It'd be nice if we had better evidence, writes a statistician.
Some worry that the 68 deaths from Covid-19 in the U.S. as of March 16 will increase exponentially to 680, 6,800, 68,000, 680,000 … along with similar catastrophic patterns around the globe. Is that a realistic scenario, or bad science fiction? How can we tell at what point such a curve might stop?

The most valuable piece of information for answering those questions would be to know the current prevalence of the infection in a random sample of a population and to repeat this exercise at regular time intervals to estimate the incidence of new infections. Sadly, that’s information we don’t have....

One of the bottom lines is that we don’t know how long social distancing measures and lockdowns can be maintained without major consequences to the economy, society, and mental health. Unpredictable evolutions may ensue, including financial crisis, unrest, civil strife, war, and a meltdown of the social fabric. At a minimum, we need unbiased prevalence and incidence data for the evolving infectious load to guide decision-making.

In the most pessimistic scenario, which I do not espouse, if the new coronavirus infects 60% of the global population and 1% of the infected people die, that will translate into more than 40 million deaths globally, matching the 1918 influenza pandemic.

The vast majority of this hecatomb would be people with limited life expectancies. That’s in contrast to 1918, when many young people died.

One can only hope that, much like in 1918, life will continue. Conversely, with lockdowns of months, if not years, life largely stops, short-term and long-term consequences are entirely unknown, and billions, not just millions, of lives may be eventually at stake.


raven said...

The State of Alaska just imposed a 14 day quarantine on all arriving people, resident of the state or not. This is a death blow to all the small fishing outfitters. They make the years money in three summer months. Most of the clients come from far away, with limited time. So even if they can still get a flight, and still want to travel, they are under wraps for two weeks, somewhere.
Tourism and fishing are a big source of revenue up there. The State will be hurting too.

My main sub-contractor is shut down, and the Gov. here just reiterated the lockdown includes all residential construction. Can't even get the driveway graded.

Highest jobless claims ever reported last week, 3.3 million, up from the previous record high of 700K, in 1982.

This black swan is about to hatch a lot of chicks.

ymarsakar said...

Sounds like the feds needs us to obey orders and stay in doors. The "Event" people keep talking about perhaps.

I'm okay with that. Let's watch the End of the Cabal Deep State on our phones and computers. Make sure to hit Record for posterity.

Mandatory vaccinations? Get out of here.

China had a mandatory vaccination program and 5g in Wuhan. Italy has 5g networks up and running, as well as a few voluntary non essential vaccination programs.

You know, "complications" also include complications from being sick due to damaging vaccines.

douglas said...

"the Gov. here just reiterated the lockdown includes all residential construction."

Why? In residential construction, about the only time you're within three feet of another worker are when you're lifting beam or something like that. You can work around that.

But then here in L.A. county, they've shut down the beaches and trails... so, madness everywhere.