A Critical Coronavirus Graph

By DJ Rippert

OK, Boomer. A study conducted last month from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides statistics about the lethality of COVID-19.  Those statistics were analyzed by Business Insider.  You can see those statistics in the graph on the left. Younger people have a one in 10,000 (0.01%) chance of dying from the flu and a one in 500 (0.2%) chance of dying from COVID-19. So, COVID-19 is 20 times more lethal for a 15 year old than the flu. That mortality rate rises quickly as the victims get older. Between one and two 55 year olds out of 100 who contract COVID-19 will die of the disease. That’s 22 times the mortality rate of the flu. However, the real jump occurs in those who are 60 and above. Almost 15% of those aged 80+ will die if they contract the coronavirus.

Old Dominion. The average age of a Virginia resident is 38.1 years. There are 142,300 Virginians over the age of 80, 518,900 between 70 and 79 and 934,400 between 60 and 69. That’s 1,595,600 Virginians (19% of the population) with more than a 3.5% chance of dying if they develop COVID-19.

Hysteria? There is no vaccine against COVID-19. There is no cure. The only way for a 60+ year old Virginian to avoid a 3.6% – 14.8% chance of dying is to avoid the disease. The real odds of dying are the infection rate multiplied by the mortality rate. But once you contract the disease you are far more likely to die than if you contracted the flu. Is there any activity on Earth that a rational person would undertake with a 3.6% – 14.8% chance of dying? For comparison purposes an American sent to fight in Vietnam had about a 0.5% chance of dying. Given those odds, is it really “hysteria” to cancel fan participation at sporting events or to insist that people in contact with the public wear gloves? Our only defense is containment and containment comes with a fair amount of inconvenience. What is the alternative? Hope, as they say, is not a strategy.

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22 responses to “A Critical Coronavirus Graph

  1. Well said. Hope people pay attention.

    • Thanks. I sincerely hope this disease just peters out and goes away but I’ll be watching the Washington Capitals on TV instead of at The Capital One Arena until it does.

  2. The chart may or may not say what you claim, but I can’t read it. Send it to Bacon so he can post it in a way that we can see it full size……

  3. Challenges with test kits at a nursing home in Seattle –


  4. I agree with most of your logic as well as your conclusion.

    I would suggest a note of caution, however, about extrapolating the Chinese mortality statistics to other countries. (1) If Chinese authorities under-reported people infected with the virus who showed no symptoms, the mortality rate would appear to be more elevated than it really is. (2) Terrible air pollution and the high incidence of smoking may mean more Chinese are suffering from respiratory distress as a pre-existing condition, thus elevating their mortality rates. (3) Other countries may have better hospital facilities for treating patients with acute respiratory illness, thus better able to reduce the mortality rate. I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m just saying that we have to be careful about making inter-country comparisons.

    But let’s say, to pick some numbers, there’s “only” a 1% to 4% chance of dying. Your logic regarding sports events, wearing gloves, etc. still holds.

  5. Here is a link to an analysis done by Dr. Liz Specht, (Associate Director of Science and Technology at the Good Food Institute) tracking the virus growth, and its likely impact on the US Health Care System. https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/10/simple-math-alarming-answers-covid-19/

    Here is a link about an email from Dr. James Robb, pathologist and coronavirus expert, that was heavily distributed (and perhaps slightly edited), but has useful information about the virus and how to best avoid it. I decided to include the Snopes version, that communicated with Dr. Robb to determine its veracity and accuracy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Robb_(pathologist)

    As someone who is in the high risk group, I am updating personal plans as we type.

  6. Maryland’s Gov Hogan has recommended over 60 stay home. We have not said that here. But seems to me once if we ever do say that, there is large number of community activities need to be cancelled. Wonder how Hogan’s recommendation is playing out in MD?

    Just one small example of the scope, we have a lot of community bands in NoVA. We rehearse and weekly in the schools and play concerts. If you say, over 60 stay home, then I suppose that activity needs to be suspended.

    • I’m eligible for federal jury duty starting next week. I’m not too interested in sitting in a room full of people for hours at a time. Maybe they’ll cancel. I’m not sure I could stand to stay home for very long. I go to the gym, run and play tennis or golf every day. There are no crowds but the gym probably ought to concern me. Lots of people touching the same barbells I touch. Maybe I’ll wear gloves.

  7. How can one know if infected by Corona virus… Quick test..

    From member of the Stanford hospital board. This is their feedback for now on Corona virus: The new Coronavirus may not show sign of infection for many days. How can one know if he/she is infected? By the time they have fever and/or cough and go to the hospital, the lung is usually 50% Fibrosis and it’s too late. Taiwan experts provide a simple self-check that we can do every morning. Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds. If you complete it successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness, etc., it proves there is no Fibrosis in the lungs, basically indicates no infection. In critical time, please self-check every morning in an environment with clean air. Serious excellent advice by Japanese doctors treating COVID-19 cases: Everyone should ensure your mouth & throat are moist, never dry. Take a few sips of water every 15 minutes at least. Why? Even if the virus gets into your mouth, drinking water or other liquids will wash them down through your throat and into the stomach. Once there, your stomach acid will kill all the virus. If you don’t drink enough water more regularly, the virus can enter your windpipe and into the lungs. That’s very dangerous. Please send and share this with family and friends. Take care everyone and may the world recover from this Coronavirus soon.

    > IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – CORONAVIRUS 1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold 2. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose. 3. This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degrees. It hates the Sun. 4. If someone sneezes with it, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne. 5. If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours – so if you come into contact with any metal surface – wash your hands as soon as you can with a bacterial soap. 6. On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hours. normal laundry detergent will kill it. 7. Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice. 8. Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but – a lot can happen during that time – you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on. 9. You should also gargle as a prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice. 10. Can’t emphasis enough – drink plenty of water! THE SYMPTOMS 1. It will first infect the throat, so you’ll have a sore throat lasting 3/4 days 2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5/6 days further. 3. With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing. 4. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you’re drowning. It’s imperative you then seek immediate attention.


  8. The Seattle City Council has developed a 5 stage program for combating the coronavirus. They are currently at Stage 2 with talk of possibly moving to Stage 3 soon.

    Details – https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/seattle-area-official-outlines-potential-next-steps-in-coronavirus-response-including-cancellation-of-events/

    This is what I would have expected our state politicians to do.

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