Friday, March 13, 2020

Uncommon Denominator

Redfield said there has been "a surveillance system of deaths from pneumonia, that the CDC has; it’s not in every city, every state, every hospital.”

Rouda followed up and asked, “So we could have some people in the United States dying for what appears to be influenza when in fact it could be the coronavirus?”

The doctor replied that “some cases have actually been diagnosed that way in the United States today.”
The reason that all the talk about how dangerous this actually is, versus the regular flu or whatever, is specious is that we have no idea how many cases there actually have been.

How many people who died of the flu or pneumonia in the US earlier in the year had actually died of covid-19? How many people who just thought they had the cold or the flu and got better, have already recovered from a bout of coronavirus and don't realize it because they never felt sick enough to get themselves tested? Who knows? It's a lot of guesswork and handwaving right now.

All the numbers are based on diagnosed cases and, given the status of testing in the US...and the fact that prior to this month only a hypochondriac or a medical professional was likely to get themselves tested unless they were sick as a wouldn't be a stretch to say that the majority of cases in this country, at least up until extremely recently, likely went untested.

I've pointed this out before: People were dying in Wuhan in the first week of January. SHOT Show coincided with the lunar new year, as usual, and Vegas was awash in crowds of tourists from China, as usual. (To say nothing of various parts and accessories manufacturers exhibiting at SHOT.) Were any of them from Wuhan? How many cases of "SHOT crud" would have tested positive for novel coronavirus?

We have no idea what the actual denominator for this looks like, so even the most scientific pronouncements are still real sketchy.

All that being said, there's a bad sick going around. Take the kind of precautions being suggested and don't be Typhoid Mary for the elderly and infirm, okay?