Thursday, February 13, 2020
Quarantine Math (For Common Core Grads)
Okay, kids, some folks don't get this yet (no finger-pointing) so let's break it down.
If you have, e.g., 3711 people on a cruise ship, and you get 20 new cases of corona virus per day, because the ship is essentially one common cootie-pit of shared air- and water-handling (not to mention food service), within 90 days, half the ship is infected. Since the infection curve will be bell-curve shaped to that point, shortly after that, everyone on the ship has it. (Attention, Math Nerds and Purists: Relax. Don't quibble over a difference without a distinction, nor get stuck on stupid. We're doing napkin math here, not quadratic equations.) If the disease course lasts 10 days, and it incubates for up to 14 days, that's a nominal 114-day quarantine, to wait it out after the last person is infected, with 3711 infected, and 111+ dead. (In the case of the MV Death Princess, where most of the passengers are aged over 60, the death toll will probably run into the multiple hundreds).
Conversely, if you brilliantly take everyone off the motherf**king ship, and house them separately in individual or couples' quarters at dockside, you get the initial cases, no additional ones, and you do a quarantine of more like 24 days, instead of 114. And you can pull the infected into secure treatment areas immediately, so they don't spread it any further, once they're identified. With a death toll in the single digits.
Other than tentage, and temporary facilities, the cost is exactly the same per day, so you save 80 days' quarantine costs. Oh, and you also save hundreds of lives. Which, at least in countries that have never used live women and children for bayonet practice, is generally considered the whole point of the exercise.
During which time you can also have hazmat crews laboriously and excruciatingly decon the whole damned ship, while the locus of actual virus is still relatively small.
The nominal cost for Option A is
3711 x $2M@ for dead, infected, pain and suffering, mental cruelty, plus the cost to scrap the MV Death Princess out at sea, and they went for about $400M when they were built twenty years ago.
Call it US$8Billion, round numbers.
That bankrupts Carnival Lines, and cripples Lloyd's of London and twenty lesser insurance carriers by June, and pretty much cancels ocean cruises worldwide until further notice.
Which is another $126B economic impact, including $41B in salaries and jobs worldwide.
Double that $8B to Japan's treasury, for the role of the Japanese government in fomenting the disaster in the first place. After they covered themselves in glory with Fukushima.
This is on a par with what happened to the air travel and hotel industries after 9/11.
Or, they could stop being fuckwits, forthwith.
The nominal cost for Option B is
$100M, give or take, all in, for the miniscule number of deaths, minimal suffering, and decon of the ship.
So, for the clever Clydes out there, if you're the head of Carnival Cruise Lines, and/or the Japanese Minister for Not Being A Death Camp Guard Fuck-up, which bill would you rather pay?
Nota bene: The International Court in the Hague is awaiting your decision, and the navies of China, India, and several NATO countries (none of them with fond memories of your earlier dealings with them) are soon to be steaming towards Yokohama, in case you need help pulling your head out of your ass.
Tick, tick, tick...