UPDATE: Part II of The coronavirus cure is worse than the disease is found here.
America’s and the world’s economies are being torpedoed on the basis of rampant speculation.
Call it science, but it’s still speculation. That’s because every single analysis about the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic is based on a fatal flaw:
There’s no way to satisfactorily predict how many people–what percentage of the population–will die from coronavirus.
That’s because you can catch the disease, but you may never know it. Neither will doctors, healthcare professionals or experts who are estimating the impact of the pandemic.
Covid-19 in some cases will produce minor or no symptoms. In another word, asymptomatic. How many actual cases, no one knows. Or will ever know. Test everyone who exhibits symptoms–whether of coronavirus or not–you still won’t find the cases that fly under the radar.
Without knowing the total number of actual cases, you never, not ever, will be able to determine the percentage of people who die from the disease. In other words, the fatality rate is determined by dividing the number of deaths by the total number of cases. In mathematical terms, without that accurate number as the denominator, you’ll never get a true percentage.
(Unless, of course, you test every single one of the 330 million Americans to discover every hidden case. Absurd. You can do a representative sample of the entire population, but as far as I know that hasn’t been done prior to launching the economy killing hide-in-place policies.)
This, of course, is my opinion. But I’m not alone in it. Here are some others:
- Lower death rate estimates for coronavirus, especially for non-elderly, provide glimmer of hope. “The chance of someone with symptomatic Covid-19 dying varied by age, confirming other studies. For those aged 15 to 44, the fatality rate was 0.5%, though it might have been as low as 0.1% or as high as 1.3%. For people 45 to 64, the fatality rate was also 0.5%, with a possible low of 0.2% and a possible high of 1.1%. For those over 64, it was 2.7%, with a low and high estimate of 1.5% and 4.7%. The chance of serious illness from coronavirus infection in younger people was so low, the scientists estimate a fatality rate of zero.”
- How deadly is the new coronavirus? “The case-fatality rate is determined by dividing the number of deaths by the total number of cases. Epidemiologists believe the total number of infections with SARS-CoV-2 is underestimated because people with few or mild symptoms may never see a doctor. As testing expands and scientists begin using retrospective methods to study who has antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 circulating in their bloodstreams, the total number of confirmed cases will go up and the ratio of deaths to infections will likely drop.” [Emphasis added]
Will The Costs Of A Great Depression Outweigh The Risks Of Coronavirus? “Federal and state governments are making a massive gamble about a little-understood new virus. They are betting our future on the most extreme worst-case scenario without considering the costs.” The article cites an expert: “If we had not known about a new virus out there, and had not checked individuals with PCR tests, the number of total deaths due to ‘influenza-like illness’ would not seem unusual this year. At most, we might have casually noted that flu this season seems to be a bit worse than average. The media coverage would have been less than for an NBA game between the two most indifferent teams.”
Read these and other articles examining the death estimates and you will come to realize that they involve extremely intricate calculations and poorly supported assumptions. I’m not claiming that these articles totally vindicate my view, but they do reveal the shaky foundation on which federal, state and local governments have based policies that in the end may have more far-reaching, long-lasting and destructive consequences than Covid-19.
Related: Letter from the huddled masses.
Want to subscribe to the Barbershop? Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.