Covid-19: Numbers.

Covid-19: 03/08/2020

Italy announces quarantine that will involve 16 million people, as health care system in Lombardy nears collapse; 10-16% of infected need ICU care. Wuhan began large scale quarantine when number of infected hit 571. US now at 479 and administration still claiming that air travel safe for over 60+ age fliers.


Ignore media automatons; ‘masks not effective’ mantra is due to supply shortages. Yes masks do most good when worn by those infected. However they do even more good when worn by both infected and non-infected. This was proven in 1919, and they made masks out of cheesecloth. If they did not protect, why are they still claiming that they need to be for health care workers? IMHO, get ready to isolate and mask if in public, especially if you are at high risk. Mask/ isolate now or ventilate later.


66% of all critically ill Covid-19 patients (5% of the total) relied on ventilator machines. Severe Covid-19 cases spent more than 4 weeks on ventilators. Keep in mind that not all ICU beds have negative air pressure (very few do in fact). Currently, there are around 62,000-80,00 ventilators in the US. This is barely sufficient to keep up with the non Covid-19 day-to-day needs.


The cruise industry has lost about 40-50% of its value, a number that is easily in the tens of billions fo dollars. Airlines, somewhere around 20%. Covid-19 will hollow out major sections of the economy. That is inevitable. It’s time for authorities to stop communicating as if allaying fear and panic will save these industries and somehow stabilize the economy. That ship has sailed (!) These areas will rebound in time, so we need to just let it go. On the other hand, Zoom and GoToMyMeetibg are gonna make a killing.


Although people are paying ridiculous prices for hand sanitizer, soap is by far the best disinfectant against coronavirus. SARS-CoV-2 has a nanoparticle lipid bilayer, which is its true Achille’s heal. Destabilize this and the virus just falls apart. Alcohol dissolves this layer as well, but is not a surfactant like soap and must be used at high concentrations (>70%, probably closer to 80%) in order to do its job reliably. Any decent soap works, it need not be ‘antibacterial.’


It’s a shame the media, government, and general science community didn’t raise much of an alarm six weeks ago. I’m incredulous that those images of Wuhan didn’t appear to make the slightest impression on what a similar pandemic would look like when the infection began to spread, and what would be required to control it. If China’s recent turnaround is any indication of what will be required to control this thing, life around the world will look very different for most of us, at least for the rest of 2020. Frankly, I’ve taken to avoiding mainstream media; there is nothing there to learn and within 5 minutes I just want to throw something at the screen. Twitter and social media are now floating in coronavirus experts, to the point that the feeds are full of garbage with Covid-19 hashtags. I’ll summarize what the media repeats endlessly, via ever rotating talking head ‘experts,’ so you can save yourself the effort and do something more significant, such as going outside and taking a nice walk.

  • Masks are useless, but we need them for health care workers, for whom, as soon as they put one on, are not useless.
  • Wash your hands. Sing Happy Birthday twice. If your hands are not cracked and bleeding, you’re not washing them enough.
  • Don’t touch your face. Ever again.
  • [Insert idiotic, self-indulgent, quasi morale building TickTock video here]
  • No vaccine for at least one year or more, so stop clamoring for one. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
  • Risk of infection for most people low, but here are the latest alarming numbers on the areas reporting new infections. Who remembers logarithms and exponents from high school anyway?
  • Be reassured that for most people the effects of Covid-19 are mild to non-existent.
  • [Insert doe-in-the-headlights government press conference here]
  • However, if you are one of those unlucky sick people or old geezer who gets infected, it can definitely mess you up; and we haven’t yet figured out just how to handle that.
  • We should have 10 billion tests available by next month, although we are having problems finding test kits for its remaining 63 residents in that Seattle nursing home.
  • [Insert youtube video from ‘It’s just the flu, dude’ guy down the street]
  • No need for any special actions but if you have to social distance or quarantine and don’t comply, we do have ways of making you do it. In fact Andrew Cuomo may personally weld your front door closed.

Buckle up, this is going to be a bumpy ride. George Orwell would be proud.

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