Saturday, March 14, 2020

Coronavirus 11

14th March 2020

If you haven't, look at previous posts linked to on the right.

We need to talk about the numbers.

The UK Government says 80% of the population may catch Covid-19 and 20% might be infected at the same time.
Let's make the arithmetic easy enough to check in our heads. Call it 50 million people infected (That's optimism bordering on magic.) 20% of that is 10 million. 5% of them are acute cases needing intensive care treatment to stop them dying. That's 500,000. Compared to that number, the actual number of ICU beds is approximately zero. That means most of those 500,000 people will die, in a short space of time.

That's our elderly relatives and our friends who are imuno-compromised or have 'underlying health problems'  or are just unlucky.

More numbers:

In countries and parts of China away from Wuhan, where draconian measures have been put in place and the health services have been prepared, case fatality has been kept be low 1%.  Let's pretend it's only 0.5%
If that were the situation in the UK (It isn't, this is not Fairyland) then 250,000 people will die.

A more realistic figure if we take drastic action now, i.e. lock-down of everything and everybody to smooth the peak in demand on health services and add a good deal of optimism, is that we get a case fatality rate of 1%. That means 1,000,000 people die.

The current UK Government policy as announced by the Prime Minster a couple of days ago leads to something in the region of 5% case fatality. That means 2,500,000 die.

When faced with governance failure the population has to do the right thing despite the government.

We all need to stay at home as much as we possibly can. Don't go to meetings and entertainment. If you are an event organiser, cancel it.

In this diagram the red area represents the UK, the blue area shows Fairyland.


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