Why the Current U.S. Strategy is Working

(Commentary by James Watkins, Editor)

The math is simple. We will all get infected by the coronavirus.

The only thing that really matters is how many will die?

Here are the three things that will create a high death count:

  • Condensed populations
  • 21 days of wanton spreading
  • No self-isolation in the subsequent 3-6 weeks.

We are in day 115 of the pandemic. On December 1, 2019 the first COVID case was documented in Wuhan, China.

Let’s look at simple numbers.

1 person on average spreads coronavirus to 3 people. In 21 days the virus will spread from 1 person to 9.4 million people (if there are 9.4 million people around to get infected). 

Total fatalities in this scenario (0.5 to 1%) means that in a place like Wuhan, Madrid, or New York, if, by the 4th week since the first case the city is not in lockdown, a death count will probably reach very high (such as we witnessed in Wuhan, Milan and Qom). Large concentrations of people commingled with a fast spreading virus almost certainly guarantees a high death count in major metro areas if it meets the three conditions stated above.

Major metros that lock down quickly preventing spread, see much longer “ramping up periods” and lower fatalities. We see this in places like Washington State and in South Korea, where they early began lockdown measures to stem the spread. Washington hit a peak, it was contained quickly.  South Korea had an initial high spread, but then quickly recalibrated and its’ citizens quickly went into lockdown mode. Milan and New York were too late. By the time the number of infections hit the streets, and because there was a three to four week lag, too many people have already infected others.

San Francisco has not yet peaked, but lockdowns occurred early, and this should prevent a major outbreak – unless there are superspreaders we don’t know about.

LA is spread out over 800 square miles, not condensed like New York, unless there are superspreaders we don’t know about, I think LA will be spared major death counts.

Boston has petered out. Probably because in cold weather there was already a lot of social distancing going on, so the spread was contained.

Place like New Orleans, Miami, or places with high-elderly populations (like Palm Springs, Phoenix, West Palm Beach) might experience hotspots depending on how many unknown super-spreaders were moving about undetected for the past month.

Don’t watch the confirmed cases, they don’t matter, watch the mortality counts and percentages. If it takes 4 weeks to hit 100 in a given population center, it might less cause to worry, but no reason to stop being self-isolated.

Bottom line, people need to self isolate and stay away from large gatherings until early May, or when the temp rises about 76 degrees, and even still, sick people should self quarantine until 2 weeks after they have no signs.

And all of this we must until we have a vaccine.

I have been watching the trend lines since January 15, and the WH advisors are corrected, slow the spread, flatten the curve.

It’s working. But if you focus on just confirmed cases, which is what the media does incessantly because it is clickbait, you will be frightened because it is a number that is getting bigger with every test (as it should). Less than 1 out of 1-hundred people will die from COVID-19.

And this is why we should focus on mortality percentages. It’s the only number that matters.

What is scarier: that 50,000 people have contracted Coronavirus, or that in a country with 350,000,000 people, 600 people (most with underlying health problems) succumbed to COVID-19?

Contexts matters.

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