NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

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jserraglio
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NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:23 pm

Projections based on C.D.C. scenarios show a potentially vast toll. But those numbers don’t account for interventions now underway.
Between 160 million and 214 million people in the United States could be infected over the course of the epidemic, according to a projection that encompasses the range of the four scenarios. That could last months or even over a year, with infections concentrated in shorter periods, staggered across time in different communities, experts said. As many as 200,000 to 1.7 million people could die.

And, the calculations based on the C.D.C.’s scenarios suggested, 2.4 million to 21 million people in the United States could require hospitalization, potentially crushing the nation’s medical system, which has only about 925,000 staffed hospital beds. Fewer than a tenth of those are for people who are critically ill.

The assumptions fueling those scenarios are mitigated by the fact that cities, states, businesses and individuals are beginning to take steps to slow transmission, even if some are acting less aggressively than others. The C.D.C.-led effort is developing more sophisticated models showing how interventions might decrease the worst-case numbers, though their projections have not been made public.

“When people change their behavior," said Lauren Gardner, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering who models epidemics, “those model parameters are no longer applicable,” so short-term forecasts are likely to be more accurate. “There is a lot of room for improvement if we act appropriately.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/us/c ... imate.html

david johnson
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by david johnson » Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:24 am

One of my sons has been a paramedic for years and teaches EMS at an area university. He says the covid19 fatality rate is 3%.

jserraglio
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:30 am

Not if you're over 70 in an already aging population, or smoke, or suffer from heart disease or diabetes, as do millions of Americans.

So to cite such fatality-rate averages is misleading at best, deceptive at worst. Of course, they are regularly trotted out by clueless federal administration spokespersons as part of their fruitless effort to calm the public.
Last edited by jserraglio on Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

lennygoran
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by lennygoran » Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:45 am

jserraglio wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:30 am
Not if you're over 70 in an already aging population, or smoke, or suffer from heart disease or diabetes, as do millions of Americans.
I found this:
"In a World Health Organization report on China’s outbreak, the case fatality rate in people who reported no chronic diseases was 1.4 percent, but it shot up in groups with these conditions: “13.2% for those with cardiovascular disease, 9.2% for diabetes, 8.4% for hypertension, 8.0% for chronic respiratory disease, and 7.6% for cancer.”
Regards, Len
https://www.vox.com/2020/3/12/21173783/ ... ly-seniors

jserraglio
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:27 am

The Times story I linked to above reports an estimate that as many as 160,000,000 Americans on the low end might have contracted this disease had it gone unchecked.

So let's assume that it is held in check (a big assumption given the Trump Administration's demonstrated incompetence to date) and that estimate is overinflated by 90%, meaning that "only" about 16,000,000 of us will get this virus. A 3% fatality rate has been proposed in this thread. Let's accept that number for the sake of argument. At that rate, about 480,000 Americans will die of covid-19.

This is why a fatality rate of 3%, were it to occur, would be so alarming — at that rate there would be many more deaths than result from seasonal flu (a 480,000 estimate for covid-19 vs. about 57,000 for the flu and about 647,000 from heart disease).

Rach3
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by Rach3 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:30 pm

Devin Nunes and Oklahoma Governor say go out to eat,enjoy yourself.Both Trumpsters of course. At what point does such advice become a criminal act ? If I pee in public I’ll go to jail. Experts report mortality rates in the at higher risk groups could range 5 % to 20%.Data from China says over 80 rate so far 21%. 3% an average at best, with 20-30 age group at maybe .5%. Trump apparently relies on Jared Kushner’s brother’s father in law MD, ie Trump’s son in law’s brother’s father in law.When does believing US Gov. or Trump become grounds for involuntary hospitalization?

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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:34 am

Rach3 wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:30 pm
Devin Nunes and Oklahoma Governor say go out to eat, enjoy yourself. Both Trumpsters of course.
Stitt & Nunes say, make merry today, given tomorrow's destiny;
Carpe diem, yonder before us all, lie deserts of vast eternity.

Belle
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by Belle » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:36 am

Naturally it is all the fault of Donald Trump and any other conservative government in the world. What happened to the climate catastrophe? Yep, you got it; pandemics are more effective and economical killers, every time.

The whole thing (cough, cough) reminds me of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdUsyXQ8Wrs

(sneeze)

jserraglio
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:50 am

Belle wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:36 am
Naturally it is all the fault of Donald Trump and any other conservative government in the world.
Agreed, but I suspect "all the fault" accords far too much credit, most of that breed not able to rise even to the level of simple incompetence.
Last edited by jserraglio on Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

lennygoran
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by lennygoran » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:04 am

jserraglio wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:34 am
Rach3 wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:30 pm
Devin Nunes
He's one of the worst-I still wonder what that lackey did with regard to Rudy and Ukraine. Regards, Len

Text messages point to Rep. Devin Nunes in Ukraine scheme at heart of Trump impeachment

https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/ ... mpeachment

lennygoran
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by lennygoran » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:09 am

Belle wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:36 am
Naturally it is all the fault of Donald Trump
According to him at the beginning it was just a hoax-to this day he's still sending out false info-also why did he get rid of the NSC pandemic unit. Amazing how you continue to defend this guy. Len

Trump disbanded NSC pandemic unit that experts had praised.
https://apnews.com/ce014d94b64e98b7203b873e56f80e9a

barney
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by barney » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:18 am

Belle wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:36 am
Naturally it is all the fault of Donald Trump and any other conservative government in the world. What happened to the climate catastrophe? Yep, you got it; pandemics are more effective and economical killers, every time.

The whole thing (cough, cough) reminds me of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdUsyXQ8Wrs

(sneeze)
I've never heard anyone suggest it's Trump's fault. What they are suggesting - and with good reason, to my mind - is that he has been hopelessly inept in dealing with it. First he denied it was a problem, then he spoke so incompetently that he sent markets into a tailspin. And he closed down the NSC, apparently because it was an Obama initiative.
Like Len, I'm bewildered at how you protect him - he's not a conservative, you know. Not in any meaningful way. His only merit that I can see, to those who feel that way, is that he's not a Democrat

jserraglio
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:28 am

barney wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:18 am
. . . [Trump] spoke so incompetently that he sent markets into a tailspin. And he closed down the NSC [pandemic unit], apparently because it was an Obama initiative.
On Friday afternoon, the White House's very Stabled Genius and his communications staff tried to muzzle a reporter from the PBS that asked him about this by killing her mic during a nationally televised press conference given by Mike Pence's covid-19 task force. True conservatives like Mitt Romney and John Kasich, to name just two that I respect, are embarrassed by this human paraquat.
Last edited by jserraglio on Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jserraglio
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:17 am

Belle wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:36 am
What happened to the climate catastrophe?
It proceeds apace, fed by a seemingly inexhaustible reserve of human stupidity.

barney
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by barney » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:34 pm

Human paraquat. :D Love it. So descriptive.

jserraglio
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:41 pm

barney wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:34 pm
Human paraquat. :D Love it. So descriptive.
Full disclosure, I'm not that clever a lad, that epithet was shamelessly poached from The Dude (Jeff Bridges) in The Big Lebowski which I show to high-school kids in my film course.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d4VaY7xCmRE


barney
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by barney » Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:54 am

Wow. Rather OTT.
I've never seen the film but I know it's famous. a cult movie, even.

Rach3
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by Rach3 » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:36 am

For the record, Trump's earlier virus comments chronicled:

https://tinyurl.com/u5lbfa2 (From "Business Insider " website )

Belle
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by Belle » Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:54 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:41 pm
barney wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:34 pm
Human paraquat. :D Love it. So descriptive.
Full disclosure, I'm not that clever a lad, that epithet was shamelessly poached from The Dude (Jeff Bridges) in The Big Lebowski which I show to high-school kids in my film course.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d4VaY7xCmRE

I'd have to agree; most of your thinking (beyond what you teach) is pretty low resolution.

barney
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by barney » Wed Mar 18, 2020 1:19 am

Sue - not that this comment has anything to do with this thread, but seeing you come out swinging like a boxer shows that you are reading it - let's take a moment for some furious agreement.
I expect you saw Janet Albrechtsen at the weekend writing about university student union censorship of groups perceived as right-wing. I thought it was an important article.
University is supposed to be the time you learn to open your mind and consider varying views, not how to shut it tighter than a vacuum seal.

jserraglio
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:42 am

Belle wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:54 pm
I'd have to agree; most of your thinking (beyond what you teach) is pretty low resolution.
Let it be shouted from the cellar and whispered from the rooftop: THE DUDE ABIDES! The Dude abides.

Holden Fourth
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by Holden Fourth » Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:30 am

Why the hell publish a story with the title:

Worst Case Estimates for US Coronavirus

What sort of journalism is this? Certainly not responsible in any way, just scaremongering with questionable facts and figures. I immediately saw the connection that Belle made with her The Blob trailer. This is what journalism has boiled down to now, opinion pieces that read like a B movie trailer.

Belle will understand how this has created the panic buying madness that we are witnessing in Australian supermarkets.

I never thought I'd say this but maybe some form of press censorship might alleviate the sense of doom and destruction that many are feeling. The media's role in this has been disgustingly sensationalist.

jserraglio
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:01 am

Holden Fourth wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:30 am
. . . maybe some form of press censorship might alleviate the sense of doom and destruction that many are feeling. The media's role in this has been disgustingly sensationalist.
The dire predictions the Times story reported on have largely been corroborated by the public statements of experts on infectious disease control on the POTUS's own Mike Pence-led COVID-19 Task Force, Dr. Anthony Fauci being the most reputable of them all; he is the leading expert on infectious disease control in the US whose integrity is beyond question.

The "Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths" story is just one more example of first-rate investigative journalism by the New York Times. In my view, this newspaper's a national treasure.
Last edited by jserraglio on Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Barry
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by Barry » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:43 am

Holden Fourth wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:30 am
Why the hell publish a story with the title:

Worst Case Estimates for US Coronavirus

What sort of journalism is this? Certainly not responsible in any way ...
Thank you. That was my exact reaction when I heard about that at first.

There are obviously those who think we should go on with the level of partisan vitriol that existed before the crisis started and there are those who understand the gravity of the situation and behave accordingly.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video ... risis.html

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video ... nning.html

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video ... getic.html
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

jserraglio
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:51 am

Barry wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:43 am
There are obviously those who think we should go on with the level of partisan vitriol that existed before the crisis started and there are those who understand the gravity of the situation and behave accordingly.
Holden Fourth wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:30 am
. . . maybe some form of press censorship might alleviate the sense of doom and destruction that many are feeling.
Toying with the notion of censoring a newspaper simply for doing its job and digging behind the officially sanitized version of this pandemic emits its own noxious odor of partisanship, all the more so because its claims are marked by a pose of bland impartiality (perhaps some even wear the shallow mask of non-partisanship). Such a "shoot the messenger" knee-jerk reaction is part and parcel of the very panic that is being lamented here.

In my view, the Times investigative piece was highly responsible, a clarion call to its readers to "understand the gravity of the situation and behave accordingly". Even if 90% of the fatality prediction the Times dug out is discounted, one comes up with a staggering death toll. Kudos to the NY Times for rattling people's cages and breaking down the ramparts of denial that have been erected since this pandemic took hold.
Last edited by jserraglio on Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

lennygoran
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by lennygoran » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:29 am

Barry wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:43 am
Thank you. That was my exact reaction when I heard about that at first.
This is serious business-even Trump and Fox News have begun realizing this. Those downplaying these alerts are even worse than the youngsters down at the Florida beaches. Regards, Len :(

Rach3
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by Rach3 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:20 am


Rach3
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by Rach3 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:50 pm

lennygoran wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:29 am
This is serious business-even Trump and Fox News have begun realizing this.
Not really,I'm afraid.Trump's presser earlier this am, blaming China, giving misleading info about a drug cure, attacks on the press, claims he's responded perfectly from Day 1, was a pathetic display reminiscent of a Hitlerian rally harangue.The psychopath has not even used the Defense Procurement Act he activated yesterday to big fanfare,to order more ventilators, wont " unless need it", as the order would emphasize the virus' seriousness, his failure to do so on Day 1,hurt his re-election chances.He figures he needs to keep his voters in line with BS,rather lose some American lives than the election.

jserraglio
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:18 pm

Rach3 wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:50 pm
Trump's presser earlier this am, blaming China, giving misleading info about a drug cure, attacks on the press, claims he's responded perfectly from Day 1, was a pathetic display reminiscent of a Hitlerian rally harangue.The psychopath has not even used the Defense Procurement Act he activated yesterday to big fanfare,to order more ventilators, wont " unless need it", as the order would emphasize the virus' seriousness, his failure to do so on Day 1,hurt his re-election chances.He figures he needs to keep his voters in line with BS,rather lose some American lives than the election.
Mandated to work from home today, I watched the press briefing. It was more cringe-worthy than "Hitlerian" for me, but nonetheless a travesty of the norms of Presidential leadership in a national emergency. I freely concede, however, that I never had any use for Mr. Trump, nor was I ever inclined to cut him any slack, except to note that no one, but no one on the world stage today is more slickly skilled at scapegoating.

barney
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by barney » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:58 pm

Barry wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:43 am
Holden Fourth wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:30 am
Why the hell publish a story with the title:

Worst Case Estimates for US Coronavirus

What sort of journalism is this? Certainly not responsible in any way ...
Thank you. That was my exact reaction when I heard about that at first.

There are obviously those who think we should go on with the level of partisan vitriol that existed before the crisis started and there are those who understand the gravity of the situation and behave accordingly.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video ... risis.html

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video ... nning.html

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video ... getic.html
Thanks for posting the Don Lemon piece. I think he's exactly right. This has nothing whatsoever to do with partisan politics, but everything to do with an incompetent president who has downplayed from the start, then done a U-turn the size of the Titanic when even his pea-brain realised he couldn't get away with his nonsense. And this would be true whether Trump was Republican Democrat, Communist or Calathumpian. I'm afraid, Barry, that it's the partisans who see partisanship everywhere.

jserraglio
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:14 pm

Trump wrote:The Federal government is not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and then shipping. You know, we're not a shipping clerk.
Whatcha talkin' bout, Donald?

Rach3
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by Rach3 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:14 pm

barney wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:58 pm
...everything to do with an incompetent president who has downplayed from the start, then done a U-turn the size of the Titanic when even his pea-brain realised he couldn't get away with his nonsense....

The psychopath still does not realize, thinks he can get away with nonsense ( and his Pavolvian base pretty well makes it clear he can) as he spent the presser and later meeting today with State Governors claiming FDA has approved a drug for treatment when in fact FDA has done nothing of the sort or even close, as FDA even had to clarify at the presser , after which Trump still kept up the his claim.

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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:25 pm

Rach3 wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:14 pm
he spent the presser and later meeting today with State Governors claiming FDA has approved a drug for treatment when in fact FDA has done nothing of the sort or even close, as FDA even had to clarify at the presser , after which Trump still kept up the his claim.
DONALD TRUMP SAYS MALARIA DRUG FOR CORONAVIRUS HAS BEEN APPROVED BY FDA www.newsweek.com/hydroxychloroquine-mal ... da-1493293

Rach3
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by Rach3 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:41 pm

Waiting to see what the Trump family, too, unloaded:


https://www.propublica.org/article/sena ... eparedness

PT Barnum was right, as was Abe Lincoln.

barney
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by barney » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:05 pm

Isn't that insider trading? Do you think there will be any repercussions?

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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by lennygoran » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:21 pm

Rach3 wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:50 pm

Not really,I'm afraid.Trump's presser earlier this am, blaming China, giving misleading info about a drug cure, attacks on the press, claims he's responded perfectly from Day 1, was a pathetic display reminiscent of a Hitlerian rally harangue.The psychopath has not even used the Defense Procurement Act he activated yesterday to big fanfare,to order more ventilators, wont " unless need it", as the order would emphasize the virus' seriousness, his failure to do so on Day 1,hurt his re-election chances.He figures he needs to keep his voters in line with BS,rather lose some American lives than the election.
Yeah watched alot of this including the hour long briefing-Trump is still Trump-he is truly disgusting. Regards, Len :(

"When McCarthy tried to renew his attack, Welch interrupted him: Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild ... Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

jserraglio
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:56 am

Here is yet another unsettling investigative report from a mass media outlet still too powerful to be intimidated and still determined to publish what it uncovers about our government's shortcomings despite claims it is being irresponsible.

Before Virus Outbreak, a Cascade of Warnings Went Unheeded
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytime ... k.amp.html

Rach3
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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by Rach3 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:41 am

lennygoran wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:21 pm

Yeah watched alot of this including the hour long briefing-Trump is still Trump-he is truly disgusting. Regards, Len :(

Army not ordered even YET to deliver NOW available, existing PPE ( personal protective equipment) ,ventilator stocks to hospitals (Trump says Gov. is not a "shipping clerk"),wartime Defense Procurement Act not being used NOW to order more ( Trump says hasn't used because " may not need to" ) , his trade war tariff regs not changed to allow get them from China,others despite their offers. Trump is criminally unfit.GOP silent of course (except those selling stock). FDA,HHS,DHS,NIH,CDC heads continue to genuflect before Trump.

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Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by jserraglio » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:59 pm

VOX
March 20, 2020

WHY WE ARE NOT OVERREACTING TO THE CORONAVIRUS

The national mobilization against the Covid-19 coronavirus is now in full swing. Schools and workplaces nationwide have shuttered. The federal government has recommended that people not gather in groups of 10 or more. Social distancing and self-isolation are now becoming part of the fabric of daily American life.

This has all sparked a serious question among many people: Are we overreacting? It’s not just a question being asked by partiers and bar-goers — it has also been asked in the New York Times. A widely circulated article by Stanford’s John Ioannidis suggests that the stepped-up US response is a “fiasco in the making” that’s being made without enough data.
To someone who hasn’t been following the pandemic’s spread closely, the drastic measures indeed might seem like an overreaction. After all, around 13,000 cases and 200 deaths — as of Thursday — in a country of 330 million doesn’t seem that bad. Is it really worth shutting down the economy, a measure that will of course have horrific costs of its own, for such a small toll?
But the numbers mask what’s really causing experts to worry: The coronavirus’s trajectory is putting us on a course of many, many more cases and many, many more deaths unless we do something drastic.
In other words, there’s a simple answer to the question: No, we’re not overreacting.
To explain why we’re not overreacting, we need to look to the experience of another country going through the coronavirus crisis: Italy. Here’s a chart comparing the country’s cases to the US’s.
A couple of weeks ago, Italy was much like us, with 107 deaths on March 4. But things were already rapidly getting worse; by March 10, more than 600 people were dead, and today more than 3,400 are. That makes Italy the epicenter of coronavirus fatalities in the world, with more deaths than even China, where the outbreak started. Hospitals have been pushed to the breaking point, with doctors and nurses without adequate protective equipment collapsing at work and other doctors reporting that patients won’t all get lifesaving care because there isn’t enough of it to go around.
What’s scary about Italy’s experience is that Italy wasn’t exactly passive in its response to the virus. The country did act, quarantining a dozen towns in northern regions on February 23, urging the public to engage in social distancing, and ordering the closure of all schools nationwide on March 4.
But case numbers kept growing. On March 8, Italy locked down the north of the country, and on March 9 it extended the lockdown to the whole country. Now, it looks like these extreme efforts might have slowed the rate of growth of cases. On March 15, there were 3,590 new cases. On March 16, 3,233. On the 17th, 3,526. And on the 18th, 4,207. That’s not exponential growth, suggesting the lockdown really did help — but those still aren’t good numbers, especially when Italy’s hospitals are already overwhelmed.
Italy has been devastated by the virus because the action it took was just a little too moderate, a little too restrained, and a little too slow. The country took measures that were substantial and costly but nonetheless insufficient to actually bring the epidemic to a halt. (This was the message hammered home in a recent project where Italians sent video messages to themselves 10 days ago.)
There’s some reason to think we won’t be hit as hard as Italy. Italy’s population is older than ours, and older people are hit hardest by the virus. Smoking might affect death tolls, too, and smoking is more common in Europe than in the US. Because the United States is bigger, US reported cases per capita are a little further behind Italy’s than the raw confirmed case numbers are. And comparing confirmed cases across countries is difficult anyway, because most countries are undertesting and it’s hard to be sure who is undertesting more.
But the bottom line remains that there’s no real reason to think that measures that didn’t suffice in Italy will suffice here.
The lesson from Italy isn’t just that you have to act before your hospitals are overwhelmed. It’s that you have to take steps that appear in the moment to be an exceptional overreaction — because by the time it looks like the steps you’re taking are appropriate, it will have been too late.
One chart that should worry Americans
Now, when public health experts say the US is on Italy’s trajectory, what exactly does that mean?
It means that the US and most European countries are seeing early coronavirus growth numbers that look like the ones from Italy. Our confirmed cases are increasing at about the rate theirs did. That gives us every reason to think our health systems will eventually be overwhelmed like theirs were, unless we take strong measures sooner than they did.
So far, we’ve taken some strong measures — which is good! But it’s not clear that we’re acting that much faster than Italy did — and remember, Italy wasn’t fast enough.
The frightening chart above compares the US’s reactions to Italy’s. It shows confirmed case numbers in Italy and in the US, starting on the day when each country passed 100 confirmed cases. It shows the points at which Italy took various precautionary measures. To break away from Italy’s trajectory, we need to take measures that are stronger than the ones it took, or take measures sooner on the trajectory than it did.
The US passed the 13,000 confirmed case mark on Thursday. Italy locked down the northern half of the country on the day it reached 13,000 cases and extended the lockdown to the southern half one day later.
To be sure, there are a lot of problems with using confirmed case data for these trajectory estimates. Italy is likely substantially undertesting, as is the US. Confirmed cases are a poor reflection of overall cases. Sometimes, growth in confirmed cases is due to increases in testing capacity, not increases in the virus’s spread.
But even with those caveats, confirmed case data isn’t worthless. “They lag behind reality,” Dr. Caitlin Rivers at Johns Hopkins University told me on Monday, but they’re still our best window into what is going on.
And looking through that window, the picture looks bleak for the US. Taking the drastic steps some parts of the country are now taking, like the California stay-at-home order, gives us a chance — not a guarantee, to be clear — to veer from the Italian trajectory.
“You are always behind where you think you are”
In a press conference on March 16, the National Institutes of Health’s Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has played a major role in leading the US response, explained to Americans why the strong measures the government was taking were not an overreaction.
“Some will look and say, well, maybe we’ve gone a little bit too far,” he said. “The thing that I want to reemphasize, and I’ll say it over and over again, when you’re dealing with an emerging infectious diseases outbreak, you are always behind where you think you are if you think that today reflects where you really are.”
Let’s say that today we found 1,000 new Covid-19 cases. Keep in mind that the virus has a two- to 10-day incubation period. In the past week or so, each of those people was exposed to the virus. Then they got sick. Then they got sick enough to seek medical attention, which can take a few more days. Then they got a test. Then the test took a day or more to return positive results (some people are reporting longer waits than that for results, while some newly designed tests might be able to get results faster).
Each of those positive tests, then, reflects an infection up to two weeks ago. The situation has already worsened for the two weeks or so since those new cases were infected. For much of that time, those 1,000 people have been out and about in the world, potentially infecting others. In a population not taking strong social distancing measures, it is estimated that on average they will have infected two or three others. Some of those newly infected will themselves have started infecting others.
Italy took strong measures. Its mistake was not that it didn’t react at all — it’s that it kept being a little bit behind the ball. Each measure was appropriate to the situation the Italians observed. But the real situation was always much worse. So things kept worsening until they pulled out all the stops with a countrywide lockdown.
“It will always seem that the best way to address [the virus] would be to be doing something that looks like it might be an overreaction,” Fauci said. “It isn’t an overreaction. It’s reaction we feel is commensurate [with what] is actually going on in reality.”
To break away from Italy’s trajectory, we have to respond with stronger measures than Italy. We have to respond in ways that feel like an overreaction. In the past few days, we’ve seen the first US steps that are stronger than Italy’s responses at a similar point in the outbreak — steps like the Bay Area’s shelter-in-place order, the follow-up extending it to all of California, New York’s similar order Friday, and state orders shutting down restaurants and bars. That’s what it will take to give ourselves a chance at a different curve.

Rach3
Posts: 2013
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: NY TIMES: Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths

Post by Rach3 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:26 pm

Using data as of March 13, 25 % - 75 % infection even with measures : https://tinyurl.com/up5zckg

Scroll down to interactive maps for areas in your State.

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