COVID Math 2.0

OK, we are more than six months into this here in the US, and you would think people would do a better job of basic math.  The CDC just announced that 6% of the COVID deaths were from COVID alone, meaning that 94% of those who died had other complications.  Of course, their death gets counted as a COVID death even though they might have died a few months later from these “comorbidities.”  I do get the concerns here on all sides.  We started this journey not taking things as seriously as we should … thanks to China and the WHO who told us that everything was OK and this thing was not contagious.  Thanks a lot!

But, now we seem to be getting this under control here in the US, winding our way through the complex process of opening this and shuttering that to manage the time before we do have a vaccine.  We do need to keep the public from thinking we have an “all clear” and we can go back to our normal lives … whatever that means anymore.

But, I can’t help but react to a USA Today article that quotes CNBC predicting we will have over 400,000 deaths here in the US by year-end.  Read it for yourself.

Let’s do a little math together.  We have had about 10 million Americans infected so far with this disease (and yes, those are the ones who have been tested so who knows how many asymptomatic ones we have as well) and we have lost about 190,000 lives as well.  So, including the stupidity of the early days where we didn’t know what we were dealing with and were told we were nuts for thinking this was dangerous, we lost about 2% of the reported cases.  Let’s hold onto that 2% and say that it is probably a worst-case average.

The past few weeks have seen the daily cases continually decline from 70,000 mid-July to 60,000 by August 1st and then to under 40,000 by the end of August.  At this rate, we will be down to 20,000 new cases per day by the end of October, and then down to minimal levels by the end of November.  Assuming a triangle for this data we would estimate another 2.7 million infected … not good, but not a disaster either, and about another 54,000 deaths.  The last time I checked, 54 + 190 is not even close to 410,000.

By the way, even my math assumes we simply stay the course we are on … doing nothing worse, and wouldn’t it be nicer if the media gave us all praise for doing what we are doing to stem this pandemic?  Wouldn’t it be nice if the news media offered us the promise of a better future and getting back together again as we have done in the past?

Nope, that doesn’t sell papers or online views.


One thought on “COVID Math 2.0”

  1. You have guts, Joel. When I express my views on the covid – whoa! Firestorm.
    There is no way we will have 200,000 more deaths by the end of the year. We know how to treat this much better. Certain mayors and governors aren’t sending sick folks to nursing homes to kill people, etc.

    Re fatality rate of the infected. It’s about 0.1%, according to WHO and according to my county, La Crosse County, WI. The WHO estimates 10% of the world’s population has been infected. Just over 1 million have died. 1 million divided by 0.78 billion people = 0.128%, to be precise. In our county, we have 8 deaths and 3544 reported cases. That’s 0.22%! Whoa! It was 0.1% for a long time, but the thing is, only the numerator is known. The number of cases is easily double the tested/reported cases.

    Rock on!

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