Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Reasons for optimism about Coronavirus?

Amidst the global panic that is shutting down the economy, there are some reasons for guarded optimism:

1. After a long delay, we are finally starting to get some actual data on mortality.  The data do not seem to support panic. The Silicon Graybeard elaborates on my post yesterday about the plague ship Diamond Princess and makes a plausible case that the mortality rate for the virus is around 0.2% of those exposed.

2. We are starting to see a lot of action on possible treatments - and by "action" I mean medical studies under way or even completed.  So far we've been treating patients with ventilators; now there look to be medicines coming.  Interestingly, some of the treatments are very old ones created to fight other diseases (for example, it looks like Chloroquinine tablets that were used against malaria Back In The Day may be effective against Chronavirus).  The medical research community hasn't been standing around twiddling its thumbs.

3. The worse mortality (in Italy) has been almost entirely concentrated in the population 80 years old or older.  This has quite useful implications about prevention techniques - isolate senior living centers, for example.  There is a possibility of a more targeted approach than "close al the bars and restaurants".

Sure, there's still a lot that we don't know, but it sure looks like the more data we get the less bad this looks.


SiGraybeard said...

As I was getting ready to turn off the TV and shut down early last night, Dr. Fauci from the NIH/CDC was on talking with Laura Ingraham. She mentioned the Chloroquinine studies and he said he didn't trust them because they weren't adequately controlled. He said they were starting a publication review to decide which studies seemed done well enough to trust.


This is a good time to remember John Ioannidis' paper that most published research findings are false. The worst were health; the "he who" studies (he who eats XXX is more likely to (die or live longer) based on dubious methodology).

Borepatch said...

Graybeard, IIRC the Trump Administration just changed rules to allow people to get experimental treatments that are not yet approved if it's a crisis. This seems a good time to try that - you could get a good sized study with results in a week.

Ted said...

Here's an interesting link to a Johns Hopkins site that Tracks overall numbers.

Note the totals 8,244 dead out of 204,264 confirmed cases. That's 4% on my calculator But no numbers for the number of exposed.

Note that curve for cases in Mainland china have been flat for some time.

Lawrence Person said...

This is why the City of Austin has closed restaurants and bars for six weeks. Because they're morons.

We don't know what the China numbers are because pretty much everyone agrees that China's numbers are understated by a factor of 10-20.

Beans said...

But outside of Communist China, and Socialist Italy, verified-as-sick vs death rates are surprisingly low. Add in all the unverified-as-sick-but-actually-sick, and all the exposed-but-not-sick, and the death rate is, as Borepatch, Silicone Greybeard and others are now saying, are surprisingly very very low.

Except to people who are in the very-risky percentile.

But a lot of those already practice self-isolation during flu season.

Thanks, Borepatch, for actually reporting the truth rather than what the MSM or DNC is posting.

Live in a poop-hole country under socialism or communism? You are definitely at risk. Live in a non-poop-hole country under a decent or great government? Much better chance at survival.

Glen Filthie said...

Correct. This is a classic 'rate of change' proposition that involves classic calculus; the average hypochondriac or media moron has his hands full with algebra- scratch that, they have problems with basic multiplication and division (remember those tools that said Bloomberg could give every single American one million dollars if he gave them what he spent on his campaign)?

We have to remember that our best brains in the world are all on this right now. If they develop a vaccine this "crisis" is over in a matter of weeks. In addition industrialized healthcare will be brought to bear. This will, in all probability, be another scare like H1N1, SARS, HIV, Swine Flu, Bird Flu etc ad nauseum.

Don't any of you lot think you're gonna survive though - if the flu doesn't get you, those melting polar ice caps will!!!!

Aesop said...

If we develop a vaccine that works, we're a year from production in useful numbers.

By which time, in 2021, it's already had its way with us, in pretty much the same way Napoleon had his way with Europe.

An already-approved drug with a new use, that works, OTOH, could be a godsend, and the difference between a summer of Hell, vs. choirs of angels singing hosannas.

I'll believe it when I see it.