We're forced to look to things like the Imperial College paper linked on March 16th, to estimate how bad Kung Flu is going to get.
A physicist who knows nothing about cars, per se, can still tell you how fast one will go, by looking at the car's engine horsepower, weight of the vehicle, drag coefficient of the body, friction from the tires on the ground, air density, temperature, and a host of other things, and get a pretty accurate max speed for the car, because science.
And that's what the folks in that study have done.
But the reason they had to, in the case of the folks at Imperial, is because Top. Men., in this case, at the CDC, cleverly yanked out the speedometer. Because Top. Men.
So, wouldn't it be useful to know things the easy way, by directly measuring them, and seeing how they stack up?
Funny you should ask. Someone else is on the same track, and nailing it.
Credit Where It's Due Dept.:
(yeah, I was raised by my Dad and Mom (and a few other mentors) to ask a lot of questions. I question everything and I like to turn a lot of data over in my mind)
We get stats on the Media about "number of cases" of CororinaVirus, and we get stats for "number of deaths" (those I question...not that they are dead, but that they died from Covid-19...often they are already old, weak or otherwise compromised and have other complicating factors).
But one bit of data I don't ever see is the number of people needing little or no care, or some level of hospitalization because of the effects of Covid-19. In fact, if you look, the data is pretty much only aimed at "deaths" and not much else.
Out of the several thousand cases for any one given area that have shown enough symptoms that they are tested, how many need any level of hospitalization?
I guess because they aren't anything the media can sensationalize, they don't give us any of that data.
I do think it would be a good bit of data though.
People showing symptoms and tested vs people tested showing positive vs people needing actual care vs people needing hospitalization vs people needing intensive care vs people dying.
I think the numbers would be not as terrible as the media and our governments might like you to think.
Then again, until I see some data I just don't know."
1) You are correct that such specific data would be useful.
2) You will never get it.
3) Because the CDC buggered up the test kits months ago, and we don't have enough. Anywhere.
3a) L.A. County just told doctors there yesterday not to test anyone (because they're out of kits) unless the results would change their treatment of the patient. (Which is no one, because you treat the severity of symptoms, not the presence or absence of the virus. If someone is sick enough to admit, you admit them. If not, you send them home and tell them to self quarantine.)
3b) This ensures we'll never know how many people have Kung Flu, and we'll never know how many people who have Kung Flu we've launched back into the community, to re-infect 2, 4, 8, or 48 of their fellows.
4) Things like this are why all stats on this outbreak will be pure bullsh*t, going forward. Nothing published will be reliable, because lack of rapid and accurate testing for all suspected cases ensures we never know how widespread it is, how bad it is, and what percentage of people are uninfected, asymptomatic, mildly symptomatic, really sick, or dead, because you erased most of that pie chart from the start.
(V + W + X + Y + Z = Q)
Z = 340
Q = 330M
Solve for all other variables.
In mathematical terms, we have made it impossible to solve for X, when we have put V, W, and Y beyond knowing. Ever.
We know as of today that 340 people have died.
But we don't know whether that's out of 27K cases, or 270K cases, or 2.7M cases, or 330M cases.
So we know how bad it is for 340 people.
But we can never know how bad it's going to be for 330M people.
The people at CDC that bungled the testing kits should be hanging by their thumbs in Lafayette Park across from the White House, while passersby jeer and pelt them with rotten fruit.
The problem with knowing the numbers, isn't that we'd know how terrible this outbreak isn't.
The problem is that we'd know how bad the government is.
But you're asking the right questions.
So now, because of CDC incompetence, (stop me if you've heard this since 2014 here), we can either do the long work of trying to model the variables within known ranges.
Or we can strap ourselves onto the hood, wearing our trusty GPS wristwatch, and see what it says as we rocket across the days to come, and see how fast the GPS says we're going.
That's the only choices, at the moment.
Plan B UPDATES Today:
NYFC is reportedly running out of ventilators for patients.
One OC CA hospital last night got hammered with mostly acute respiratory distress patients.
(No, not mine.) We'll see if this is a blip, or the crest of the approaching tsunami, in the coming days.