Monday, March 23, 2020

Not just older people

The following is helpful to keep in mind, though also keep in mind the majority who are infected with the coronavirus don't need hospitalization. Of course, there are exceptions depending on certain groups. Notably health care providers are at higher risk from getting infected with, hospitalized, and even dying from the coronavirus than the general population.


  1. I understand the media being interested mostly in the mortality rate of this novel disease, however the long-term effects of the novel Wuhan coronavirus on survivors of serious cases may be an important but largely overlooked concern.

    It's early, but there's already more than anecdotal evidence that some survivors of COVID-19 experience severe and irreversible lung damage (scarring, up to 30% loss of lung capacity).

    Maybe some of the cavalier "if I get corona, I get corona" California spring-breaker attitudes would be given pause if this information were being more widely shared. Or maybe not.

    The metrics on this thing are off the charts in several countries from which we can actually trust the data. Exponential growth. About 67 days for 1st 100K, approximately 2 weeks for the 2nd 100K, approximately 4 days for the 3rd 100K. Obviously a very impressive R0 factor is in play. Yet we also have countries which have seemingly "flattened the curve".

    I've seen unverified reports that the CCP is underreporting cases by as much as 10X. I personally find that to be a conservative and generous figure, but that's just me. Likewise I mistrust Russia's data.

    Yes some may say, but that's 300K out of about 7.8 billion so what's the big deal, right? But we're only about 85 days in.

    And this is considering just the health impact of the disease itself, the economic impact is literally incalculable. Some economists and blue chip investment crystal ball gazers are forecasting nearly 20% unemployment in the U.S. through at least 2021.

    Interesting times to say the least.

    1. Thanks, CD! :) Good points. If I could briefly add some things:

      1. The leading cause of death from coronavirus is something called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). However coronavirus patients who have ARDS can also survive ARDS.

      2. ARDS can often (not always) leave serious lung damage, as you pointed out. At the same time, ARDS can have complete resolution. No lasting lung damage.

      3. The "lung damage" you're talking about can show up on radiological imaging as "ground glass opacities" with "crazy paving". It's not the lungs have actually been cut by glass or anything like that, but that's what they "look like" on radiological imaging.

      4. There might be some hope. On the one hand, like you pointed out, many experts are predicting the coronavirus will have expontential growth. Doubling every few days or what not. On the other hand, many experts are likewise predicting the coronavirus should peak around May/June, then start declining after that. I guess only time will tell what really happens.

      5. I'm sure you know better than I do, but it sounds like economic experts are predicting a global recession? From which it might even take years to recover from, even at this stage? By contrast, I've heard some economists say China might emege less badly scathed than we will emerge. I don't know if any of this is true though.