Italy has had extremely high influenza deaths for a long time. This study is of the 2013-2014 and 2016-2017 flu seasons in Italy. They had a much higher mortality rate than in the US - fully 50% of our total deaths from a population about 20% as large. Not precisely Coronavirus, but it sure seems related. (Hat tip: Aaron)
The virus may have been here weeks - or maybe months - before it was identified as Coronavirus:
So to recap: The current coronavirus “curve” cannot be accurate since it does not include suspected cases of the illness before late February. (It’s unclear why scientists have not yet produced any models that attempt to calculate the virus’ presence here until testing was available.) A big increase in symptoms very similar to coronavirus occurred a few weeks after the first case was recorded, a timeline in accordance with the estimated trajectory of the illness’ spread. And roughly 70 percent of those expressing flu-like symptoms did not have the flu. So what was it?I've been talking about the gaps in our data for a while now. This certainly seems plausible; if so, then it might be good news for both speed of infection and lethality. Or not. I guess we'll see.
It’s not unreasonable, in fact, it’s necessary and responsible, to consider that COVID-19 has been in the states since the first of the year; that people suffering similar symptoms to the flu actually had COVID-19; and that the peak of the outbreak occurred last month. The number of people now testing positive for the virus does not mean that the outbreak is accelerating because the data is incomplete.
A lot of the reaction is making things worse. Case in point: shutting down Universities:
In particular, it is clear that the mortality rates for people aged 18-25 from COVID-19 are trivial -- and would be even more trivial except that we don't measure most of the COVID-19 cases in this age group because they are so mild (this from the South Korean experience where they had more measurement and they found many asymptomatic cases in this age range). When in university, these students are gathered together in a pocket of other people in their same age range and also with minimal mortality risk.There's a whole lot of bureaucratic ass-covering on display here, most of it from people who consider themselves to be out "betters" (cf: Harvard and Yale).
By sending these kids home, you have created a massive diaspora of folks from one of the US viral hotspots (Boston) all over the country. Students that would have been living with other low-risk people are now living with parents and grandparents who are very much at risk. Add to this the anecdotal evidence I see on the news and social media of young folks of college age flaunting quarantine and social isolation rules, and I believe that Harvard and other institutions have increased risk rather than decreased it.
Congress is an assembly of idiots (I think that the formal term for a gathering of morons is a "Congress of idiots". Well, it should be.):
Sen. McConnell unveiled a roughly $1 trillion stimulus package on Thursday to help “mitigate the economic pain that tens of millions of Americans are already feeling”.BTW, there's a daily update of Coronavirus statistics at that page. Check back for the latest on what we know, which is starting to get better. This is interesting:
That trillion dollars won’t put the wheels back on. It won’t get us rolling again. It just pays us for the losses already suffered.
Do you ever think how many ventilators and hospitals and test kits and testing personnel we could buy for A TRILLION DOLLARS OF YOUR AND MY GAD FARKING TAX MONEY!!
Typical ventilator cost US$25,000, in normal times. Say you have to pay double in scarce times. Say we want a half million of them, big number, more than we’ll ever need, but why not? How much of our trillion pinche dollars of tax money remains?
Ninety-seven percent. We’ve bought a half million ventilators and have hardly dented the pile.