance of being in the hospital.

Issues that I'm having trouble understanding:

There's 320,000,000 people in the United States. 672,000 people have been confirmed to have it. 3,400,000 people have been tested. That's 0.2% of the entire US population confirmed with this virus and a little over 1% of the US population has been tested. Those percentages seem a little low to get worked up about. Is the sample size large enough to really warrant doomsday?

3,400,000 have been tested for the virus and 672,000 have been confirmed to have it. That's about a 20% confirmation rate. Presumably - and maybe this is where I'm wrong - that 3,400,000 that have been tested presented at least some symptoms - yet 80% of those come back negative? That seems, odd. How accurate is this test? Why are so many people wanting to get tested that turn out to be negative? Is everybody with a sniffle going out and getting tested?

Antibody testing results are a little difficult to come by. There definitely is concern about the reliability of antibodies tests - I'm not going to dispute that. But I think some numbers are important. What little I have seen shows results of about 10, 15, 30 percent. This seems low - for a virus that is supposedly very contagious. Perhaps the virus isn't that contagious. Perhaps we're social distancing ourselves to a point of removing any chance of immunity. Perhaps these tests just aren't that reliable at this time.

Further to antibody testing, there's arguments over arguments of whether or not having antibodies means your immune. Why does immunity have to be part of the equation? Why can't we look at antibodies in a function of how widespread the virus is and nothing else? Hypothetical, if 80% of the US population has antibodies, that means 256,000,000 have had the virus. 672,000 have been confirmed. 114,000 (17% of 672,000) of those have been hospitalized. That means 255,886,000 had the virus and either didn't know it or treated it at home - is it really worth worrying about? (Again, this is a hypothetical scenario and I in no way, shape, or form believe 80% of the population has antibodies).

I also don't understand the quest/demand to get everyone tested. What is the purpose of this? Or is the quest/demand for everyone to get an antibodies test? I'm not sick right now, I don't want a cotton swap stuck up my nose and down my throat to see if I have the virus. If I do happen to have it, I'm asymptomatic right now. I suppose there's an argument that I could be infecting others if I am asymptomatic, but even if I am negative that doesn't mean I won't get it later. If the demand is for everyone to get tested for the active virus, then we'll all have to get tested every 2 weeks. Do people think that if they get tested now, come back as negative, that they are immune from ever getting it? I'm lost in the purpose of this argument. Unless this demand is for an antibodies test - that makes some sense.

For those that believe social distancing and self-isolation is the answer, what's the end game for you? The only way self-isolation would seem to work is if everyone... EVERYONE... as in the entire world... isolated themselves for 2 weeks (say 20 days for good measure). That would conceivably give time for anyone with the virus to present symptoms and anyone that is asymptomatic to let the virus run it's course. But that means nobody gets out during that isolation period. If the United States was the only country that did this, then they can't allow anyone from outside the country to ever come in, because as soon as you introduce the virus into the population again, we have to start this whole thing over again. And every time someone breaks isolation, we have to start the clock over again. Logistically speaking, I don't see how this is possible, unless we are psuedo self-isolating forever or at least until a valid vaccine is available.

Ultimately I think the answer lies in a reliable antibodies test. We need to know how many people have had this virus. If a significant portion of the population (higher's obviously better, but I'd say at least 40 percent) has had the virus and recovered - then how scary is all of this really? If antibodies only show up in a small portion of the population (like 15 percent or less) then is the virus really that contagious? Or are we social distancing ourselves to death? Either way the next action would seem to indicate opening things back up a little bit. Obviously if the antibodies percent is low this opening up needs to be done in a cautious manner - probably in areas that have excess hospital capacity - and with the caveat that this may overwhelm again and we may have to shut down again. But the scenario gives us more information. At this point, continuing self-isolation doesn't seem to be giving us any new data.

I would propose taking an in-depth look at each of the 435 US congressional districts (perhaps excluding New York - or New York City - and New Jersey, because those areas are known to be overwhelmed so knowing how many people in those areas have had the virus isn't exactly useful information). Taking about 10,000 randomly selected individuals in each congressional district and giving them an antibodies test to see if they ever had the virus. Include a small survey that asks if the individual ever tested positive for Covid-19 (these should result in positive antibodies and would help gauge the reliability of the test), has ever been sick in the past 4 months (?), and what symptoms they had if any, and probably some way to identify hospital and ICU capacity and current usage in those areas. That's 4,350,000 tests. Tabulating this information by congressional districts would allow us to identify which areas could potentially have broad immunity and which areas have hospital capacity to potentially address individual needs that might arise, and hopefully start opening up areas that identify positively to these results.

An approach to antibodies is probably what the governments in the United States should have been looking at before this ever started. The logistics of doing a widespread active virus test within a country as large and as populated as the United States was never going to be possible. By the time you get around to testing everyone, people have already had the virus and recovered, so the active test doesn't necessarily tell you anything. A reliable antibodies test would. (Reliable is a keyword here - and maybe we're not there yet).

Vigilance is definitely required. I'm not suggesting that we all immediately go back to the way it was before. At this point we really don't know if social distancing has leveled the growth curve or if time has leveled the curve. Why can't it be time? Why can't it be a degree of herd immunity? Why should I be scared to death of this virus?

The numbers I used came from the John Hopkins Coronavirus page and some were grabbed yesterday (2020-04-16).
 
Apr 18, 2020
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I really want to be a part of the scared, doomsday, world is coming to an end crowd. But I'm having trouble understanding the numbers ... Numbers that scare me: 4 to 5 percent fatality rate...14 to 17 percent hospitalization rate.
Chuck, great stuff. I too struggle to find the concise 'elevator speech' for the numerical difference from the flu... a simple and honest fact statement that the non-believers could respect and grasp instantly. I have been presuming from the numbers, but can't be sure it's valid, that my argument would be:

It's [x] times more transmitted (R0),
MULTIPLIED BY causing [y] times hospitalizations
MULTIPLIED by hospitalizations being [z] times longer.
(Mortality ratio is scary but not an equation multiplier, just psychological warfare from the enemy, and a very effective one, at that. Oh, here's a late-arrived at factor/question: how many healthcare professionals die from treating flu patients???)
One could easily come up with a final number of coronavirus causing 100x the hospital impact... the NY/NJ experience.

I agree with your bottom line on
1) representative testing, whereas a dream of 'complete' testing (even though I had used the term myself) is simpleton thinking dressed up in a make-pretend costume of science
2) concentrate strategy on hospitalization capacity and circumstances, brilliant.
I wish I understood more about antibody vs infection testing, but your point about infection testing being a moving target is unassailable.

You've advanced the cause significantly.
 
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Apr 18, 2020
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Just a general comment about this and other similar threads. Even in a post that I agree with I see the phrase that mentions (but makes no judgement) the phrase "everyone says that you can't compare coronavirus to the flu," or more generally whether it's "fair to compare A to B"?

It's always fair to compare any two things. "Compare" doesn't mean "declare as equals."
We can 'compare' apples and oranges.
We can compare the worst villain to the greatest saint.
We can compare coronavirus to the flu, and that's how we learn and think and communicate and behave accordingly.

This appears to be consistent with dictionary definitions.
Thanks
 
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Apr 18, 2020
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chuckf, I've gone back through your comments and have some more thoughts:

1) That's 0.2% of the entire US population confirmed with this virus and a little over 1% of the US population has been tested. Those percentages seem a little low to get worked up about. Is the sample size large enough to really warrant doomsday?

2) 3,400,000 have been tested for the virus ...yet 80% of those come back negative? ... Is everybody with a sniffle going out and getting tested?

3) Further to antibody testing... Hypothetical, if 80% of the US population has antibodies... 255,886,000 had the virus and either didn't know it or treated it at home - is it really worth worrying about?

4) I also don't understand the quest/demand to get everyone tested. What is the purpose of this?
Responding to your questions,
1) The sample size validity is probably best answered by a statistician, but I've learned that in matters of risk, 'likelihood' and 'severity' are completely separate. In other words, if the severity is [lying in a hospital bed, drowning in your own mucous with a pipe down your throat], then who cares about the likelihood? If we contrast this with the tradeoff of air travel where you have a one-in-ten-million (?) chance of a scary amusement park ride followed by instant immolation, I'd take that risk-likelihood combo over cv any day.

2) Yes, a lot of people are getting tested with less-than-cv symptoms. Wait until all those in temperate zones start coughing non-stop from the springtime pollen (that was record bad last year?). The psychological component is huge for those who are watching what's happening in emergency rooms. I'll share an excerpt from a New Orleans emergency doc, exact typography cut-and-paste:
Seen three positive flu swabs in 2 weeksand all three had Covid 19 as well. Somehow this ***** has told all other disease processes to get out of town.
He's saying that people who come in with other conditions, from dislocated shoulder to regular flu have it.

3) It took me a while to understand your hypothetical of 80%. But if I've got it right you're trying to imagine what a worst-case infection volume would cause. I think the answer is 1-4% of 255m (who took in the germ) dying, no?

4) As for the purpose of mythical (at least for now) 'complete infection testing,' we agree it's pointless. But the ostensible logic I presume to be this: if everyone could be tested instantly on one evening at home, those who are infected could stay---with all their two-week contacts---isolated for as long as we believe the 'carrying' (incubation?) period is... and dramatically cut off the virus's lifeline.
 
Apr 17, 2020
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Responding to your questions,
1) The sample size validity is probably best answered by a statistician...

3) It took me a while to understand your hypothetical of 80%...
I'm going to look at your #1 and #3. They might go together a bit.

Regarding the death and hospitalization rates. These are high. These are scary. There's really not a lot that can be done to explain why these shouldn't be scary. Any way you look at it, the raw numbers are just very high and there's no way to make these raw numbers go down. But some thoughts that might help:

1) This virus is new. If you didn't expect a higher than flu number of deaths, then you had false expectations. The flu has been around for years. Pretty much everybody has been exposed to the flu in some capacity. Maybe you've never gotten real bad sick with the flu, but you've probably been exposed to it enough that your immune system has a general idea of how to fight it. This virus, just also isn't the flu, so it's going to attack differently. The flu is going to kill around 30,000 people in the US every year. A bad flu season might get upwards of 60,000. Covid-19 has already passed 30,000. So either way you slice it, the numbers are bad.

The media and everyone seems to want to point to the fact that there's 30,000 deaths and only 700,000 confirmed cases. Last year the flu killed 34,000 out of 35,000,000 cases. Does that mean that when the confirmed cases of Covid-19 reaches 35,000,000 we'll see 2,000,000 deaths? Probably not - but I suppose it's possible. We're missing a lot of data. 700,000 confirmed cases is an incredibly low sample size to make that assertion. This is why widespread (reliable) antibodies testing is needed.

2) New York - the east coast, New England, New York City. For whatever reason, the numbers from New England - especially New York (just New York city?) - have completely skewed the models. Of the 760,245 confirmed cases in the US, 248,431 of them are in New York. That's 1/3 of the cases. Of the 40,690 deaths in the US, 14,451 are in New York City. That's 1/3 of the cases. (While I'm here... a brief hat-tip to John Hopkin's University for providing the data from their website... but why on earth do you report confirmed cases by state, tests by state, hospitalizations by state... but deaths are by city/county/large areas?).

This is completely disproportionate to other large cities. Cook County Illinois (Chicago) has a little over 5 million people, 877 deaths are being reported - that's 0.017% of the population there. Los Angeles has a population of about 4 million, 601 deaths about 0.015% of the population. New York City - population 8.3 million, 14,451 deaths - 0.174% of the population.

If you were to normalize the New York City numbers based on the Cook County and Los Angeles percentages - say 0.02% of the 8.3 million people in New York died, or 1660. Then that puts your number of deaths in the US at 27,899. That doesn't move the meter a whole lot, but it does move it some. And you might make other adjustments to other states/areas in New England where the outbreak appears to be worse.

Again - please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying the current numbers in New York and New England don't matter. I'm just saying they don't exactly fit the model that works in the rest of the country. If a hypothetical virus happens to kill 200,000 people in New York City, but only 50 total throughout the rest of the United States... is it really that concerning for people that live in Kansas or Wyoming?

Something is definitely going on in New York City and the surrounding area with this virus. Yes that needs to be investigated and yes they need help. But I think part of the issue that's spreading fear throughout the rest of the country is that all of the news media is focusing on New York and that area and how bad it is there. And I'm not sure if individual persons are able to differentiate that this is only happening like this in New York and not so much in other parts of the country - or at least the data is lacking for other parts of the country.

Even if you add a little bit of perspective, it's still not great news. But it can kind of help calm some thing down.


Regarding the 80% antibodies hypothetical situation... this was mainly meant in regards to antibodies and immunity. If you search for articles about antibodies for covid-19 you come up with a ton of articles about this doctor and that doctor arguing that just because you have antibodies doesn't mean you have enough antibodies for effective immunity. My hypothetical situation was saying that if 80% of the US population were to be proved to already have had this virus - 256 million people - then obviously the symptoms aren't that bad for the vast majority of people, so who cares if antibodies means immunity? I mean, I get probably two cases of the common cold every winter. I continue to work, I continue to do pretty much all of my daily chores. No, I don't really like having the cold, but I manage. If the majority of people can manage this covid-19 virus, then is immunity really that important?

Further from this, and to combine your #1 and #3 points - if 256 million Americans have had and recovered from this virus, then the number of deaths - 40,000 - is going to remain mostly static, it's not going to go up very much. Does that change your perspective about the scary number of deaths?

Now, before people start screaming at me - the 80% antibodies is a totally made up, hypothetical situation and what little antibodies results I have seen come through are showing no where near this. And I also stated in my first post that I did not in any way, shape, or form believe that it would be this high. But the point was, the more people that present with antibodies that never went to the doctor, never went to get tested, never were hospitalized the more it feeds that maybe the typical symptoms aren't that bad. This is the data that we are missing.

Think about it. If you or someone you know that is scared to death of this virus, was able to take a reliable antibodies test and that antibodies test showed that they already had the virus and recovered, what would that do for their anxiety? Now I'm not suggesting that that is what would happen, but we also don't have a lot of data that says it's not. What happened to the "80 percent of the population will have very mild or no symptoms" from this virus?

The bottom line is, there's still a lot of unanswered questions. There's still a lot of missing data. And right now the most useful data would come from a reliable antibodies test. And if you want to be disgusted with someone, be disgusted that the governments in the US were unprepared for the need for widespread reliable antibodies testing. We don't need drive up clinics to see if you currently have covid-19. We need drive up clinics for reliable antibodies testing to tell us whether we already had the virus.
 
Jul 13, 2020
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It's not contradictory! You pretty much said it and it's VERY close to correct. I've basically have been saying the same thing ever since this thing started. I mean really. How many people got sick with something just last year and died? You won't ever know because no one was keeping track of whatever virus people got. I think this thing is being blown why outta proportion here. Yes, it's a bad thing but no worse than anything else that has a vaccine, yet people still die and it's mainly the flu. The older generation is more at risk - just like the flu. Did you also know that the common cold is in the coronavirus family? There's no cure for the common cold either. So do we wear masks for the rest of history because of the cold? I don't see that happening.
 
Feb 27, 2020
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Wow Spot on. I'm glad someone else sees this. Thank you!!
It's not contradictory! You pretty much said it and it's VERY close to correct. I've basically have been saying the same thing ever since this thing started. I mean really. How many people got sick with something just last year and died? You won't ever know because no one was keeping track of whatever virus people got. I think this thing is being blown why outta proportion here. Yes, it's a bad thing but no worse than anything else that has a vaccine, yet people still die and it's mainly the flu. The older generation is more at risk - just like the flu. Did you also know that the common cold is in the coronavirus family? There's no cure for the common cold either. So do we wear masks for the rest of history because of the cold? I don't see that happening.
A vaccine for the common cold isn't worth the effort. I think we'll find that shutting down several continents is a remarkable motivator and people will be working on many different vaccines concurrently. One or more of them will likely be effective. This virus has the deadly potential of 10 or more flu seasons rolled into one. That's why people are stressing.
 
Jul 16, 2020
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To my mind, this phrase means that, for our purposes, two items have zero in common, and any comparison between the two is literally meaningless, as we can learn absolutely nothing from such a discussion. Is this your intent? If not, can you please clarify?
Here in the UK a doctor on TV came out with the bizarre statement that comparing CV19 and flu was like comparing cancer and an ingrowing toenail. To be fair, a fellow doc looked at him as if to say "with friends like him, who needs enemies"! It is in no way belittling CV19 to recognise that there obviously are certain similarities.
 
Aug 6, 2020
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A little perspective people.
right now, 6 Aug 2020 the covid death rate is 0.037% world wide and almost the exact same U.S. That is based on cnn #s today
The historic death rate of
* Influenza is ~1% nih.gov
* pneumonia can be as high as 30% categorically, overall ~5-10% (difficult to quickly research). Medscape.com
* Spanish flu - 2% varies greatly but low estimate nih.gov
* Rocky mountain spotted fever - 5-10% cdc.gov
* About 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that's 1 in every 4 deaths. That is a unbelievable 25% cdc.gov
* ~ 0.7% of all car crashes are fatal. iihs.org
* Stroke ~5% (per year) cdc.gov
I understand the mitigating factors have helped to decrease the number. However, many mitigating factors are/were employed for every other category here.
I am in no way discouraging any of those mitigating factors, we need masks, appropriate handwashing, social distancing and proper quarantine when positive.
Absolutely no one is reporting this statistic, I'm not sure why. I do not believe folks will blow the whole thing off, just because the death rate is one of the lowest for an infectious disease, I'm not, I wear my mask and limit my outings.
Maybe most folks wouldn't be so "freaked out" if they realized it's most likely not a death sentence if you get covid.
I believe it is irresponsible to report over and over all the other "scarier" stats but never the bottom line number....the death rate. What we historically report, when researching all other death causing events.
 

ZipFile

BANNED
Aug 16, 2020
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Here in the UK a doctor on TV came out with the bizarre statement that comparing CV19 and flu was like comparing cancer and an ingrowing toenail. To be fair, a fellow doc looked at him as if to say "with friends like him, who needs enemies"! It is in no way belittling CV19 to recognise that there obviously are certain similarities.
Well I had covid 19 and an ingrown toenail that I have also had was way worse
 

ROG

Aug 29, 2020
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Why in the UK are we using Covid infection cases instead of using hospital admission and death numbers for our responses to it?

There approximately 1500 deaths per day in the UK and we are concerned about 11 of those per day - WHY?
 
Aug 31, 2020
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This post started in Feb, and here we are now, Sept 1. In the US, the Trumpized CDC policy is that we will let COVID 19 wash over us, and that it is not as bad as it was going to be...

Any updated thoughts?
 
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