Monday, March 16, 2020

The Corona Virus Media Hype

I guess the first symptoms of the Corona Virus are the urge to by toilet paper, drinking water and hand sanitizer.

Several pieces of information are not forthcoming, but can be gotten if you know where to look. Is there an increase in hospital bed occupancy? If you are going to be tested for the virus, can the test detect that you all ready had it and are no longer infected or does it just test if the virus nailed you. The big difference here is a guilt trip on a positive test after you have had it and want to return to work. Can you return to work? Imagine getting a phone call saying you are infected. What is the health worker going to tell you? “If you hurry home you might have enough time to say goodbye to the wife.”

With any disease, there is a term called “herd immunity” With measles the herd immunity rate for immunization has to be 90 to 95%; at that point it doesn’t spread. That means you either had the disease or got a shot for it. The herd immunity rate for Corona could be a lot lower, we do not know the communicability rate on it yet. It could be low and not high like measles. Any way you look at it, herd immunity is at zero. So, until there is a vaccine, we are at the mercy of the virus.

I believe that the first indications of problem in China was the increase in hospital beds occupied. That would have alerted the government to the problem. From there, we have been accusing China of covering up the problem. I don’t think that they knew what hit them. It probably took them 8 weeks to figure out what was happening. It appears to have started in the city of Wuhan China in November of 2019. The city has a population of 11 million. I don’t think that test kits for the virus were available in any form at that time. What we can probably deduce is that they now have some measuring system to evaluate the virus.

We don’t know how virulent the virus is. Without knowing the TOTAL number of people infected, we have no idea how deadly it is. So far, we know the number dead. We don’t know the total number infected. Testing will give us that number, but you have to realize, that testing does not cure the disease. It just tells everyone else that this person has\had the disease. From a personal point of view, that isn’t a good thing for the person who tested positive. Right now, there are people that tested positive and are still quarantined because they still test positive after 38 days.

Most people for the next 3 weeks, are avoiding all contact with sports, rallies etc. The virus will wait, and attack again. Admittedly it will lessen the numbers hitting the ER—we have lengthened the time for the virus to act.

The question does arise, are we running amok with fear without reason? Influenza kills 20,000 people in the US every year and we do not have even 80 deaths for Corona Virus in the US this year. As mentioned in my last article, we have 7,700 people dying in this country every day normally. Just like we have 9,000 births a day. 80 people over how many days have died from corona virus?

We have a problem here, but it is not from the virus, it is from the perspective of what people consider normal. They are panicking needlessly. This virus is attacking the elderly. The vector that spreads it is the young. We need to isolate the old from the general population.

I am in the at risk group most likely to die from it. I can see how the vector (infected person) could infect me. It distresses me but the overall panic is very disturbing. The stores are running out of drinking water and toilet paper for no real reason. I can only come to one conclusion; the media has turned the majority of people in this country into mindless idiots. The perceived threat is, that some horrendous disease that is going to kill everyone. The Boogeyman that was under my bed as a child was very real to me. This group fear complex is getting out of hand. People will die, but it is not every 10th person in line. 320 million people in this country and they figure it might contribute 30,000 deaths in a year. Remember 7,700 people in the US die every DAY.

This panic will end, after the news media finds something better to hype.


dearieme said...

Some interesting data here, Jim - from the Diamond Princess.

moyerderek said...

i really don't understand the toilet paper thing either. You can live without toilet paper. My brother in-law stopped at the store every day for a week buying multiple packs. Not sure why. He is out of a job now for all intents and purposes. (he is in a band, and due to the corona virus, his bands jobs are all cancelled).
But you are making a mistake i see a lot of people make. This is serious. The spread of the virus is growing exponentially. I have seen mid-range estimates of deaths at 500,000.
Some worst case scenarios peg the final number in the us at 2.2 million. The 1/2 million would make it the third leading cause of death in the US. 2.2 million, and it starts lapping all other causes.
I can work from home, so i am. My company has closed the office i work at, so i really didn't have a choice.
When this first started, I figured this would cause a recession. Now I think it will cause a year long depression, if not longer. This is going to be bad. Prepare now.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi dearieme

Thank you for the link. A lot a data there. I'm in the high risk group 70 to 79. It's one more thing to worry about. I can't win.

Gin with a little vermouth works better than hand sanitizer

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Moyerderek

Don't get me wrong, it is serious, but it has been hyped up by the press and people are reacting like lunatics. Three million people die in this country every year, and 20,000 are Influenza victims. 67,000 drug deaths also a year. I think a more realistic value for deaths would be around 40,000.

This kind of reminds me of the year 2000 panic of doom when all the computers were supposed to fail.

The real concern to address, are the number of hospital beds available that might be needed for a 10 to 20 day period.