The strangest thing about this whole COVID-19 thing is there is nothing unusual about it except for how it is being treated. We have these pandemics regularly. Anyone here could list at least 5. But never have we had daily “death counters” and entire states shut down.
I had Swine Flu, and it was bad, but no one acted like this.
There is an article in Medium you might want to read titled, Evidence over hysteria — Covid-19. It comes with charts and in-depth analysis. The author’s conclusion might not be yours but it’s well worth your time. We took a few thoughts and snippets from it.
“While we should be concerned and diligent, the situation has dramatically elevated to a mob-like fear spreading faster than COVID-19 itself,” Aaron Ginn writes at Medium.
The Johns Hopkins chart was put up for transparency but it has become a source of frustration and fear with its big red blobs. The author emphasizes the need to control for the population which the chart doesn’t show.
SNIPPETS FROM HIS RESEARCH
The Real Numbers
“Viruses don’t acknowledge our human borders. The US population is 5.5X greater than Italy, 6X larger than South Korea, and 25% the size of China. Comparing the US total number of cases in absolute terms is rather silly.”
We fall in the middle of the pack, not at the top.
New studies show Cov-19 is not as contagious as once thought. According to one report, if you come in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you have a 1–5% chance of catching it as well. The variability is large because the infection is based on the type of contact and how long.
The majority of viral infections come from prolonged exposures in confined spaces with other infected individuals. Person-to-person and surface contact is by far the most common cause. From the WHO report, “When a cluster of several infected people occurred in China, it was most often (78–85%) caused by an infection within the family by droplets and other carriers of infection in close contact with an infected person.
Transmission rates are very similar to the seasonal flu.
Air-based transmission or untraceable community spread is very unlikely. According to WHO’s COVID-19 lead Maria Van Kerkhove, true community based spreading is very rare. The data from China shows that community-based spread was only a very small handful of cases.
“This virus is not circulating in the community, even in the highest incidence areas across China,” one expert said.
“Transmission by fine aerosols in the air over long distances is not one of the main causes of spread. Most of the 2,055 infected hospital workers were either infected at home or in the early phase of the outbreak in Wuhan when hospital safeguards were not raised yet,” she said.
True community spread involves transmission where people get infected in public spaces and there is no way to trace back the source of infection. WHO believes that is not what the Chinese data shows. If community spread was super common, it wouldn’t be possible to reduce the new cases through “social distancing”.
“We have never seen before a respiratory pathogen that’s capable of community transmission but at the same time, which can also be contained with the right measures. If this was an influenza epidemic, we would have expected to see widespread community transmission across the globe by now and efforts to slow it down or contain it would not be feasible,” said Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of WHO.
An author of a working paper from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University said, “The current scientific consensus is that most transmission via respiratory secretions happens in the form of large respiratory droplets … rather than small aerosols. Droplets, fortunately, are heavy enough that they don’t travel very far and instead fall from the air after traveling only a few feet.”
Common transmission surfaces
COVID-19’s ability to live for a long period of time is limited on most surfaces and it is quite easy to kill with typical household cleaners, just like the normal flu.
- COVID-19 be detected on copper after 4 hours and 24 hours on cardboard.
- COVID-19 survived best on plastic and stainless steel, remaining viable for up to 72 hours
- COVID-19 is very vulnerable to UV light and heat.
Presence doesn’t mean infectious. The viral concentration falls significantly over time. The virus showed a half-life of about 0.8 hours on copper, 3.46 hours on cardboard, 5.6 hours on steel and 6.8 hours on plastic.
COVID-19 Will Likely “Burn Off” in the Summer
Due to COVID-19’s sensitivity to UV light and heat (just like the normal influenza virus), it is very likely that it will “burn off” as humidity increases and temperatures rise.
Released on March 10th, one study mapped COVID-19 virality capability by high temperature and high humidity. It found that both significantly reduced the ability of the virus to spread from person-to-person. From the study,
“This result is consistent with the fact that the high temperature and high humidity significantly reduce the transmission of influenza. It indicates that the arrival of summer and rainy season in the northern hemisphere can effectively reduce the transmission of the COVID-19.”
“Every coronavirus patient in China infected on average 2.2 people a day — spelling exponential growth that can only lead to disaster. But then it started dropping, and the number of new daily infections is now close to zero.” He compared it to interest rates again: “even if the interest rate keeps dropping, you still make money. The sum you invested does not lessen, it just grows more slowly. When discussing diseases, it frightens people a lot because they keep hearing about new cases every day. But the fact that the infection rate is slowing down means the end of the pandemic is near.”
Symptoms Appear in a Few Days, Not a Few Weeks
Based on the initial results and the results from other countries, the total number of positive COVID-19 cases will increase as testing increases, but the fatality rate will continue to fall and the severity case mix will fall.
In general, the size of the US population infected with COVID-19 will be much smaller than originally estimated as most symptomatic individuals aren’t positive. 93% — 99% have other conditions.
Only 1% of cases will be severe
Looking at the whole funnel from top to bottom, ~1% of everyone who is tested for COVID-19 with the US will have a severe case that will require a hospital visit or long-term admission.
Globally, 80–85% of all cases are mild. These will not require a hospital visit and home-based treatment/no treatment is effective.
It’s About the Healthcare System
Higher fatality rates in China, Iran, and Italy are more likely associated with a sudden shock to the healthcare system unable to address demands and doesn’t accurately reflect viral fatality rates. As COVID-19 spread throughout China, the fatality rate drastically fell outside of Hubei. This was attributed to the outbreak slowing spreading to several provinces with low infection rates.
Fatality in the U.S.
“Reasonable estimates for the case fatality ratio in the general U.S. population vary from 0.05% to 1%.”
It’s also not affecting children and teens. We should open schools, he believes.
People Are Afraid of What the Government Will Do Next
At this rate, we will spend more money on “shelter-in-place” than if we completely rebuilt our acute care and emergency capacity, the author writes.
Rampant hoarding and a volatile stock market aren’t being driven by COVID-19. An overwhelming majority of American’s don’t believe they will be infected. Rather hoarding behavior strongly demonstrates an irrational hysteria, from purchasing infective household masks to buying toilet paper in the troves. This fear is being driven by government action, fearing what the government will do next.
Does it make more sense for us to pay a tax to expand medical capacity quickly or pay the cost to our whole nation of a recession? Take the example of closing schools which will easily cost our economy $50 billion. For that single unanimous totalitarian act, we could have built 50 hospitals with 500+ beds per hospital.
These days are precarious as Governors float the idea of martial law for not following “social distancing”, as well as they liked while they violate those same rules on national TV. Remember this tone is for a virus that has impacted 0.004% of our population. Imagine if this was a truly existential threat to our Republic.
The COVID-19 hysteria is pushing aside our protections as individual citizens and permanently harming our free, tolerant, open civil society. Data is data. Facts are facts. We should be focused on resolving COVID-19 with continued testing, measuring, and be vigilant about protecting those with underlying conditions and the elderly from exposure.
Now ask yourself who is driving the hysteria and remind yourself in November.