Northern Dragon

… life in the twilight years of modern-day democracy …

The danger of new Corona also known as COVID-19 caused by the virus SARS CoV-2

Dual Visions © 2020. All rights reserved.

There appears to be some people who have not quite understood the danger in the new Corona virus. We have examples from Denmark, where the doctors are telling potentially infected people that they should just go to work as if it is an ordinary flu. The first person in Denmark which caught Corona was told exactly that. The result was that 16 of his colleges afterwards were requested to work from home the next 14 days. Since it is well known that Corona is far more dangerous than an ordinary flu it appears surprising that doctors can be so ignorant of the consequences of their advice.

One reason for the lack of precaution is maybe that we in the start was told that the new Corona only killed less than 2% of their victims, and only victims which were elderly and weak. Even now, WHO is saying that the new Corona is killing only about 3.4% of all victims, a figure which is calculated by comparing the total death with the total number of people infected. It is uncertain why anyone would want to know that number, because it appears to be totally irrelevant. To understand why the number is irrelevant we could look at untreated rabies: The total number of people which have been infected by rabies is always higher than the number of dead by untreated rabies. If the new Corona virus had been as effective as rabies, and we compared the number of people infected with the number of people dead, then we may at this time get something like a mortality of 20%. However, fact is that none has ever survived rabies without a vaccine. The mortality rate of untreated rabies is therefore not 20% but 100%. The difference is simply because the rest has not yet died, which is because it takes somewhere between 3 weeks to 3 months to die. The true figure for the mortality is therefore first seen when you compare the possible outcomes of being infected. That is, comparing the number of deaths with the number of people who have survived.

This implies that if 51002 people have been declared cured and 3203 are declared dead then the mortality rate can be calculated to be 5.91% (as of 3 of March 2020). Because the new Corona disease is new and it takes shorter time to die than to be cured, then this number may drop in the future, so if we are very lucky it may very well end up to be just 3.4%, however, from a statically point of view, the true figure will most likely be somewhere in between. Guessing on a mortality for the new Corona virus of about 4.65% (the average between 3.4% and 5.91%) would therefore assumingly be a far more accurate number.

How dangerous is that? Well, a somewhat similar deadly flu, the Spanish flu, which had a mortality rate of 2-3%, killed over a 2-year period around 1919 somewhere between 50-100 million people (according to the Guardian, 3 March 2020: “Four lessons the Spanish flu can teach us about coronavirus”). If you think that is a lot of people, then please note that the at that time Earth was only populated with about 1.8 billion people. So, in a world with a population of 7.5 billion, the new Corona may kill at least 4 times as many people, which makes somewhere between 200-400 million people. A figure which may be even higher, partly because the new Corona virus is clearly more dangerous than the Spanish flu (Spanish flu had a mortality of 2-3% while the new Corona virus has one between 3.4-5.9%). And partly because the 3.4-5.9% is for countries like China which have a fairly well functioning health care system. We have not yet experienced how the mortality rate will be in countries with weaker health care systems. But maybe the rumour that Iran is experiencing a mortality of about 7% could be an indication of that. Furthermore, the Spanish flu was in 1918 where ordinary people did not travel by plane. In the modern world of today we are doing that a lot, implying that it is a lot easier for the new Corona virus to spread than it was for the Spanish flu. So, where the Spanish flu only infected about 27% of the world’s population, then the new Corona virus does have the potential to infect a lot more people a lot faster.

In this connection it is of interest that there are people whom are saying that it is not possible to contain a virus if it has spread as far as the new Corona virus. Surely this depends on the resources which the societies want to use handling the virus. China may not have the virus under full control yet, but they appear to be close. The way they are succeeded in coming this far is by shutting down cities to limit the spreading. The question is therefore not whether the virus can be stopped, the question is whether the society is willing to pay the price it cost to do it.

How many resources the society is using to fight the new Corona virus is therefore related to how much the society values life. If just 3.4% of the population dies, then it implies that about 1 out of 30 people will die (5.9% implies 1 out of 17). So, if you think that shutting down cities is not worth it and putting people arriving from virus infected areas in quarantine upon arrival, then, whenever you participate in the funeral of someone whom has died by the new Corona virus, please be brave enough to stand up and say that this death was a necessary sacrifice to ensure the wealth of the society.

Categories: Reflection

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