Since there is so much information out there about the Covid 19 Pandemic, I thought that it would be a good idea to have a web page dedicated to the best information we have.
Essential Terms about Covid 19
R0 (pronounced “R-naught”) is the rate of infection; it is measured by how many people one infected person on average infects while infected
Length of disease: how many days the average person has it before recovering or dying
Asymtompatic state: how long most people have it without showing symptoms
Main symptoms: having two or more of these indicates that you should be tested or call a doctor
Emergency symptoms: go to the hospital immediately if you have these
Infections per day: how many people each day the average infected will infect
Death rate with treatment: what the death rate is with medical care
Death rate without treatment: what the death rate is when not treated
Serious complication rate: what percent of people will need to be in a hospital to receive adequate care
Information about the virus
R0: 5.5 natively; 2.2 with social distancing and the other precautions enacted by the State of Ohio
Length of Virus: 21 days
Asymtompatic State: 14 days
Main symptoms: fever, dry cough, labored breathing, fatigue
Emergency symptoms: trouble breathing, confusion, bluish lips or face
Infections Per Day Per Infected: 0.26 natively; 0.1 with social distancing et al
Death Rate: 1% with treatment; 10% without treatment (half of serious complication rate will die without medical treatment)
Serious Complication Rate: 20% - that means that 80% of people will not need to go to a hospital but can beat it with rest and some drugs
Saturday Evening, March 21, 2020
US Confirmed Cases: 23,811
Ohio Confirmed Cases: 247
I hope that you noticed from the above that this disease is deadly but not horrifically deadly as long as the very best medical care is available. Once a medical system no longer has enough hospital beds (regular and ICU), however, things become very grim. Again, most people will not need extensive care, but twenty percent will.
Now, there are only about 925,000 hospital beds in the US, and about 78,000 ICU beds. All of these usually run at 61% capacity, which leaves only about 360,000 beds and 30,000 ICU beds available for people with Covid 19. When our doctors are talking about limited supplies, it is this equipment that cannot be created easily. Moreover, we only have a finite amount of doctors and nurses.
Present Estimate of Current Infection in the US and Ohio
As of Saturday evening, March 21, 2020, the United States had 301 deaths, 23,339 currently infected, and 171 recovered patients for a total of 23,811 confirmed cases. Notice that the confirmed cases is the total of these other numbers. Confirmed means that medical testing has verified that these cases were in fact Covid 19. What we want to know, however, is how many people have the virus that we do not know about. Follow this link for the original work on this estimate: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca Basically, we can use the number of confirmed deaths to estimate how many actual (unreported and confirmed) cases there are. This is an estimate, but a very useful one. Let’s do some math.
Today, yesterday the United States reported 43 new deaths. Given a mortality rate of 1%, each death means that there were 99 other cases for each of those deaths. The questions is when did those victims catch the disease. The virus usually takes 21 day to run its course. Accordingly, 28 days ago, on March 1, the United States probably had 5,000 cases. That was then. How many do we probably have today? Since the disease doubles roughly every five days, or an increase of 15% each day, then we can then estimate its growth per day. Given the above, we can estimate that today there are 110,000 people with the disease. Likewise, we can use the same method to estimate that Ohio presently has 2,800 cases even though we have only detected about 9% of those cases.
So, how long till our medical system is overwhelmed? If the United States has 30,000 spare ICU beds and 3% of Covid 19 patients need the ICU, then we can handle 1,000,000 cases of Covid 19 concurrently. Or, if we have 360,000 available regular hospital beds and 17% of Covid 19 patients need just a regular hospital bed, then we can handle 2,1,000,000 concurrent cases. With a population of 11,689,000, Ohio has 3.5% of the USA’s population. Accordingly, we can treat 30,000 Covid 19 patients at one time with a low mortality rate. Given all the above - and remember that the above is an estimate - the United States and Ohio have until April 5th give our take a few days.
Now, those dates are without any non-pharmac0logical interventions, i.e. social distancing, working from home, and not having kids in schools. These should reduce the R0 from 5.5 to 2.2: each person with Covid 19 goes from infecting 5 people to infecting 2 people over three weeks. While that is still not ideal, it gives us time. How much time? It pushes the date back about five days - a full doubling cycle - to April 10th.
What about home quarantine? If that is done, the transmission rate falls below 1 and the outbreak will be temporarily contained. However, most people will not stay in their homes indefinitely. There will be a limit to how long they can remain by themselves. Accordingly, our leaders have to time the shutdown so that it is the most efficacious. That shelter in place order is the most extreme measure that can be done and needs to be paired with effective testing. When we know exactly who has the virus, then we can help them self-quarantine without expending excess medical supplies.
This virus is not going anywhere for a while, but we are already making progress against it. Unfortunately, people will likely become more despondent as the number of confirmed cases catches up with the actual case count and as the government enacts further restrictions. That is why it is very important that we pray and remain calm and prepared.
Please see the Covid 19 Prayer webpage for more information.
Small business owners should take a look at this pdf on loans from the US government: Small Business Owners Guide